Adele Sheely, a career counselor I once had the pleasure of sharing a workshop with, said: "The number of 'yeah, buts' is in direct correlation to the depth of your fear".
Are you a 'yeah, but' person? Do you know any 'yeah, but' people? You might have thought they were argumentative and maybe really smart, but what if all they were was just really afraid? Afraid of change or afraid of entertaining anyone else's point of view. If we are indeed describing you, which one is it?
The process for finding your new direction has offered many, many opportunities for fear, your ego and/or your inner critic to pop up with perfectly logical reasons why considering any kind of change is just a ridiculous notion. Writing your fiction will be another ripe opportunity for doubt and fear to pop up. It's perfectly normal, so please don't judge it or yourself. If you are not experiencing any doubt, but are just excited about it all, hold on because we will be addressing that in a moment. If you are feeling somewhat resistant, just keep going, even if you think it's only to go through the paces. If you are not sure if you are being resistant, but just sure that your common sense is kicking in to save you from yourself, let me spell out some examples that might address your issues and calm your fears.
Austin had recently moved his entire family to Seattle from Kansas for a job opportunity. He had never left his hometown and had uprooted his family away from all their friends, cousins, grandparents and extended family. Barely two years after moving, another, even better, opportunity came up within the company, but it meant a move to Chicago. Austin really wanted the job, but his 'yeah, but' was the kids. "Yeah, but what about the kids? I can't uproot them again!".
Austin had written five fictitious scenarios that included among other things, commuting, moving everyone to much delight, staying and getting other opportunities. The one that kept resonating with him was everyone moving happily. Without even talking to his wife and kids, he was letting the 'yeah, but' be so definitive that he hadn't even thought of asking them what they thought. With a big nudge, he did so and after an initial shock, the family became excited about the possible move. The kids had always wanted to see a big city like Chicago. His wife was excited about the schools she had heard about for the kids. They even liked the idea of experiencing winters like they never had before.
Austin was shocked. It was not what he had expected. And to think he almost let the 'yeah, but' stop him. It was his fear, not his family's necessarily. That illustrates the sophistication of your fear. It knows how to spin things just right, so it sounds so logical and reasonable.
Another common 'yeah, but' and point of contention for people is the whole issue of not being 'ready'. "I'm not ready to date." "I'm not ready to make a change." "I'm not ready to go for the dream." Whichever version has crossed your lips or your ears as you listened to someone else, I have no doubt that you know what I mean.
Lydia had found her 'it' to be teaching. She already had her certificate after having completed the necessary course and requirements. Her fiction established her as a popular teacher through many different venues and scenarios. In reality, she found herself looking at the want-ads and applying for jobs outside of teaching. She was behaving as if she had not taken all the steps to enter her new chosen field. She still felt she needed to do other things first to prove she was ready. Her 'yeah but' was that no one would hire her because she hadn't gotten her bachelors degree in education or childhood development or something that proved her ability to work with children as a teacher. She didn't feel ready. She felt she needed to know more.
When she was made aware that the 'yeah but' was a reflection of being afraid, she agreed to slowly take the steps to secure her place in her new profession. After a couple of months, she did indeed get a teaching job and saw many of her fictitious scenarios as a popular teacher come to be.
One of my favorite lines from a very silly movie speaks to this topic very well. In Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure, Pee Wee says to his new friend, the waitress, after she just finished describing her life's dream to him and then followed it with a huge sigh and a "But....": "Everyone I know has a big 'BUT'."
Take a moment to write down a 'yeah but' that may have recently cropped up for you. In writing, work your way through it by recognizing it as fear. Record what it is you are really afraid of and take action or have the discussions needed to help you get past it. Conquering this one, should help keeping future 'yeah but' attacks at bay.
- Laura Berman Fortgang