Episode 92: Is Your Mindset Holding You Back? What to Do When You Have a Case of the But..Firsts

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I recently did an episode on the fixed mindset phenomenon of the …yeah, buts (Check out Episode 88).

It’s rationalized fear. This week I am talking about the other BUTs in your life. The But Firsts Mindset. 

The But Firsts Mindset shows up in ways that look rational. They look responsible, and they resemble preparedness. 

Maybe. Are you But Firsts stopping you? 

In this episode, I discuss

  • How your But Firsts may be masking hesitancy and uncertainty
  • How fear, decision fatigue, and imposter syndrome play a part in mindset
  • How to questioning your thinking around your But Firsts will propel you into action

BUT FIRSTs often show up when someone presents us with an opportunity or something new to our brain. 

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Read The Transcript
I recently did an episode on the phenomenon of the …yeah, buts. 

It’s rationalized fear. This week I am talking about the other Buts in your life. The But Firsts. 

The but firsts are another sneaky way our brain tells stories we believe.

The But firsts may show up in ways that look smart. Rational. A BUT FIRST is just a thought. That thought may be connected to feelings like responsibility or preparedness. It may protect us from causing harm to ourselves or others

Great. Awesome. 

That type of …we are going on a long car ride BUT FIRST I want to fill the tank with gas. 

Or There’s a great opportunity at a company I’ve always wanted to work for and I am going to apply,
BUT FIRST I want to add that last professional win to my portfolio or resume. 

Got it. I support you. 

Or is your BUT FIRST masking your hesitation or uncertainty?

BUT FIRSTs often show up when someone presents us with an opportunity or something new to our brain. 
BUT FIRST is when we hesitate and say….

I’d love to apply for the opportunity…BUT first I have to get the certification, the additional training, or build my skills. 

All of that may be true. I want you to just question where the BUT FIRST is coming from. 
If you love your BUT FRIST reasons, keep them. 
But if there is a little morsel of fear or stress around the BUT FIRST I want you to dig. 
If you read the job description and you meet, 40-60% of the requirements, then I would ask yourself why arent you appling now? Tell your BUT FIRST to take a seat. 
What does getting that extra knowledge or education do for you? 

If you want the credential by all means, go for it. 

However if you are using it as a means to stall so you can get certain then I have news for you. 

Certainty is created in your mind. You get to choose to be certain about your skills. You chose certainty when you choose your thoughts. 

This doesnt mean you get the job but your BUT FRIST is definitely not going to get you the job
Hesitation is a subset of uncertainty, which may look like lack of self esteem, overwhelm, or straight up fear. 

You can google a feelings wheel if you are curious to see the nuances of feelings or emotions and how they show up. I find digging into the work of emotional fluency to be incredibly powerful for me to understand myself and others. 

Fear can be fear of failure, fear of being called out or shamed. According to brene brown, shame is about unwanted identity. i don’t want to see myself as…it’s how we see ourselves through others eyes. 

We think if we BUT FIRST and prepare for something, we can control our fear 

It can be self esteem, which is about confidence in your worth. Often we have incredible achievements, but somewhere in our upbringing or surroundings we intentionally or unintentionally thought that our achievements are LESS than others, or that we are WORTH LESS. 

We have to do MORE in order to get the SAME outcome. 

We fall into a fraud complex also called imposter syndrome. You think the hesitation or procrastination of the BUT FIRST can buy you time to get it straight or fix the thing. Nothing needs to be fixed. 

According to Drs Lisa Obre-Austin and Richard ombre austin, who wrote the book own your greatness.
Overcome imposter syndrome. They write: 

Imposter syndrome becomes harder to cope with when stereotypes about your culture, background, race, or gender, reinforce the notions that you are not good enough. 

When your presence evokes concern that you’ve been given special treatment to be there, this makes it difficult to overcome imposter syndrome because your accomplishments have been actively disqualified. 

And then I see us buy time through the BUT FIRSTS, If I do this FIRST then I can be included or accepted. 

Another area the BUT FIRST stop us is around decision fatigue

There are so many options. Which should we choose? 

But which one should i choose first?  

But what if I choose the wrong one? Will I lose an opportunity  – friends you cant loose what’s not yours. Think about that for a minute

There can be a million questions but not a single right answer

The more you ask yourself questions the more you get confused if you dont make decisions around those questions. Then more questions. So you are spinning in indecision and you land yourself in a level of decision fatigue because you think there is a RIGHT ORDER of things. 

Ok, sometimes. But often the action in front of you is the next right action. 

Now you’ve made a decision and your BUT first is coming from a sense of knowing, a sense of power.
Not a sense of delay. 

You want to up-level your skills, I am all for that. But dont let your BUT firsts stop you from asking for what you want. Ask. get the feedback. Pivot if you need to. 

Is your BUT FIRST stopping you for something? 

I’d love to know.