There is a destructive virus out there affecting businesses and stopping soloists from achieving success. It is the Yes But, and it stands between you and what you want most. Here’s what do to about it.
Jot down three things you would really like to be doing, but aren’t. Now, quickly write down why you aren’t doing them. These are your Yes Buts. They can seem reasonable or they can seem silly; either way, they’re always tenacious. Despite your will and desire, they are blocking you.
“Yes, exercise is good, but I just haven’t got time.”
“Yes, I know I should outsource my BAS, but it would take too long to get organised.”
“Yes, I would love to work with these clients, but they would never want to work with me.”
Your Yes Buts have something in common: they seem totally real. Here’s another thing they have in common: they’re not. They’re just things you believe.
Take “no time to exercise”. If you’re working 9 to 5 in a day job, commuting two hours on top of that, taking care of a family and starting up your business at night, finding time to fit in a workout can seem flat impossible. But consider this: if I said I would give you $10 million in 8 weeks’ time on just one condition – that you spend an hour of each day between now and then sitting in a small room doing nothing but stare at the wall – would you do it? My guess is you would find the time. You would move other things around and do whatever you needed to do to get that hour. The stakes would be high enough for you to get really, really creative about finding ways to succeed.
When your priorities shift, you get resourceful. Very resourceful. And all of a sudden, the action that used to seem impossible… just happens. If you’d find the time to get the $10 million, “no time to exercise” just means that you value money more highly than your health. Unpleasant truth, huh? Logically, you might know better. Unconsciously, your Yes But is running the show.
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Here’s five steps to kicking your Yes But to the kerb.
1. Be aware
Look at the most troublesome Yes But you wrote down. Your Yes But is just a belief, and other beliefs are also possible.
2. Be honest
If your priorities were different, your Yes But would lose its power.
3. Get clear
First, write down what you are gaining by keeping your Yes But (“no time to exercise” might give you time with your family – entirely understandable!). Then, write down what you are losing thanks to your Yes But (the chance to be a positive role model, good health, energy, years off your life… for example).
4. Make a decision
Is your Yes But lined up with your real priorities? Mostly, the answer will be no. The “no time to exercise” Yes But is trying to help you have time with your family, but it’s lost sight of the bigger picture. The “can’t outsource my BAS” Yes But is trying to save you from an intimidating filing task, but it’s keeping you from spending time on what you do best. You know this. That’s why it’s bugging you. (Sometimes the answer is yes, your Yes But is okay – maybe the thing you thought you “should” be doing is actually the problem – in which case, make peace with your decision, at least for now.)
If you’ve decided your Yes But needs to go, that means your priorities have shifted. Again, write down the thing you would really like to be doing (“I’d really like to work with these clients”) and now write down “and five possible ways to achieve that in line with my priorities are…” and brainstorm five ways. Let them flow. Take a look at them. Pick one. Make a start.
You’re on your way. Congratulations!
Let me know: what’s your favourite Yes But, and what are you doing about it?