Okay But!

Pay attention to the buts.

Not butts, Tina Belcher, "but"s. Turns in the sentence.

The moments where you list all the ways the person you’re in relationship with isn’t treating you well before justifying why you haven’t left them yet. Or catalog all the reasons why your job is unsatisfying before making excuses to not look for another one.

As Ned Stark — a real person with whom I had a very close relationship — said: “Everything before the word ‘but’ is horse shit”.

I would add to that, usually what follows the “but” in the sentence is the truth of our feelings. It shows us where and how we’re settling for present circumstance, rather than reaching for what we want.

Now of course this may not be true for all uses of “but”, and I’m not saying we should throw the whole word away. I’m just also saying that in my own process I’ve heard myself use that word as a crutch, a caveat, an excuse to get out of doing the thing I know I am well capable of doing.

So I’ve started to pay attention to the buts. Because the buts are where we curb our own power and in this economy, neither you, nor I, have got time for that.