I've had my moments where I've felt stuck.
I've had piles on my desk, for instance, and didn't get any work done because they were there. So I'd clean off my desk, the piles would no longer be present, but still I'd not accomplish what I thought I should be getting done. I was kidding myself.
I felt stuck. But I wasn't recognizing that it wasn't the piles that kept me stuck, it was me. Just me. I was convincing myself that it was the piles--or something else altogether--but I wasn't being honest with myself.
Now, whenever I find myself not accomplishing what I've set out to do, I've learned to pay attention to what I'm saying to other people. What am I telling them about my progress, or lack thereof.
If I hear myself saying, "Yes, BUT...," or any variation of those words, I know I'm making excuses. For example, people often ask me, "Are you still writing?" I've often heard myself say something like, "Yes, but no one's buying, so I'm not selling much." Or perhaps they've asked me, "Are you still working on that book?" And I've responded, "Yes, but I've still got so much to do, so I'm not really getting anywhere." Whenever I've responded with a "Yes, but (fill-in-the-blank)," I know I'm just making excuses. Most people I know have "so much to do," so what's so different about that for me? Why do I even need to announce that? It doesn't really make me feel better that I'm not accomplishing what I set out to do. I'm just making excuses. I'm limiting myself by not doing all I possibly can. I'm devaluing what I have to offer.
So I've had to train myself to instead say, "Yes, AND..." phrases. That way, I know I'm looking for a solution, instead of looking to stay stuck. So, yes, maybe I am working hard, and maybe I'm not selling enough. Maybe all of that's true. With the "AND" connector, I'm giving myself the right to find the solution, instead of the right to stay stuck. Who wants to stay stuck, anyway?
So, yes, I'm still writing, and yes, I'm still working on the book, AND I'm also looking at ways to increase my sales, pitching ideas to more and more publications that ever, AND I'm feeling very productive these days. That's the difference between those two three-letter words. One is empowering. The other is deflating.
The next time you hear yourself make excuses for what you're not accomplishing, give yourself permission to listen to what you're really saying behind the words. Are you looking for the solution, or are you just looking to stay stuck? Don't let the piles make up your mind. You make up your mind.
This week, if there's something you've been meaning to get done, if there's something you want to accomplish but haven't, I encourage you to listen to what you're saying to yourself and others. Become aware of the words you're using. You'll accomplish so much more if you remind yourself to use language that empowers you. That's the best path to progress. Even if you're not where you want to be right now, if you empower yourself with the right to find solutions, you'll get there.
All my best,