Episode 88: What to do When You Get a Case of the Yeah, Buts

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Ever get a case of the…yeah, buts?

It’s rationalized fear. 

The way we think not only affects the way we feel, but it can also affect what we achieve, whether we stick to new habits or if we will go on to develop new skills and beliefs. In this episode, I discuss

  • The sneaky ways your Yeah, Buts can show up as innocent thoughts
  • What’s going on in your brain when you say, Yeah, But…
  • How to change your thinking about the Yeah, Buts in your life

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Read the Transcript
According to psychologist and author Carol Dweck, our mindset shapes whether or not we believe we can learn, change, and grow.

The way we think not only affects the way we feel, it can also affect what we achieve, whether we stick to new habits or if we will go on to develop new skills and beliefs. 

And because I am a curious student of people and behavior, I like to understand the sneaky ways limiting beliefs show up. We are often cruising along, believing we’re in a good space, thinking positively, and then slowly and subtly, negative thoughts worm their way in. And we believe these thoughts to be facts. One of the ways is when you get a case of the yeah, buts. 

The yeah buts can show up in different situations and it’s basically it’s fear that you rationalize, with your, you got it, yeah but. It’s the equalizer, the justifier, the let me prepare myself and others NOW that something isn’t going to happen. Yeah, buts stem from an irrational fear that you’ve masked with the Assuridness of certainty.  

This can be thoughts that someone has an edge on or over you, that the course has been set and that’s just the way it is, or as a non-commitment. Here are the ways it shows up. 

1. Oooh, you got the interview this week?  yeah, but, I’ve been on so many interviews, i dont know how this will be any different, i’m never the finalist

2. That’s awesome you were tapped to lead that new account…yeah, but, I dont know why, I really know what I am doing, and maybe you laugh as you deprecate yourself. My second episode is on self-deprectating humor so if this is you, you definitely want to give that a listen

3. Hey did you hear we made it to the final round of the new business pitch? Your thoughts skew to.,..Yeah but, I’m betting this client is going to be a nightmare. 

4. Hey, did you hear that Alexis got promoted? Yeah, but, you think, her book of business is super easy compared to who I have to call on?
5. Are you joining us tonight? Yeah, but… I gotta see if I can get this finished. 

6. Pretty much anything the media reports on. A good thing happens…yeah but…blah blah. They also can’t take a win. 

These are actual examples from clients. And as always, I have their permission to talk about how fixed mindsets can show up through the yeah buts. 

The yeah buts are sneaky. We don’t always see it. This is why working with a mentor or coach is super helpful in helping you catch where you have a fixed mindset

Yeah, whether because of doubt, comparison, non-commitment, defensiveness, not being coachable, imposter syndrome or fraud complex really stems from fear. 

When your Yeah but is a comparison – fear that someone is better than you so it’s a form of leveling. You have this, but I have that.

Non-commitment – it’s a half agreement, you dont want to be accountable and sometime else may come along. 

fear that you may not like the experience or fear that you are not convinced the experience is worth your time. We remember the bad HS bf or GF who would never commit to plans too far in advance bc something better might come along.

Justification – Someone else is doing this yeah but deflects responsibility, not accountable and probably entitled, child-like behavior we see it on the news with our elected leaders and corp leaders)
Yeah buts can be Doubt – fear that you are not good enough or will be found out. Or or defensiveness which is can be self protection against shaming, OPO or failure. You are afraid of what someone might think about you. 

In a workplace environment, fearful people don’t necessarily act scared. Fear shows up as anger, defensiveness, and the more casual yeah, buts

Fear means that you’re normal and you’re wired for survival. Fears fall into 2 camps. Rational and irrational. 

I recently had a pretty huge corporate assignment. I work with individuals because i love to help leaders at all levels and it helps me understand the nuances of the office. I work with teams and help them improve their dynamics because it gives me an opportunity to revolutionize the workplace and improve career wellbeing. A personal mission of mine. 

When a fellow coach recently asked me “what’s new and good” I shared that I had this opportunity I was excited about. Her response was yeah, but, you are going to have to do so much work, it’s probably not going to be easy or worth it. 

Do you see how it shows up? 

I was able to see her yeah but for fear. Now, I’m not in her head…it could have been fear that someone is getting something that she isnt, 

fear that someone is growing, 

fear of what it means for her if this happens to me. 

People are messy. And while I will always gravitate towards people supporting people others as those  I want in my inner circle, I was able to separate myself from her words. I was able to tap into empathy. We’ve all had a moment where we feel we are not advancing, and that irrational fear can be crippling. 

Are your yeah buts rational and factual or are they based on your thoughts and the story you are telling. 

Without your mind, there is no fear. Let that sink in. 

This is not the time to judge yourself. 
Your fear will get worse and your yeah buts will GROW because you resist them. You try to bury them, you dont want to investigate them

Evolutionary biology is still running the show and the brain is trying to keep you safe. 

Just notice where your yeah buts come from. 

Ask yourself what is it that I am avoiding or uncomfortable with around this situation. 
What are you making the news or information mean? 

Get to the root of your yeah buts so you can get back into a growth mindset and you’ll be able to see what’s possible for you too.