Maybe it’s Time to Get Off Your But?

maybe-its-time-to-get-off-your-but

Your recovery and healing will go deeper when you drop the But!

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Is your but giving your problems? Chances are, your “but” (not your butt) is getting in the way of your life and your recovery.

Your but-it list

You know that your but is giving you troubles when it seeps more and more into your vocabulary. “But” is a way to invalidate any phrase that came before the but

I want to take action, but…

I want to get in better shape, but…

I know I need to get more sleep, but…

I plan to improve how I handle anger, but…

I don’t feel comfortable in groups and I know I should do something about it, but…

These are a few examples that I could come up with. What about you? Take a moment to think about the buts that you can come up with.

Butindicates the impossibility of anything other than what is being stated. In other words, whatever follows the but is what you will think about and what you will do. Our but will rule out taking any action.

So maybe it’s time to check your vocabulary? Think about it:

Our buts keep us stuck.

Our buts keep us safe.

Our buts keep us inside the box.

Stuck, safe and inside the box are a pretty good description of what it feels like to be inside of an addiction, or trapped by dark, desperate moods.

Stuck, safe and inside the box are a pretty good description of what it feels like to be inside of an addiction, or trapped by dark, desperate moods.

Your but-it list has the power to defeat your bucket list.

Moving from BUT to AND

You can turn your but on it’s head. Being intention and exchanging “and” for “but” (even just once a day) can help you to move to a deeper place in your recovery, in your healing and to get more out of your life.

Let’s go back to your “but-it list.”  Notice the difference in your energy, your mindset and your outlook when you change just one word in the sentences:

I want to take action, and (what’s next?)…

I want to get in better shape, and (what’s next?)…

I know I need to get more sleep, and (what’s next?) …

I plan to improve how I handle anger, and (what’s next?) …

I don’t feel comfortable in groups and I know I should do something about it, and

And is a word that connects the concepts of a sentence, it expands by introducing additional comments. And will expand your life because you will become more focused on action instead of excuses.

How we think and how we speak IS our recovery.

The next time someone asks you to do something uncomfortable or you think about making a change, pay attention to your spoken words and your thoughts. How often do you use “buts” in your speech and in your thought life?

Once energy is created, it cannot be destroyed – only transformed into something else… When you occupy your time and energy in productive actions, it is no longer a battle of attrition. The focus has changed. Energy has been redirected. You not spending your energy resisting something; you’re spending it doing something else altogether. Mike Mahler p 103 Live Life Aggressively

Don’t waste time trying to eliminate the buts from your vocabulary. Instead, use your energy to add more ands to how you think and how you speak. And pay attention to the people around you. Are your friends caught up in their buts or expanded by their ands?

The buts in your vocabulary and your thoughts add to a fixed mindset: a belief that you cannot change or grow. The ands add to a growth mindset: a belief that you are able to grow and develop. For more on the fixed and growth mindsets, see my article How to Change Your Story and Supercharge Your Recovery.

Your actions will take you deeper. Say to yourself, “Today, I am anxious about taking an action and speaking up for myself… and I will do it even though I feel anxious.”

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing. If you like what I have to say, please share my work with your friends.

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Keep it Real

Photo by Juan Antonio F. Segal


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