Lunch was super simple, but that doesn’t mean it lacked flavor.
I made myself a roast beef wrap with cheese, hummus, spinach and mustard and served it with a sliced apple.
Now that the roast beef is out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this post. (Anyone catch that pun? Muhaha!)
Changing “Yes But” to “Yes And”
Back in November I had a a life changing conversation.
I don’t throw the term “life changing” around. As delicious as my all-time favorite hot fudge sundae from Houston’s is, it’s still not “life changing.”
But this conversation certainly was life changing for me.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was struggling with some personal stuff. I talked to Ryan and a few people who are close to me about what I was going through, but it wasn’t until I sat down and talked with my mother-in-law’s boyfriend, Les, that something clicked.
As I explained my struggles to Les, who coincidentally has a master’s degree in psychology, he asked me a lot of questions. He dug deep and made me answer the uncomfortable questions.
Eventually he said something that blew my mind.
“You need to change ‘yes but…’ to ‘yes and…’”
He pointed out that I had a reason or excuse for every single question he asked me.
For the sake of explanation, let’s use the example of a toxic relationship. One that tears you down and is draining. One that causes more tears than smiles.
In this situation, Les would say something like, “Do you want to break up with him?”
And I would reply, “Yes, but he makes me laugh and we have so much fun when he’s in a good mood.”
Not the right answer.
He encouraged me to change the “buts” to “ands” and be proactive. Make a change. Figure a way out.
“Do you want to break up with him?”
“Yes, and I’m going to talk to him tonight and explain how he’s hurting me. I’m going to plan a weekend with my girlfriends so I’ll have a solid support system when we’re done talking. I’m going to remember all the pain he caused me and use that to allow me to stick with my decision and understand that I deserve better.”
It sounds so simple, but changing “yes but” to “yes and” completely altered the way I think. Berthold Gunster is the founder of this incredible philosophy.
When I’m faced with a difficult decision, a daunting task, hurtful words or a complicated situation, rather than talk myself out of why I’m hurt, upset or won’t succeed, I try to acknowledge these feelings and think about what I can do to work around them. How can I acknowledge the difficulty, learn from it, move on and come out on top? How can I be proactive?
Thinking about this in relation to my personal goals also helped me.
Let’s say you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, but when someone asks you if you’re planning on it, you reply, “Yes, but I’m not a natural runner and feel like I want to die after running only three miles, so it’s never going to happen!”
Change that “yes but” to a “yes and” and figure out how you can make it possible.
“Do you want to run a marathon?”
“Yes, and I know it’s going to be really hard, but I found an awesome training plan for beginners and will work up to running long distances at a smart and reasonable pace.”
It is so incredibly simple, but this one conversation really impacted me and I’ve been meaning to share it with you guys for quite some time.
I know we all struggle with insecurities, challenges and difficult situations. Sometimes it’s easier to accept defeat, but all too often that doesn’t do anything to make us feel better emotionally. We’re still hurting or feeling like a failure.
Having a game plan and taking the time to think about how and why I need to make a change or tackle a new challenge really made a big difference in my life and I hope that thinking in this way might appeal to even just one of you!
Changing “yes but” to “yes and” is so simple and so hard all at the same time.
“Yes but” is a “no” or an “I can’t.”
“Yes but” prevents things from happening. “Yes and” makes things happen.
Question of the Afternoon
- What is a recent “yes but” in your life? Can you think of a way to change it to “yes and”?