Get off your BUTs!

It is true we sit on our butts when we should be on our feet, doing something constructive and progressive. However, there is the BUT we use often, to frame our excuses for not doing what we know we should do and even what we want to do.

Do you use some of these common BUTS to justify your inaction?

BUT I don’t know enough. How much do you need to know to begin, to go forward, to finish what you start? There is only one thing to do. Instead of putting up this barrier, find out what you need to know, to do what you need to do.

BUT I only…. This is a useless excuse. You show dishonour and ingratitude for what God has given – natural abilities, life experiences and skills you’ve acquired. You diminish their worth with the word, “only”. Begin to feel uncomfortable with this BUT because you are more than you think you are and capable of more than you think you can accomplish.

BUT I don’t have any support. It is discouraging when the people closest to you don’t seem to understand why you want to pursue certain goals. Even worse, is their refusal to be the emotional buttress you need. You may think all is lost without their support because of the emotional connection you share. Look beyond those immediate relationships. Cast your support net farther afield and you will link with people who are able and willing to support you on many levels. Whenever you are tempted to lament the lack of support from your immediate community, remember that there a global community at your fingertips.

BUT what about the detractors? Don’t assign more significance or merit to other people’s critical opinions, than they deserve. Detractors are usually people with their own unfulfilled dreams. Unless you have proof of ill-advised risks, don’t waste time on their doomsday scenarios. Sidestep this BUT with faith in God, clarity of vision and determination to succeed.

BUT it is too difficult. Is it really? How difficult is it? A difficulty is not a viable excuse for not seeking improvement, advancement, success and fulfillment. Often the fact that something is difficult is a call to face, overcome and master it.

BUT suppose I fail. You may reach the edge of a precipice, experience a mild hiccup, take a tumble and even sustain bruises. That is not necessarily a dead-end for the goals you have set for yourself. It is not a death sentence for our dreams. Have you forgotten the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”?

BUT everything is so uncertain. That’s life, uncertain and yet so full of promise, potential and possibilities. Would you be truly content not moving forward to find out what the future holds for you and the dream you’re contemplating?

BUT I am scared. This may be the crux of the matter – fear. Although fear is not to be taken lightly, often, you might be giving it more power than it deserves. To combat the BUT of fear, analyze it, discard what is irrelevant and irrational and decide on a strategy to manage what remains. While it will be helpful to read Susan Jeffers’ book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway”, the title alone can inspire you to move past what scares you. In fact, claim the title as a daily mantra, to master your fear and take the actions you know you should take.

Are you hatching excuses to camouflage your inaction? Get off your BUTs and get moving.

(First published in my weekly Wright Words of Wisdom column in the Trinidad Guardian’s Womanwise Magazine.)

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