There is nothing wrong with that little word “but”, but I take care how I use it, since an over or inappropriate use gives the message that I negate myself.

Emotional Fitness includes the ability to consciously choose our language and how we use words to express ourselves. Words are powerful. A small word like “but” has the power to undo hopes and dreams. Used often enough with our children, or our employees or spouse, we can create doubt and indecision.

One dad I know with two very energetic and bright young sons responds to their requests and occasionally downright outrageous ideas for what they want by asking “how can we do that?” instead of the perhaps more common one of, “but we don’t have the money (or nobody’s done that before, or you’ll never be able to learn that in time …..)”.

When you hear a “but” come out of your mouth, or even circulate around your brain, check the meaning behind it. Transforming that but into a can is one way of opening out the possibilities instead of closing them down. Imagine what that can do to a life.

In peace
Warren Redman

Author's Bio: 

Warren Redman trained in the UK as a psychotherapist, facilitator and coach and has developed his own unique style of Life Coaching which he calls Emotional Fitness Coaching. He is president of the Emotional Fitness Institute (formally the Centre for Inner Balancing), writing about, teaching and coaching people in success skills of Emotional Fitness. He is the author of fifteen books, including the Award-winning The 9 steps to Emotional Fitness, Achieving Personal Success and Recipes for Inner Peace.

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