How often do you use ‘but?’ Have you ever listened to yourself explain why you are not doing something or why you are not able to do something? Recently I said, “I want to do more yoga but I don’t have time.” A teacher I was coaching said, “I want to teach more but nobody will pay what I charge.” A friend of mine said she “wanted to lose weight but nothing worked.”
While driving down the 405 freeway to meet a friend I heard Seth Godin suggest replacing the word ‘but’ with the word ‘and.’ Because when you say ‘but; you have nowhere to go. It’s like putting a period on a sentence. You’ve made a statement.
However, when you use the word “and” you open up a conversation in your head or with whomever you are talking with. Allowing you to think about alternative ways to get what you want. ‘And’ creates opportunity!
For example, if I say ‘and’ when it comes to my lack of time for yoga the sentence allows for a ‘yet’ to be added. “I want to do more yoga and I don’t have time yet.” This allows me to think about ways to create more time. The teacher who doesn’t have clients willing to pay her rates…yet… can then think about ways to find the right clients who will pay her rates. My friend “wants to lose weight and nothing is working yet” leaves room for suggestions that she can try to hit her goals.
This week, listen to your excuses or complaints. How often are you using ‘but?’ Can you rephrase that statement with ‘and?’ What does space does that and allow in? What else could you do or try now that ‘and’ has created opportunity?