The voice inside that says, "But..."

The thing I hate most about that voice is how much I listen to it. It can be very convincing.

Sitting on the couch last night, an idea popped into my head.

[What idea, you may ask? Hold tight! I'll get to that in a future post.]

It took me by surprise how happy this new idea made me, and how right it felt.

I had a blissful moment of revelation, and then...dun dun ddduuunnnnnn....a voice inside my head piped up out of nowhere telling me:

  • That's a decent idea, but how will you do it?
  • But what about the other plans you had?
  • But what if you f-a-i-l?

Oh you pesky But voice, you did it again. I don't have an answer to any of those questions, and now that you have asked them, I feel like I should.

Before I let the sheen on my shiny new idea get any more tarnished, I stopped myself.

I laughed out loud at how easy it was to let myself get derailed.

These questions, needing to know all of the answers Right Now, were enough to get me to turn away from a perfectly good idea and put it aside permanently.

Know what I mean?

I bet you do. My clients often come to me when this voice is at its loudest.

When they want to make a career change, or move to a new city, and all they can see are the unknowns.

The But voice is the part of all of us that wants stability. We have convinced ourselves that stability, security only come from what we know. What it appears that we have control of.

I hate to break it to us, but we don't have control over much.

The life we have carefully built for ourselves -- our homes, our jobs, our families -- are lovely and impermanent. The better we get at riding the wave of uncertainty, the better we are at being happy.

That is another way of saying that life is short. Enjoy it.

Those shiny new ideas that make us squirm? Enjoy them too.

Laughing at myself on the couch last night, I went back to my new idea.

The questioning voice in my head will never completely go away unless I only ever choose the safe path. That doesn't feel like a happy life to me, so I need to make peace with its presence.

I hear you, pesky But voice, and we are gonna see what happens this time. It's going to be ok.

It is. Because just because I dream up a great idea doesn't mean I need to jump off the couch and do it immediately. It also doesn't mean that the idea won't change over time into something more comfortable for me and the But voice in my head.

What I need to do right now is let the idea simmer, and see where it takes me.

I need to consider what amazing things could happen if I did go for it tomorrow. If I did change my plans to make this my new plan.

I need to let myself feel the excitement.

If I do that, then just like that voice suddenly appeared last night, in time a new voice will pipe up and say...

Now. I'm ready. Let's do this.

What is the pesky But voice in your head telling you?