20 Ways to Change Your Story
3. But Out
I’m grateful to KC Miller of the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts for teaching and modeling this one. She is a master of this practice. Since learning this technique from her many years ago, I have become more aware of the “buts” that slip into my story. I’m better at catching them than I used to be,
but I’ll never be as good at it as KC and I’m not yet as good at it as KC, so this post will be a great reminder for me.
The idea is to eliminate “but” from your vocabulary and replace it with the word “and”.
Why would you want to do that?
Because “but” is a show stopper. “But” is the wet blanket on the spark of your potential. It creates either/or scenarios and rules out both/and. “But” negates, disempowers, and limits your possibilities. It is a self-defeating word.
Look at these stories, for example:
- I would love to go on a beach vacation, BUT I don’t have the time or money for it.
- I want to be a fill-in-the-blank, BUT I just don’t have the skills.
- I’d like to raise my rates, BUT nobody would pay me that much.
- I really admire so-and-so, BUT I could never be more like him/her.
- I want to lose some weight, BUT that cake is really calling my name.
What’s the common thread in all these stories? The true desire expressed in the first half of the statement is totally ruled out and dismissed by what follows the “but”. The “but” closes the door on the first half of the sentence. It leaves you stuck with the self-defeating story in the second half of the sentence.
Watch what happens when we replace “but” with “and”.
- I would love to go on a beach vacation, AND I don’t have the time or money for it.
- I want to be a fill-in-the-blank, AND I just don’t have the skills.
- I’d like to raise my rates, AND nobody would pay me that much.
- I really admire so-and-so, AND I could never be more like him/her.
- I want to lose some weight, AND that cake is really calling my name.
Do you see how the story changes and the possibilities open up by replacing “but” with “and”? Both parts of the sentence now hold more equal weight. Instead of either/or (with the second half of the sentence winning the contest), there’s room for both/and. The first part still seems possible. The second part feels more like a challenge to be met or a problem to be solved than a permanent road block.
Want to make these statements even more empowering?
Take a good look at the supposed limiting factor in the second half of each statement. Is it really true? (Hint: even if it is ‘true’, that doesn’t mean you have to believe it. See “Stop Sticking to Stories That Don’t Serve You“.) Can you rephrase it in a more positive light? Are there steps you can take to make it less true?
Try replacing the “and” with “so” and reframing the challenge as a solution.
- I would love to go on a beach vacation, SO I’m going to ask for a raise and put in for the vacation time I’ve earned.
- I want to be a fill-in-the-blank, SO I’m going to check out the new certification program being offered.
- I’d like to raise my rates, SO, because I know I’m worth it, I’m going to find clients who can afford me.
- I really admire so-and-so, SO I’m going to start adopting some of his/her habits.
- I want to lose some weight, SO, if I decide to eat that cake, I may need to eat salad for dinner tonight or add some time to my gym workout this evening.
Start your own But Out practice by training your brain to catch you whenever you use the word “but” in conversation. Right then and there, in the course of your conversation, back up and replace that “but” with “and”. Later on, you can do some reframing in your Story Diary. Over time, you will begin to let go of your “buts” more and more. “And” and “so” will come more naturally. You’ll begin to see more possibilities and fewer limitations.
And So . . . But Out!
You’ve got nothing to lose but your self-limiting stories.
This is the 4th post in a 21-post series sparked by Chapter 9 of Fallen, The Adventures of a Deep Water Leaf, in which Lizard suggests that Alora change her story.
#20WaysIn20Days, #ChangeYourStory, #Fallen