Flip your BUT

Most of us encounter obstacles on the road to achieving our goals.  Through several experiences of working with my coaching clients and continuous learning opportunities, I have learned to turn these obstacles into stepping stones. If you’d like to learn how to turn problems and challenges into progress too, read on!

The first and probably most important point is that examining the problem in-depth rarely works because instead of focusing on solutions, you’re caught analyzing or dissecting the problem. Once you clearly identify the problem, increase your ability to make wise decisions by flipping over that obstacle to see what opportunities are available beyond it. If you remain caught up in looking at the problem, it will expand in your reality and you won’t be able to reach your goals. You’ll become either a victim who complains about the problem but doesn’t take any concrete steps to change the situation, or a quitter who gives up on the original goal and chooses a different path to pursue.

So, as you come across obstacles along the path to your goals, reflect on the hidden meaning of what it may be trying to tell you.  Often, hidden within the pain of your problem are the seeds of what you really want. Clearly define what you’re hoping to achieve; redefine your goal. Be aware of the “buts” and flip them into “ands”.

Several years ago I had the fortuitous experience to work with some masterful coaches at a coach training school. I learned the technique of “flipping” my but and I’ve used it successfully myself, with audiences and with individual coaching clients. For example, if your goal is to get a new car BUT you can’t afford it, and you flip the “but” to an “AND” you’d be saying something like, “I want a new care AND I want to be able to easily afford the payments”.  The sentence started with your goal to get a new car but ended abruptly at the BUT. It’s set up a conflict that cannot be resolved as long as the two things are seen as mutually exclusive.

Here’s another example…”I want to make more money, BUT I don’t want to work 60-80 hours a week”.  If you flip the second half of this statement and combine it with the goal in the first part, you’ll end up with a powerful new goal such as, “I want to make more money AND work just 40 hours a week”.  When you do this, you stop negating your goals, and start creating exactly what you want.

Do this exercise with one of your current goals. Fill in the blanks as indicated:

I want _____________________________________  BUT _______________________.

(your goal)                                                              (the obstacle)

Then, turn the “but” into an “and” below:

I want ______________________________________ AND ______________________.

(your goal)                                                                 (your goal)

Once you’ve stated your new more powerful goal, start asking yourself questions like, “How can I get a great new car with payments I can afford?” or “How can I increase my salary while working while working less and earning more?”  Keep asking these questions and other empowering questions so that you can engage both your conscious and your subconscious minds working towards finding solutions for you. This simple process of flipping the but works similarly when you have conflicting priorities. For example, “I want to attend the professional association meeting this evening but I promised my son that I’d attend his track meet”.  When flipping the “but” to an “and”, I searched for an alternative or a solution that would allow me to do both and as a result I planned on dialing into the meeting and listening to the speaker while I watched my son run track.

Often when clients get this far in the process of achieving their goals, they let fear immobilize them. However, now that you’ve developed some empowering questions to move you toward your goal, the key is to get into action. Action is the perfect antidote for fear. As you take steps towards your goal, you can keep using this process as the evil “BUT” monster shows up. The fear of change, even positive change, can keep you stuck or push you back into victim or quitter mode. Feeling like you are stuck, or have no alternatives, dis-empowers you to achieve your goals.

Determine your goal and what’s stopping you so that you can flip that “BUT” to an “AND” and move yourself through empowering questions into deliberate action toward achieving your goals. If you feel you can’t do it alone, contact me at  natalie@theprioritypro.com or call 908-281-7098 and I’ll be happy to explore how working with me as your coach can help you achieve your desired goals. With over a decade of experience and tangible results, let me help you attain your goals!