Have you ever been stopped by BUT? “I want to lose a few pounds BUT….”, “I want to eat healthily BUT…”, “I want to quit my job BUT…”, “I want to get this done BUT….”, “I want to travel around the world BUT…”.
BUT seems to be a show stopper. Is it really? No.
Then what is? It is who is. And it is You.
We stop ourselves from doing what we say we want to do by giving ourselves good enough excuses with BUT. Most of the BUTs usually stand for “I don’t have time”, I don’t know how”, I don’t have the money” etc.
What we don’t realize though is that every time BUT gets out to play, it has an impact on us. And when we befriend with too many BUTs, the accumulative effect can be rather significant.
1. Laziness – not something that we want to cultivate. The more BUTs we have, the more lazy we let ourselves to be.
2. Slow Momentum – BUT may be a simple word, it carries a lot of weigh. When there are too many BUTs in our life, we get weighed down.
3. Personal Growth – BUT stops us from challenging ourselves, pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone. Therefore, our boundaries, abilities and capacities will never get seriously tested. We can only grow and evolve when we push ourselves beyond where we are. No personal development or growth can happen when we stay put, let alone making meaningful changes in life or even living the dreams that we want.
At times, there is a real reason BUT exists. It is when there is a lack of clarity, i.e. what we want vs what we think we want. Without clarity, we are unable to commit.
So what can we do to get us do things that we say we want to do? And what can we do to gain better clarity in what we want?
One exercise that I use to help solve these issues is called “Kick your BUT(T)”. Whenever you find yourself saying “I……..but….”, you kick your BUT(T) and replace it with How, Who, What and When.
Every BUT is met with a question and it’s then up to you to find the answers.
For example: I want to lose a few pounds but I don’t have the time to go to the gym. ==> What can I possibly do to find time for the gym? ==> Get up an hour earlier or just start by doing 15 mins run at lunch time instead of an whole hour and build from there.
When you do “Kick Your BUT(T), you answer one question, then another question will come up, which is great. The more you replace the BUT, the more answers you get to get your things done. On top of that, the answers are likely to be laid out, step by step, right in front of your eyes.
When you have done a few rounds and by the time you start struggling with coming up with more BUT, and if you still feel that you can’t commit to the task, then it’s time to take a serious look at what you want to do. Is it really what you want to do? Or is it you just think you want to do?
Commitments need clarity. Commitments also need desire. If there is no genuine desire in you to do what you say you want to do, no matter how hard or easy it is, how clear with all the BUTs taken care of, you simply won’t do it.
If you are serious about making a change, breaking through a change and living your lives as well as your dreams, then get serious with yourself about the things that you say you want to do with total honesty. With honesty comes clarity. With clarity comes commitment.
Once we have cleared out BUT, it opens up a lot of space for better and more important things to happen in our lives. With true desire, honesty, clarity and commitment, we are good to go to get things done.
So kick your BUT(T). Get stuff done. Make the change. Live your dream.