I did not admit this to him in that moment, but I didn’t listen to a single word that came out of his mouth after the word “but”. I recall learning in a college course or corporate training course that anything following the word “but” in your statement weakens and dilutes the point you’re making.

I tend to agree with this. It makes sense. If we use “but” after an intentional, positive statement, we’re saying that we’re not good enough or deserving enough to make change in our lives. Said differently, we give power to the excuses, self-defeating comments, smokescreens and insecurities that hold us back from whatever action or series of actions are necessary to put positive change in motion.

When it comes to personal change, career and relationships are the two biggies that come to mind. I know I’m guilty of putting things off, sabotaging my own efforts, and allowing the apathetic grip of the status quo to endure far longer than I know it should. Fear is an ever-present common denominator if you peel back the layers and ask “why” enough times.

I like change even though its not always comfortable or easy. I look to change as a renewing force in my life, the way exfoliating your skin allows new skin cells to grow. I’ve observed many colleagues, friends, family, and loved ones resist change for too long.

The irony is that resisting change takes more energy than accepting and adapting to it does. Change is often inevitable, but when it’s not, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the willingness to listen within and open up to its possibilities.