“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and focus on what could go right.” ~Unknown
I used to think that getting to a goal only required tangible action. It was a simple equation:
- Study hard in high school = getting admission to a good university.
- Or, diet + exercise = losing weight.
Yet, life is not always that straightforward. It’s not always just about physical action.
Just a few years ago, when I was building my first business, there was something getting in my way, something that had nothing to do with the physical action I took. It was worry.
Building a business has the magical ability to bring any type of fear out in the open. Unexpectedly, I found myself thinking:
- What if it doesn’t work?
- What if my friends think I’m crazy?
- What if it takes forever to get somewhere?
- Why am I doing this?
It wasn’t long before I realized that these types of thoughts were interfering with my progress. The more I focused on them, the less physical action I took for my business, and the more likely I was to feel burnt out.
Most importantly, the more I worried, the more likely I was to take the wrong physical action, the action that would count more as “busywork” rather than “effective work.”
I knew I had to find a solution out of this. Ugh. “If I were a robot, then I wouldn’t have any of these problems!” I thought.
Think about it: If we were robots, then these simple physical action equations would actually work. We would wake up in the morning, do our thing, stick to our schedule, and lo and behold, our dreams would materialize. No struggle, no “I don’t feel like doing it,” no distractions, no “What if it doesn’t work?”
If we were robots, then our productivity would be close to 100 percent, and we would achieve our dreams two times, four times, maybe even ten times faster! Plus, we would get there without struggle. Aahh, that sounds so nice.
I realized that physical action was no longer enough. We also need to be in the right state of mind—let me say, the “robot” state of mind.
If we only take physical action, then we’ll only be working harder for nothing. For example, if you want a promotion, you don’t to only work harder; you also need to communicate your accomplishments so that others know how valuable your contributions are.
However, if you’re afraid to stand up for yourself, then you’ll be left feeling unappreciated and undervalued.
So to get the promotion, yes, you need to work harder, but you also need to overcome your fear of standing up for yourself. If you only work harder, then despite your hard work, you’ll still not get the promotion.
So the winning equation is: Work harder + develop ability to stand up for yourself = promotion.
If you think like a robot, then you’ll stand up for yourself in full confidence. No problem! If you don’t think like a robot, then all sorts of second-guessing glitches may come up.
But let me clarify: By robot, I’m not referring to deactivating our feelings. Au contraire! We need feelings to march forward. We need excitement and optimism. We even need worry sometimes. What we don’t need though is excessive worry.
Worrying about an issue for five minutes and then doing something to solve it isn’t excessive worrying. When we worry about things we can’t control, ask “What if this and that?” and second-guess ourselves, we just get in our own way.
But how do you worry less? How do you turn self-doubt? How do you think more like robot? The answer lies in this Master Technique.
Here’s what happens when you don’t think like a robot:
Say you want to get leaner and fitter. You go to a yoga class where everyone is doing better than you.
You start thinking, “I’m so unfit, I will never become as good as they are.”
After an hour of berating yourself about not being fit already, you leave the class feeling exhausted, intending to never go back.
Your mind is stopping you from getting to your fitter and leaner dreams.
Now here’s how you’ll get yourself back to thinking like a robot, if only you use this Master Technique.
Use “The BUT Technique” to Reach Your Goals Faster
With “The But Technique,” you don’t let destructive thoughts stop you.
How much time are you already spending judging yourself or worrying?
Two hours every day? Maybe 50 percent of your workday and 80 percent of your free time?
Once you start practicing this technique, you’ll instead spend this time on things that actually make you productive. Why?
Because negativity, or just aimless worrying, will no longer stop you! You’ll be unleashed! A force of nature!
How does “The BUT Technique” work?
“I’m so unfit, I will never become as good as they are.”
- Today I worked out more than yesterday.
- It’s unfair to compare my own first day to other people’s 1,000th day.
- My body no longer feels rusty, and people in the class seemed supportive, not judgmental.
- Other people used to be in exactly the same unfit situation as mine, but they found a way to get fitter. If they did it, I should be able to do it too.
- The walk to the yoga studio was enjoyable, as today’s sunshine was precious.
- I’ve been in other unfavorable situations in the past, and I managed to turn them around. I should be able to do that with fitness as well.
- Maybe this class was advanced and I should try something easier at first, so that I get to focus more on getting the poses right, and less on how clumsy I look in the mirror.
- With every new “but,” you’ll feel better and better. You’ll feel relief. The more “buts” you include, the more positive mental action you’ll take and the happier you’ll be by the end of the exercise.
- By taking positive mental action, you’ll stop discouraging yourself from pursuing your dreams. Instead, you’ll encourage yourself to keep going. You might even make yourself feel excited about the delightful life that is in front of you! Now that’s how you become 20, 50, or 100 percent happier!
- Make practicing this Master Technique a habit, and you’ll become the happiest person you know. You’ll become unstoppable!
Why This Technique is So Powerful
The “But” Technique doesn’t fight with your negative, discouraging thoughts. Doing so would leave you feeling worse than before. Instead, it accepts them and then it moves you forward.
So yes you are unfit…but…but…but…but…
And then with every “but” you feel better, until you’re able to say, “Everything is alright” and actually believe it.
And that’s exactly how you take mental action to achieve your dreams. The more you practice it, the more you can act like a robot—in a good way!
I’m now using this technique almost daily. Whenever I find myself worrying about anything, I immediately pull it out of my toolbox. Yes, I worry, but, but, but…
So now it’s your turn to practice this technique! Take any negative worrisome thought and add but, but, but. Let me know how it works!