carol parker walsh self talk

Stop Using But As An Excuse

By Carol

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So, you have a game plan, you have made a decision to create the life you want, you’re willing to grow as you go along, and you’re ready to take action. But your unconscious, limiting beliefs— old tapes and excuses—are holding you back. Your excuses will get the upper hand if you don’t nip them in the bud…now. This biggest and most damaging excuse you can use is “but”.

Why?  Because “but” is the word that usually precedes an excuse.

The dictionary defines an excuse as: “self-justification; ‘a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise’.” “Buts” are simply what you use to self-justify why you are not living the life you truly desire.

Below are common “buts” that many of us use. If you are honest with yourself, you will see that these are in fact excuses and not legitimate reasons. The question then becomes, “why do we use these ‘buts’?” Each “but” serves its own purpose, but ultimately they all help us to remain safe— to stay where we’re comfortable.

How We Use The Excuse of “But”

But, it’s too hard. Is it really too hard? How would you know; have you done it? You have made it through so-called “hard” things before, haven’t you? Saying “but” gives the illusion that what you want is not possible so that you can avoid doing it.

But, it’s too risky. An intelligent decision based on a deep desire, good research, and a solid plan is not risky at all. You choose to fear risk instead of facing your other fears, like failure.

But, it’ll take too long. What is a “long time” anyway? For that matter, what is “time?” It is more accurate to look at time as an emotion, not a unit of measure. How “long” something takes has nothing to do with how much clock time passes and everything to do with how you feel. So, then why does it feel like it will take so “long?” Because you feel overwhelmed! In reality, time will pass anyway, regardless of whether or not you make the change. You say this as a way to put off making a decision. Really, you fear commitment, not time.

But, it’s overwhelming. If you are feeling overwhelmed it’s because you are thinking too big. It’s important to see the big picture, but you don’t want to “bite off more than you can chew.” Break it down into manageable chunks and stay focused on the positive.

But, I don’t have time. This is the most commonly used “but,” and it is totally bogus. In “it’ll take too long” we discussed how time is simply an emotion. So, by saying you “don’t have time” you’re saying you feel overextended or inefficient. You may not want to admit it, but you have chosen your life situations. If you are overextended it was your choice. It’s a great reason not to take action. We all make time for what is important to us.

There are three solutions that can help you “make the time.”

  • Organize your life to free up time
  • Eliminate lesser important activities
  •  Change your perspective



We are all guilty of using “buts,” and we all suffer the consequences—not living the life we really want. The key however, is to first become aware that you’re using “but” as nothing more than a cover for fear or some other emotion you’re trying to avoid. Next, take captive every thought and reframe it with a positive affirmative statement. Then make a commitment to move forward. Over time you’ll realize that your use of “but” diminishes and your level of confidence and engagement increase dramatically.

Doubt, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and the use of “but” plaguing your ability to see your next best steps clearly? Living a life or toiling in a career in which you feel like you’re dying a slow death? I help professional women who have achieved success in a career they no longer love find their true passion and purpose (their true north) and gain the confidence to do the work they love and live the life of their dreams. If that sounds like you and but you’re still afraid, just do it scared and let’s connect.

Live, laugh, and confidently shine!

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About The Carol

I'm a 50 years young curvy fashionista enjoying my "second life." I'm a wife, mom of 3 and 1 goldendoodle. I'm a recovering attorney, accidental professor, successful jewelry stylist, and ...