Last week we talked about permission; a word that is easily interchangeable with consent. To give permission is to consent or agree to an action or allowing someone else to do so. This week I’m here to tell you about the magic word that makes permission powerful. But before we get to that, there’s something else I need to tell you about.

This may feel like who’s on first AND we are going to discuss “The What”. If you’ve coached with me before you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, here is your introduction to what’s it’s like 😉.

The “WHAT”

In the last 2 blogs, we began with a resolution free new year and permission to rest, contemplate and reflect. Then we added the special ingredients needed to empower contemplation. There’s one thing missing that we haven’t discussed and that’s “The WHAT” aka. a topic, focus or idea.

So, first things first as Steven Covey would say, let’s put the end in mind at the beginning! What is the area of your life that you want to reflect on now?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s an area of your life that you think about a lot. It may consume your thoughts at times and mostly it simply has a feeling of never going away. It might bother you or give you a nagging feeling and ignoring it usually amplifies it.

It may be the area you are most likely to avoid or it may be the one you literally can no longer ignore. Regardless of how it comes to you, when I ask, “what is the area of your life that you want to reflect on now?” – something will come to mind.

If you need a little help finding your “what”, click the link below to fill out our contact form and I will send you our Knowing Where to Begin coaching tool. It’s a visual representation of what your life looks like now and it helps you pick an area of focus.

The MAGIC Word

Back to permission! As you begin contemplating the area of your life you want to focus on now, there is a very important word that permission requires if you want to succeed. It’s a small word and a BIG one at the very same time.

The word you need to truly give yourself full permission to get somewhere with this work is…drum roll please…“AND”! After all the foreshadowing and visual cues this may not be shocking AND it’s true!

Do you know the #1-word people say instead of AND? Again, if you’re a client you’re an expert at this by now! The #1-word people use instead of AND is BUT. Let’s see the difference it makes to change this one word.

Take 1: Let’s say the area of your life you want to focus on is your work. So, you are going to give yourself full permission to explore what it means to contemplate your work right now BUT…

The second I write the word but, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. How about you?

Take 2: Let’s say the area of your life you want to focus on is your work. So, you are going to give yourself full permission to explore what it means to contemplate your work right now AND…

The second I type the word and, I take a noticeable breath. How about you?

If you didn’t feel it yet; it’s ok. We all process information differently. Take it as a practice to replace the word BUT with AND and just see what happens in general. It’s an easy challenge anyone can do that only takes remembering to do it. If remembering isn’t your strong suit, set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to use AND instead of BUT.


Here lies the most important truth in this piece. When you combine permission with AND, you open up a world of possibility that your brain may miss without it. That’s because AND allows you to combine, make friends with and even integrate things that you’d normally pose as diametrically opposite of one another.

For instance, without the word AND you will face a dilemma. This dilemma sounds something like, I want to forgive but I feel so angry. I want to be active but I’m over weight. I want to be successful, but I’ve failed before.

Permission with AND let’s you be angry and forgive. It let’s you be overweight and active. It let’s you fail AND find success. It’s a playground of endless opportunity and with it, your curiosity will see possibility much faster than obstacles and opportunity even when you’re aware of risks.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Remember last week when I told you what you needed to make contemplation effective? Well this week you get to put those ingredients into action. Here’s the steps to follow.

1) Choose your area of focus and create an AND statement. Sometimes it’s easier to do the opposite first so if a BUT statement naturally comes to mind, simply use it and replace the BUT with AND.

2) With permission AND, ask yourself “what’s possible?”. Then using your method of answering from last week, make a list/drawing/talk about etc. to express anything you can think of that might be possible assuming your AND statement is true. This is not a list of things based in fact or “reality”. It’s an imaginary list. Just try it.

**If you come up with just a few or none at all; that’s fine. I’ll write more next week about opening to possibilities and how you can expand that skill. For now, any possible desired outcome is what you’re looking for from your AND statement.

3) THIS IS A NEW ONE! Share your AND statement plus at least 2 possibilities with one person. It’s necessary to share this work to make it real. It’s not REAL if it only lives in your head

Good luck! If you need help narrowing your focus to a specific area, remember to fill out the contact form and I’ll send you a tool to help you begin!

Lots of Love To You,

Coach Jen