From “Yeah, but” to “You’ve Got This!”

Over a decade ago, when facilitating my groups with women, we talked a lot about the "Yeah, But" part of ourselves, which added a discrediting disclaimer to any personal acknowledgments or shout-outs. 

For example: 
You: I walked 3 miles yesterday
Yeah, But:  I sat on the couch today. 

You: I held a boundary when talking with my sister.
Yeah, But:  Then, I snapped at my partner this week.  

You: I got new signups for my class!
Yeah, But: it’s only 3.  

For every attempt to acknowledge yourself, the “Yeah, But”  part wants to knock it down with evidence to the contrary.  

I know the “Yeah, But” part of myself well. I used to imagine her with a clipboard and glasses, always looking down her nose. She’s very serious and very critical. She thinks of herself as a fact-checker. She wants to check every accomplishment for 100% perfect accuracy. That’s the only way to feel an ounce of satisfaction, which we will rarely feel because we focus on the "yeah, but" disclaimer.  

I remember the end of 5th grade and having one of my favorite teachers give each student “future predictions. ”  When it was my turn, he said someday I’d win an award for my leadership.  I could feel my face and spirit light 🌞 right up.  As I walked back to my seat, the popular mean girl whispered to me, “The only award you’ll ever get is the ugliest dork award.” And just like that, the moment of pride and acknowledgment vanished. As if the mean comment completely voided and disqualified the thoughtful one.  The mean comment was the only one I heard.  

Every time we "Yeah, But" ourselves, the Yeah, But part can’t allow us to take too much credit, celebrate, or relax too much. It’s a protector part that believes this is how you stay vigilant to make sure you don’t slack off or get too arrogant.  

One of the things I love about parts work and doing it with my clients is that we can unburden these parts. As it turns out, Miss “Yeah, But" doesn’t take pleasure in pointing out our flaws or making us feel bad. It just believes that’s the best way to help us stay safe. What if we could give her a new job? What if she could stop being so serious and critical and instead be compassionate and supportive? 

So here’s an idea: Let’s encourage “Yeah, But” to continue digging up facts, but let's reverse engineer their role. Anytime you feel discouraged, lose your confidence, or feel like you’re failing at life, let’s have “Yeah, but” dig up contrary evidence.  

For example… 

You: What I’m doing, just isn’t working.
Yeah, But:  Working how? Remember those two comments on your post about how they needed to hear your story that day.  

You: I’m afraid it will flop.  
Yeah, But: Flop how? Remember that time when you ran that group and only 4 people came, and now 10 years later, they tell you that it was life-changing for them?  

You: I feel like she’s doing it so much better than me. 
Yeah, But: Her situation is so different than yours. She attracts a different energy. Also- You’ve been through so much in the past year that you haven’t been able to put in your full effort.  

You: You really f**ked that up. 
Yeah, But: You took responsibility, you repaired, and you learned something really valuable that you can grow from.   

Do you see how this can work? You can go out for a walk and have a dialogue in your head. My preferred way is to write it out in my journal. This helps me separate the parts.  If this feels difficult, put yourself into best friend mode and imagine what you would tell your bestie because you love them so much and believe in them.  

Go ahead and try it. 

Think of the unhelpful or discrediting thought and then use the “Yeah, But” part to find even a tiny bit of credible and helpful evidence.  

The stories you tell yourself can cause you to sink or support you to soar.  

Let’s soar 🦅 together, today. 

Overcoming self-doubt
Transforming negative self-talk
Embracing accomplishments
Cultivating a positive mindset
Silencing the "Yeah, But" inner critic
Reframing negative thoughts
Building self-confidence
Achieving goals with resilience
Personal growth and development
Empowering self-talk strategies
Overcoming discouragement
Celebrating small wins
Inner dialogue techniques
Boosting self-belief
Shifting from self-criticism to self-compassion

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