Remove One Word and Change the Story You Tell Yourself

Are you having a bad day: you just can’t get things done that you know you should?

Maybe you’re supposed to do your first budget today. Or make your personal development plan.

Perhaps you’re struggling to squeeze out fresh ideas for your blog.

Or just don’t feel like lifting you gorgeous body up from the couch and do a workout.

Do the laundry, wash dishes or clean the rooms.

We all have days like this.

If you have one of those (bad) days, let me suggest one trick.

It has gotten me off the first hurdle with my 100 Day Challenge.

It might do the same for you.

The trick is:

Remove one word and change the story you tell yourself.

And the words are “But” and So”.

The former (“But”) is an excuse inducing word. The latter (“So”) does the opposite.

I’ll show you how.

One Word: But…

In the past, you’ve likely stopped yourself from doing something with “But…”

I want to start my own business but…

I want to lose weight but…

My boss is really supportive but…

“But” is such a simple word.

Yet so powerful it changes how we see things and behave.

“I want to start my own business but it’s hard because I work full time.” 

It’s a common story we tell ourselves. “But” stops us from taking a chance, therefore, action.

The word “But” reinforces us to find all the reasons why we shouldn’t start a business.

Now, compare this with “so”.

I want to start my own business so I’ll spend one hour every day researching the opportunities and learning about them.

The moment we choose “so”, our perspective changes.

And this new perspective spurs us to take action.

Research a new business opportunity, seek out successful people in the same field and learn everything about them and their success and so on.

Here’s another example.

“I want to lose weight but I find it really hard to control my appetite.”

Replacing “but” with “so” turns to:

I want to lose weight so I’ll start drinking more water.

You can see the vast difference between the two words and the effect.

How I Used the Right Word

Just a day after I had started the 100 Day Shipping Challenge, I thought about changing it to 30 Day.

“I really want to write every day and see what happens but I might be setting myself up for failure – 100 Days is a bit too much!”

It was an excuse (and fear) induced story I told myself and therefore tried to wiggle out of it.

That was bad.

And I replaced “but” with “so” and changed the story:

I really want to write every day and see what happens so I’ll just focus one day at a time since thinking 100 Days ahead is overwhelming!

Going from A to B…

When we embark our journey from A to Z pursuing our goals, we know our ultimate destination is Z.

There’s no way for me to complete 100 Day Challenge without Day 2, Day 10, Day 40, and so on.

I can’t jump from Day 1 to Day 100.

And the only thing that stops us from reaching where we’re now and our destination Z is the story we tell ourselves and the picture we have in our brain.

If we constantly think about how far Z is, we feel the heavy burden of the long-distance.

We get discouraged and overwhelmed.

Once you have a destination of Z, draw up a meticulous roadmap that maps out the routes from A to Z.

And focus on moving from one dot to next.

Sure, we may get lost between D and E.

But as long as we figure out how to reach the next dot and keep moving from dot to dot, we’re going to reach our destination Z.

Find “So” Everywhere

When you get lost or tired on your road trip towards your destination Z, the word “So” can become your powerful tool.

Your “So” will help you find ways to gather strength and courage to keep on going despite temporary setbacks.

Because the story you tell with the word “So” invokes ultra-positive actions and mindset unlike the word “but” that restricts your action.

Final Thoughts

“So” finds you ways to reach your destination Z.  

“But” finds you all the excuses not to.

Find “but”s in your vocabularies while pursuing your goals and replacing them with “so”s.

And see stark contrast in the stories you tell yourself.

Which one you choose today vastly affects the way you spend your time and attitude towards effort you put into to achieve your goals. 

Choose the right word and tell the right story to yourself.

And, most of all, let’s keeeeeeep shipping so you and I can continue the journey to reach our destination.

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