Where Is Your "But" Going?

Updated: Aug 2

How many bad checks do you think you have written with your mouth? Many of us have either grown up with or used the phrase "Don't let your mouth write a check that your ass can't cash", meaning don't talk about things that you can't or won't follow through on. It usually refers to in negotiating with others but what if we also applied it to ourselves?




I bet we all know at least one person who always has something negative to say and it doesn't matter when, where, or how we talk to them. They always have a complaint about what didn't happen, how they feel, or what such and such did. You probably heard it so much that you can finish the story. Annoying isn't it. You just start wishing they would do something about it instead of telling you over and over.


Ever consider that that's how you may be talking to yourself? Can't get that relationship to go right? Kids keep acting like fools? Body doesn't feel well? Can't get ahead on those bills?


I'm not saying you shouldn't vent or acknowledge when frustration happens in life but how often do you let it hinder you or make you feel bad about yourself or how you've ended up? What if I told you that there is a way to vent, minimize how much you vent about the same thing, and can change the direction of your issues over the time?


Think about what you don't like in your life and think about how you talk about it. "I would really like to buy a house but I don't know if I can ever save enough for a down payment." Maybe you're saying "I really love him/her but he/she just won't communicate with me." Perhaps it's "I would go running but I'm so sore from my ailment."




The definitions for the word "but" that I came across are: "to introduce a phrase or clause contrasting what has already been mentioned", "to indicate the impossibility of anything other that what has been stated", "no more than, only". "without, lacking" [Oxford and Merriam-Webster].


I'm not advocating that you never use the word "but"; however, you should certainly be mindful of when you are using it and in what place of the sentence it is given space. You, and your intentions, would best be served making sure you use but ONLY AFTER you have said something negative. You should not be using "but" in reference to future actions or hopeful outcomes after you've communicated your wishes.


When you use "but" after you've stated a wish, you just cancelled out the positive energy that is necessary to activate your desire. How much more motivated are you if you say "I have to save for a down payment but I would really like to buy a house" or "he/she hasn't been communicating with me but I really love him/her"? It keeps the possibility open with the version of "I'm sore from my ailment but I'm going to run".


You are still acknowledging a present fact but in the future your problem is fixable (see what I just did there)! Why do you continue to talk about what you would love to do or what you would love to be and then contradict the energy of your wish to come true! The last thing you say is the last thing that will be lingering in your mind, and therefore, in your outlook.




Positive self talk won't exactly get you everything you want but it does help with much of it coming your way. Have you noticed how you can think of something or talk about something and then days to months later it just suddenly pops up after you've forgotten all about it? Imagine how much you could be getting if you stopped cancelling it out all the time! If you really wanted to be smart about it you would start cancelling out the stuff you don't want!


Think about how much better your would feel if you were walking around saying "They may not like me but I will not get passed up for the promotion" or "This person is threatening me but I will not be in this abusive relationship" or "I don't want to get up early but I do not desire to skip my workout today" rather than believing you're not qualified, you can't get out safely, or you're too lazy to put your workout clothes on.


Not only can watching where and how you apply "but" to your thoughts and sentences help you with your perspective and attitude, and article I came across at healthline.com pointed out that "People who can master positive self-talk are thought to be more confident, motivated, and productive." Why does this happen? Because rather than overthinking or allowing yourself to feel inferior, you focus on the action.


Similarly, the Mayo Clinic highlights that even though it cannot fully be explained medically, people who speak greatly about themselves and their lives have been found to live with reduced stress and resistance to sickness. Like any habit, adjusting how you speak or think about your circumstances takes repetition in order to become natural and some people have to work at it longer than others. Trust me, though, the simplified life is also the most fulfilled one because you aren't "chasing" things that you most certainly can have.




In his post for Psychology Today Dr. Gregory L. Jantz acknowledges "Positive self-talk is not self-deception" and that "To expect perfection in yourself or anyone else is unrealistic.  To expect no difficulties in life, whether through your own actions or sheer circumstances, is also unrealistic." Being careful where you place the "but" in your sentences, to me, just signals that you can beat any negative circumstance.


Get your mouth-book out and start writing some better figures. Write a check that says "My parents couldn't give me all they wanted to but I am able to to do better for my own children and for myself". Write a check that says "I may have needed these treatments for six months but my body is regenerating and I am feeling better day by day". Write one that says "They may not like me but all that they do will elevate me into a better position because they underestimated me". You should really start writing mouth-checks worth billions in good thoughts!


What are you looking to get rid of in your life? Start "but"ting it out! (Ha, I like that one too!) I'm excited to hear about what changes you will see in the coming months once you start being conscious about how you vent and becoming more intentional about it. I don't expect to be the only one here having a great time! Start this week. Start today! Got some problems? Ask yourself, how much are you letting that go for?




Feeling rich? Spread the wealth and share this post with someone that has big plans for themselves so that they don't "but" themselves out!



❤ MU


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