Listening to my friends recently, I heard Jenna fretting over her cup of coffee - "if only I could get my business idea launched ... but I haven't got a clue about marketing." Paula sympathised "I'd downsize in a heartbeat, if only that the kids would be happy with me moving."
Life's choice-points are full of "if only" and "but", and usually they are followed with the things that hold us back. What if you could find a way to turn around your "if onlys" and "buts" and make them work for you?
Well there's a simple way to do that - let's start with the "buts" ...
Start by listing all the things you'd like to do ... but, something is holding you back. Normally, these show up in statements of "I'd like to ... (desire) ... BUT ... (limitation)." So if Jenna was doing this exercise, she might say "I'd like to get my business idea launched ... but I haven't got a clue about marketing."
Now prioritise - choose just one that is the most important to you, and try this...
Turn the sentence round so that you say "(limitation) ... BUT ... (desire)." In Jenna's case, this would come out as "I haven't got a clue about marketing, but I'd like to get my business idea launched."
When you turn the sentence around, say it to yourself two or three more times, and notice how you feel, now, about it.
The funny thing is that your brain somehow diminishes everything that comes before the word "BUT" in a sentence. So now, instead of being a massive roadblock, your limitation simply becomes a task on your to-do list. When Jenna did this, she quit procrastinating, went and found a short workshop on marketing for beginners, and got on with developing her business idea.
What did it do for you?
And as for the "If only.."? Well it is very similar to "but" with the added dimension of time. So when you swap around one of these sentences, the "if only" part has to be transformed into an action, or an "I can (action)... and then...(desire)" statement.
So Paula did the same thing - she swapped the sentence around to that she was saying "I can make sure the kids are happy with me moving and then I can get on with downsizing."
What happens when you swap around your "buts" and "in onlys"? What actions or steps will you be taking?
If you want to turn your self-limiting "buts" and "if onlys" into empowering actions, then join us for Illuminating Your Future: a 4-day Personal Development Retreat in Fuerteventura.
About Madeleine Allen: The author is a specialist in Leadership, Communication and Personal Development for business professionals. An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.nlpedinburgh.co.uk)
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