Get Off Your “But”
By: Sean Stephenson
Book Overview: In addition to presenting Sean Stephenson’s unbelievable life story, Get Off Your “But,” offers anyone who needs to conquer fears and insecurities a hands-on guide for overcoming the forces of negativity and self-sabatoge. Sean – a successful psychotherapist – shows what it takes to overcome the big bumps in the road, eliminate excuses, end insecurities, and ultimately stand up for happiness and success in life.
Post(s) Inspired by this Book:
- Taking Out The Trash; Understanding the Difference Between Living at Cause and Living at Effect.
- Words Can Heal, and Words Can Kill
- Connecting Through Conversational Ping-Pong
- The Egg-Timer Technique – How to Limit the Time You Spend Experiencing Sadness, Anger, and Self-Pity.
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“Are you saying I’m at fault for my father beating me as a child?”
“Of course not,” I replied. “This isn’t a matter of being at fault for being abused. This is a matter of being responsible for how you act in response to those events now. When you were little, you were right to do everything you needed to do to protect yourself. The question is, are you still curling up in a ball to fend off the blows of life, or are you standing tall?”
She just stared at me, puzzled. It was time to help her understand the difference between living at Cause and living at Effect.
“You are at the source of being fat, sick, tired, broke, angry, depressed, and lonely. Stop blaming your boss, family, neighbor, lover, government, society, or God. You are the one at the scene of the crime every time something goes wrong in your life. Stop looking for a fall guy, a scapegoat, or an innocent bystander to pin your problems on. Until you take ownership for your life, you will always be chasing happiness.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
“Just as a goldfish swimming in a tank of diseased water inevitably becomes sick, a human hanging out in a toxic peer group eventually becomes toxic. When you place yourself in an environment, you eventually become the environment. It’s inevitable.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But“
“Fairness is an illusion. Fairness never existed and never will. No one in life gets less or more than anyone else. We just get different stuff. That’s right. No one is dealt a bad or a good hand in life; we’re just dealt cards. It’s up to us to stay in the game and play. Sure, some cards look ‘better,’ but they’re really not. If you look closely, you’ll see that anything you feel has been taken from you – or never given to you at all – was replaced with other amazing opportunities and gifts. It’s up to you to find them.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
The Egg-Timer Technique – How to Limit the Time You Spend Experiencing Sadness, Anger, and Self-Pity.
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My parents never formally studied a word of psychology, yet they instinctively knew that if I focused too long on a negative aspect of my life, I would only make it worse. They also knew they couldn’t deny me the experiences of sadness, anger, and self-pity, because I would merely repress the feelings and express them in some destructive way later. So they came up with an ingenious solution.
If they caught me feeling sorry for myself, they would say, “Sean, if you want to feel sorry for yourself, that’s totally okay.” They would then go to the kitchen, rustle around in the pantry, and return with an egg timer and this instruction: “However, Sean, today you only get fifteen minutes. Ready? Go!” And the egg timer would click off the minutes.
“In my years of traveling the world, I’ve heard hundreds of tear-filled stories. I’ve hugged complete strangers as they’ve sobbed in my arms. I always whisper the same thing to them: ‘Look for the gift in your pain.’ If you look for that gift, believe me, you will find it. If you don’t look, it’s all too easy to become enslaved by your misery.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
“It’s silly to worry about what others might be saying and thinking about you. Whatever they’re saying, it’s not really about you – it’s about them. In fact, what people say or think about you is a direct reflection of what they may be feeling about themselves. Don’t even think about it. If you want something to concentrate on, concentrate on treating yourself with more respect.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
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Words hold the power to destroy, but they also hold the power to create. This is because words do more than define our experiences. In many cases they actually create them.
Help me finish the following phrase: “If you can’t say something nice…”
That’s right: “don’t say anything at all.” Most of us only think of that phrase in terms of how we talk to others. But what about how we talk to ourselves? If we say something nice to ourselves, it can be wonderful, encouraging, uplifting. And if we say something negative or critical or depressing to ourselves, it can be absolutely devastating.
“It’s no coincidence that good words make us feel good and that hurtful or angry words make us feel bad. There is a 100 percent correlation between the words we choose and how we feel.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
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Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who was painfully boring and seemed to drone on forever? You were probably looking at your watch, frantically trying to figure out how to get away. Obviously, there was no connection present. Moments of strong connection, in contrast, are so pleasurable that we lose all track of time.
So how do we spark connection in a conversation? We have to play Ping-Pong.
“I truly believe that our major social ills would disappear if we just spent our lives perfecting the art of connecting with each other.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”
“Communication is merely an exchange of information, but connection is an exchange of our humanity.” ~ Sean Stephenson, Get Off Your “But”