Blog : “But” is the back end – Why do you want to live there? Take Responsibility


Have you tried to excuse something today, using the word “but”? Have you set a goal, leaving yourself a backdoor open?


Be it positive or negative – “I could not finish, but I did manage this?” “I did finish, but this happened?” Are you a “but” user?


“I am planning our holiday for the end of the year, but …..”. “I am considering applying for the position advertised, but ….”. “We are looking for a car to buy, but ….”.


Do we even take the time to notice how many times we use the word “but” in the construction of our sentences?

Have you ever thought about the impact of the word “but”?


How about a challenge : for this week, count your “buts” and see where you end up.


So why is it damaging? We have good intentions and what we are planning is positive? I am only pointing out a hick-up along the path of our planning?


Firstly, when you use the word “but”, you negate anything that came before. Why? Because your subconscious “cuts” the words before “but” and treats it as though it was never said. Those good intentions might as well never have left your mouth. In your subconscious only the second part exists. Why? Because the purpose of your subconscious is to give you more of where your attention is, to keep you alive. And if you fear the “second part of the sentence”, well then you are going to look for it.


Secondly, what comes after “but” is where your attention is. That is where your focus is. On the excuse, the obstacle along the way. It is not only an obstacle. You are placing your focus here. We are so focused on always finding the excuse for why something is not working out, or not running smoothly, even before we have attempted it. We are so scared of being judged. We fear our own emotions and limiting beliefs. “Let me quickly put a possible option if things do not work out”. Let me protect myself.


“But” is about protecting the fragile ego. About making ourselves not look too bad.


If you stop using “but” today, what will happen.


1. You will take responsibility. You will start taking responsibility for what you want. Therefor, your intentions and actions become yours to take. Yours to build. You no longer can hide behind an excuse. You stand up, and you become accountable. You take pride in your decisions and you stand up and claim it. You evaluate your skills, your aptitude, your drive, etc. Sometimes we do aim too high. This time around. Next time you might have learned new skills, new lessons.

2. Energy flows in the right direction. The moment there is no longer a possibility of a negative outcome, you have only one place to put your attention and energy. And that, is in achieving your goal. You start seeing possibilities and options start opening up. Your attention is in the right direction – you stop looking out for outside forces. As far as you are concerned, they do not exist. Every bump in the road, you find a bridge for, or you break the believe.

3. You will find there is no wrong. There are only lessons in life. So what if your idea did not work out? Yes, it is disappointing, but you would have learned how to tackle it, what to say, how to handle situations, etc. If only we can learn that disappointments are lessons, not failures. We never learn when everything runs smoothly, we only learn when we are stopped in our tracks and we re-evaluate. And by learning, I do not mean form a new limiting believe. There is only learning of how-to and how-not-to. Learning means, I might not know how today, but tomorrow, I am ready.

4. Start trusting yourself. Once you cut “but” out, you have only yourself to count on. What comes after “but”, is always and excuse for the world outside of us. When we give the outside world no option, no hold on us, we have to start believing in ourselves and pull on our own resources. And at the end of the day, what is there apart from ourselves. It is your dream, it is your actions that will achieve that dream. It is you that will get to enjoy the success of the dream. It is you that will learn the lesson from the disappointment. Come on, why give it to someone else.

5. Gratitude and joy. Once you take responsibility, you will find that suddenly your heart opens to gratitude and joy. Yes, for both success and disappointment. Well, success is quite obvious, but imagine the sense of accomplishment when you achieve your goal? And for disappointment? Well maybe not today, but tomorrow you might apply the lesson you learned today, and you will suddenly find out what gratitude there can be in disappointment. Thank you for the lesson.


It is not necessary to set yourself up for disappointment, even before you start. Why? Why do you want to hurt yourself like that?


Come on, give your life a chance. Give yourself a chance. You might just fall in love with yourself and what you might achieve.


Sue Leppan

Transformation Life Coach

NLP Practitioner

Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SueLeppanLifeCoach/

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E-mail: hello@sueleppan.co.za     Tel: +27 83 305 0330