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“No one ever excused his way to success.” 
―Dave Del Dotto

We’re always looking for excuses or for an explanation and rationale for our behavior that seemingly absolves us of responsibility, like I was going to finish my project but I got distracted. Or I was going to finish my college degree so I can get a better job, but I was having too much fun partying or I had children or insert whatever excuse you want here. But, but, but. What a dangerous and powerful word and one that can stop you from being successful.

You know that when someone inserts a but in a sentence you are immediately on your guard since experience has proven to you that it makes everything that was said before meaningless. If your boss says, “We made the quota for this quarter, but there won’t be a bonus because the CEO says it wasn’t high enough to warrant one”, it really doesn’t matter that you worked hard so you could get the bonus, does it? Or if your co-workers say, “She’s a great worker and really smart, but she tends to dawdle a lot,” it sure doesn’t sound like she’s a great worker. And we use but way too much with our children and undermine our ability to be believable parents.  Does this sound familiar? “I know honey that we were going to go to the park and play today, but Daddy got a very important phone call and blah, blah, blah.”

When we use the word but we begin to instill in our minds a limiting premise that says it’s not my fault because just look at all the stuff that’s in the way! There’s always stuff that’s in the way, challenges to be met, roadblocks that appear unexpectedly and important phone calls to be answered. So? Want to know how self-limiting the word but is in your daily life?  Start to note every time you use but in your conversations, in your correspondence or in your mind, and when the day is done and you have a quiet moment examine how you felt, how people responded and what you were able to accomplish. It will probably surprise you. Just like getting off your butt and exercising your way to better health, getting off your but will get you back in control of what’s really important. What can you accomplish when you get off your but?

To schedule an appointment with Ben Novell, LMFT,  Janelle Novell, LMFT, RPT-S or any of our therapists, please call 951-252-9911.

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