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Never count yourself out.

Book Review: Get Off Your “But” by Sean Stephenson

Start by realizing this is an uplifting, positive book, written by a young man born with a brittle bone disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Sean Stephenson realized he was not going to be able to change his physical condition, yet he certainly changed his life, in a most positive way.

Through his childhood, enduring years of operations and medical treatment, his mother helped him realize that pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Today, Stephenson is a psychotherapist and internationally-known speaker.

Get Off Your “But”  is much more than a book about the author’s troubles. With a Foreword by Anthony Robbins, the book shares the author’s strategies to overcome fear and insecurity. 

What Stephenson has learned in life is that “The only thing that has ever held you back from having what you want is the size of your BUT."  "Our BUTS are huge. The more we sit on them, the more they grow.” Realizing the obstacles he’s faced in life, his simple guidance in recognizing our own barriers becomes profound.

BUT fears (But what if I fail?)
BUT insecurities (But I’m not good enough.)
BUT excuses (But there’s no time.)

Aiding people with self-esteem and confidence problems, Stephenson's book teaches the difference between communication and connection, and reinforces our need to change by asking on honest question:

“Do you get the results you want out of life?”

Woven through the book, Stephenson shares his own experiences as an individual with major medical problems. He is not sorry for himself, but uses his different abilities as strengths, because that’s what he’s got to work with. It’s no wonder President Bill Clinton endorsed this book, saying: “Sean is an amazing person with an important message.”

Get Off Your BUT is filled with practical advice to handle the challenges in all areas of life.

The core of Stephenson’s wisdom centers on the reality that you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. He teaches a practice of eavesdropping on yourself to witness sabotaging ideas and correct negative self-talk.

Stephenson writes: “The smallest things in life can grow into obstacles that can bring us to our knees if we don’t pay attention and own them. Yet the simple act of owning them shrinks them back down to size.”

Urging us to realize our BUTS are often disguised as reasons – we see they let us build irrational justification for continuing to do what isn’t working. Stephenson also takes a look at why we sometimes burden ourselves with the wrong people. Perhaps we feel sorry for them, or obligated, or even addicted to them.

Maybe Get Off Your “But”  will be your personal call to action or a resource you can use to help someone who is stuck and lacking the confidence to move forward. Read Stephenson’s passage on being stuck in an elevator because he couldn’t reach the buttons and you’ll indeed gain the motivation to get unstuck.

From an author just 30 years old, this surely is not his last book. We can look forward to more of Sean Stephenson’s candid writing.

About Helen Gallagher

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