This weekend I was with an interesting group of misfits on a short retreat focused on consciousness exploration and insight. There was a lot of time spent identifying negative stories that may no longer serve us going forward. One verbal trick the facilitator used to break negative habits is to replace “but” with “and” in most cases. I found it incredibly liberating and helpful. “But” tends to be an ending, to stop the thoughts, while “and…so” offers the opportunity to continue. Here are some common examples.
“That girl is so amazing, but she will probably not want to talk to me.” End of conversation.
“That girl is so amazing, and she will probably not want to talk to me, so If I am right, I don’t lose anything by trying.” Opportunity opens.
“I want a promotion at work, but I don’t have enough experience to get it.”
“I want a promotion at work, and I don’t have enough experience to get it, so I will Focus on building experience needed for a future promotion.”
“My father was an asshole, but I am sure he did the best he could.” making excuses, a justification for hurt.
“My father was an asshole, and I am sure he did the best he could, so I am going to do the best I can with my children and not dwell on how bad my parents were.” Turn a negative memory into motivation to do better now.
Also published on Medium.