Yes, but…

Life has thrown many challenges, many dares at me. Sometimes it was a chance to do something different in my life or with my life. Whatever it was, it was something that required me to move outside my comfort zone. At times, going beyond the boundary of my comfort zone was as scary as it probably was to ancient seafarers who thought they were sailing to the edge of the known world. Go too far astray and the sea monsters would get me, or I’d fall over that legendary precipice into a chasm of the unknown. If not that, then at least life as I knew it would end for sure.

So, when presented with those kinds of choices, great silent debates took place within my mind. Should I or shouldn’t I??? Do I go or do I stay??? Do I try it or do I pass??? It never rose to the level of will I live or will I die, thank goodness. In any event, I weighed the choices and made the choice I felt best served my needs. If you are a student of Abraham Maslow, you might say his hierarchy of needs was at work (   if you are interested).

I knew that any decision that undermined my health or well-being, or of those I loved needed be made without fail. However, many of the choices I was presented with in my daily life were less dramatic. Like so many other people, when I was presented with one of those situations and opt not to change, too often the words out of my mouth were, “yes, but”. The “yes” part was a concession to the fact that logically what was being suggested was reasonable or necessary. The “but” part was my way of trying to justify avoiding the change.   It is said that change does not occur until the pain of not changing exceeds the pain to go through the change. And until the scales tip in favor of change, for every “yes” we find several “buts” to justify avoiding the change. And so I did, probably more so than I should have.

Those “buts” were my way of saying no to change. When cornered with logic, I used the “but” maneuver to avoid what was necessary. And so it is with so many others. When confronted with change, say change to lose weight, stop smoking or end an unhealthy relationship, they avoid doing what they know they should do. Hopefully, you are wiser than I was and know that the “yes, but” either postpones the inevitable or results in missed opportunities.

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