The other day I had to laugh at myself. I’m constantly pointing out to my clients when they do this, and here I was, diving in myself: “Yeah Butting”. You know this game? It’s so not sexy! People who “yeah but” greet every happy remark, every sincere compliment, everything remotely positive in their lives with a compulsive “Yeah, but…”

  • Today was a good day. – “Yeah, but tomorrow will be difficult and last week was rotten.”
  • You just got a raise. – “Yeah, but they will use that as a reason to exploit me.”
  • You spent a beautiful weekend with your partner. “Yeah, but it will probably be the only one for the next six months.”

If you’d ask them how they feel, most Yeah Butters would answer “Stuck”. And no wonder they do. “Yeah but” is a conflicting message. It acknowledges something and undoes it right away. Talk about a recipe for non-action!

Where to find the worst Yeah Butters

Yeah butters are everywhere and they aren’t fun to be around, are they? Unfortunately, the worst ones are not the people we meet at the office or in the metro or even at family reunions. The worst ones are the Yeah butters in our heads.

Not good enough, not young enough, not fast enough, not smart enough, not assertive enough, not rich enough, not (insert your own brand of madness here) enough”. Even if we know that we did a really good job, the little voice goes “Yeah, but…” are you sure this is really that good? Often they scream the loudest after a particular positive achievement!

And so recently this happened to me. I had stepped out of my comfort zone and made nice progress on some hairy project. The voices were having a field day: “Yeah, but, that doesn’t count… yeah but, this won’t last…..yeah but, you still have to….”

How to play the YeahBut Ping-Pong

When I realized what was going on, I had to laugh. And then I started yeah butting back: “Oh, this doesn’t count? Yeah, but…” and each time the voices were coming up with yet another argument, I gave back as good as I got with another “Yeah, but”. It became quite comical and let me tell you: the whole episode was nipped in the bud in minutes!

#MyTimeFirst in action: next time you belittle and berate yourself, answer right away with “Yeah, but…” and see what happens:

  • You just burnt your dinner? – Yeah, but a few burnt potatoes are well worth the reminder to ask your family to step in more!
  • This presentation was anything but stellar? Yeah, but now you have a clear idea on where to prepare better next time.
  • You ate the whole chocolate in one go? Yeah, but now you realize that this always happens before you have to see your boss or your in-laws, so you can start of finding better ways to deal with that stress.

You shall see: you’ll soon run out of arguments against yourself!

Happy Ping-Pong,


PS: You’ve been quite a few to reach out spontaneously and to tell me how much you enjoyed your Monday morning #MyTimeFirst dose. Thank you so very much, all of you! This is what this blog is all about! Please do invite your friends to sign up  – if you find this blog useful and entertaining, chances are, they will too. And the more #MyTimeFirst in the world, the better, no? And if you have questions, ideas or input, please share in the comments.

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