I Like Big “BUTS”
Written by Laura Prather on October 01, 2013
That silly song has been going through my head for the last several days. It was amusing at first but has now lost all appeal. Unfortunately I’m sure the mere suggestion of it will now have it repeating in your subconscious for days on end. I apologize now. At least it’s not the Muffin Man (oops).
Really this post has nothing to do with our posterior but rather with overcoming our fears and excuses. “Buts” can be used to make an excuse or to defy one; and get over our insecurities.
The other day was a perfect example. In an effort to increase my skill as a business woman I enrolled in a course by Carrie Wilkerson (you know, the adorable Barefoot Executive®?). Anyway, there is a small group of us doing it together and as I was looking at the caliber of people involved I started feeling a bit insecure. They were mentioning accomplishments, income, etc. and I was like, “Um, yea, I’m no where near that!”; and so the mental dialogue began. (Yes, I talk to myself often. The good thing about talking to myself is that when I get in an argument I win either way.)
Seriously, I really started to wrestle with: “am I good enough”, “should I even be in business”, “I don’t have what it takes”, “I learn so much but I never go anywhere”, “this course doesn’t apply to me and my business”, “I shouldn’t be involved in discussions because I’ll look dumb”, etc.
The longer I give those thoughts attention the louder it gets and the longer the list of excuses to quit, give up or feel defeated. It’s not just in the area of business that I get these pesky feelings. My marriage, parenting, personal growth, friendships, well – everything. However I’m finally learning the value of BIG BUTS.
>>Yes, I do not have as much success as others BUT I am on my own path. I have my own success. I am learning and growing. I’m not where I want to be but I’m not where I was either. I can learn so much from others who are further along in their business than I am.
>>True. I am not making as much as other people (well, everyone.) BUT I’m still young in my business and I still can offer value. I have learned good lessons along my journey that can benefit other people, including those who are further along the road than me; and while we may not be generating a profit (yet) I should be (and am) proud of the fact that 2 years ago I wouldn’t have even dreamed I would be the owner of a gorgeous boutique – that, with God’s help, we took $500 and grew it from a craft show business to an online shop and retail store, managing to keep it nearly debt-free. (I had a little “learning experience” shortly after opening but we will be 100% debt-free by the end of the year!!)
Sometimes it’s not just our own thoughts that throw excuses our way. Well-intentioned friends and family can easily be the ones to suggest that you are not good enough, you deserve to fail, that idea is ridiculous, you don’t ever finish anything, or my favorite: “Are you sure?”. All of these things cause DOUBT. Doubt is a destroyer of everything.
>>No. I am not always sure. That’s what risk is BUT if I never step out and try I’ll never know or grow. If I waited until I was sure to make decisions I would still be sitting around blabbing to my friends and family saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to (insert whatever your idea or dream is) ?” .
>> No, based on some past decisions, maybe I don’t deserve success in many people’s minds, BUT I’ve moved beyond my past and thank goodness God doesn’t give any of us all that we truly deserve (because, frankly, we’ve all messed up).
>>Yep. In the past I have quit and not followed through BUT thankfully I get to try again and life has a way of teaching us lessons that cause us to MATURE. I don’t know about you, but I am SO glad I am not the same person I was 30, 20, 10, or even 2 years ago.
So what big BUTS do you need to wipe out those insecure, unproductive, dream-destroying thoughts? Get out a pen and paper and write down all those annoying, destructive thoughts and then follow them up with some BIG BUTS. I learned that there was no benefit in ignoring those negative thoughts because they keep coming back and they get louder – oh, and they bring friends. Instead, face them head on and counteract those pesky thoughts with the TRUTH. I make two columns. One labeled “Lie”, the other “Truth” and in-between a great, big “BUT”. If you read God’s Word then write out a verse after your “But” for encouragement and a heaping dose of the TRUTH. This takes away the power of your excuses and self-pity. If you don’t read God’s Word, well, might I suggest you give it try. You’ll be transformed by the power and Truth of it. If not, then this exercise will still work beautifully. I’ve done this several times over the years and it really has helped me identify and destroy thinking patterns that hold me back in many ways. Battling our thoughts is an on-going work. Renew your mind. (Some great resources are Battling Your Mind by Joyce Meyer and look on her website for her audio series called, Stinking Thinking. Also a book by Loren Cunningham called, Responding in the Opposite Spirit.)
So get out your “Big Buts” and start replacing the lie with the truth!
Cheering you on…..