But

By Michael Grothaus via fastcompany.com   Article

5 Words And Phrases That Can Transform Your Work Life

Instead of ‘but’ use ‘and’ 

‘But’ is probably the most limiting word in our vocabulary, Roth says in his book. ‘We often use ‘but’ in place of ‘and’,’ writes Roth. … ‘Unfortunately it often has the effect of changing a neutral statement into a negative one.’

Roth gives the example of someone who is afraid of flying and has just gotten an amazing internship on the other side of the country. When deciding if they can take the internship they’ll examine the situation by saying, ‘I want this internship, but I’m afraid of flying.’

Roth says that their phrasing doesn’t represent the reality of the situation. The person both wants the internship and is also afraid of flying. The two aren’t connected. However, by mentally phrasing the situation by connecting the two truths with a ‘but,’ the person is tricking themselves into believing that their amazing opportunity is a in fact a negative situation. The resulting conflict blocks them from moving forwards. That’s easy to change, however: Simply swap ‘but’ for ‘and’.

‘The use of ‘but’ closes off the conversation space, while ‘and’ opens it up,’ Roth writes. ‘When you open up the dialogue with ‘and I’m afraid of flying,’ your brain gets to consider how it can deal with both parts of the sentence. Maybe you’ll see a therapist about it. Maybe you’ll practice meditation.’ No matter what, you’ll almost certainly find a way to take the internship.”

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