May 12, 2009

See What Happens?

emoticon-angryClients of Martha Beck’s learn very quickly what not to say in her presence.  Any version of the words “I can’t” sends her off. 

I admire her commitment to not letting people get away with saying they are powerless.  (She’s screamed in my ear before!)
I’ve also come to realize I’ve got a couple phrases that send me off, too.
One that’s come up these last couple weeks is: “We’ll see what happens.”
When a “normal” person says it, I get it.  They don’t know better.  And it’s not my job to clue them in, so I let it slide.
But when a CLIENT says it, I could go through the roof!
We’ll SEE what happens?!  We’ll see if things turn out?
Have I taught you NOTHING?
That’s not how it works! 
Rather, we SAY what happens.  We’re the ones in charge here!
We don’t have to sit back and see what destiny sends our way … we CHOOSE it.  And we choose what happens through our speech, our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions.
My clients’ words “We’ll see what happens” feel like Martha Beck’s equivalent to “I can’t.”  It’s a phrase that renders us powerless.  We know so much more than that!

  • We’ll see if traffic cooperates to get us to our appointment on time? 
  • We’ll see if this new restaurant is any good? 
  • We’ll see if we get the job offer?
  • We’ll see if the paycheck makes it to the end of the month?

We’ll see if things turn out in our favor?  Maybe you will, but I guarantee I’m not going to sit back and see whether things turn out … I’m saying it.  After all, you know the power of our words.   (Click on the colors if you want a reminder.)
How do you think Universe (or Source or whatever you call your higher power) responds to the vibration of the “we’ll see” phrase?  It feels passive to me. 
But when we SAY what’s going to happen, doesn’t it feel much more powerful and authoritative?  Like you’re giving the Universe some real direction by flexing your creative muscle? 
With this post I invite you to notice where you’re holding your power in check by “seeing what happens” and rather to choose to “say what happens.”  It’s your true deliberate creator nature, you know!
(And my homework, in the meantime, is to take the charge off hearing this phrase so I can stop coming across it so much!  ha)

  • Anonymous says:

    get a life ppl

  • Giany says:

    Good find on a disempowering catchphrase.
    If you want to find more disempowering catchphrases or empowering ones, go read the book “Hidden Language Codes” by Johnston R. Neville from library.

  • Nancy says:

    When I was growing up and my parent’s said ‘we’ll see’ it usually meant yes, but it isn’t 100% done yet. I still remember the twinkle in my Dad’s eye when he would say that. The times that it didn’t work out I don’t really remember. It could have been because 1) we made such reasonable requests as children or 2) my parents made a lot of things possible or 3) with six kids sometimes all the variables were not in place yet.
    And by the way, for your business presentation on Saturday, I think the company is world class so it is no wonder that you attracted each other.

  • Kate Loving Shenk says:

    I think saying: “We’ll see what the Universe has in store for me” can also mean–“This or something better!!” thus detaching from outcome–part of the manifestation process, for sure!!
    Thanks, Jeannette, for making us more conscious about what we say, what is spoken–bringing awareness to it!!!
    How about: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it!!” My mother always used to say that!!!

  • Kim Falconer says:

    Jeannette, Everyone, these are all great perspectives on ‘we’ll see.’
    My mom used it a lot. It meant ‘no.’ And if that’s how I hear it, (no) it’s dis-empowering.
    And, I know just were I use it to–relationship!
    Meet a guy? ‘We’ll see . . .’ Is he a keeper? ‘We’ll see . . .’ Going to commit? ‘We’ll see . . .’ Take it to the next level? ‘We’ll see…’ Is he totally into me? ‘We’ll see . . .’ A perfect (for me) match . . . ‘We’ll see!’ .. .
    In all other aspects of life, I say it like it will be but when it involves another’s heart (like book deals don’t???) I back off!!!! I let go of the reins right before the jump so of course the horse goes wild or just stops!
    I’ve learned something today! I’m saying it like it is, hook, line and sinker! Whole hog. Kit and kabootle!
    This is how it is: Met guy–keeper! Next level baby. Gotta love those perfect for me matches!
    Wooo hooo! Thank you!!!
    🙂 Kim

  • Kristy M says:

    The funny thing is, for me at least,, “We’ll see” or “I’ll see” has always had a negative meaning
    I tend to use it when I’m asked to do something I don’t want to do or go somewhere I don’t want to go. I always say “Yeah, We’ll see”.. which is my nice way of saying “no way” haha.
    but I like that.. not ‘we’ll see’ but ‘we’ll SAY’ 🙂

  • Ryan Hook says:

    Hey Jeannette great blogg and I love all the comments, thanks for giving me a new way to “hear” what I am saying. I am always trying to get my daughters to be more aggressive and not so timid. I can see that its all in what we say to them and how we back it up with our actions, I will change that’s for sure. I must say those words a few times more than I would like to admit. Loved reading this thanks

  • Col @ life by muse says:

    Oooooh, wow, wow! I’m totally pickin’ up what you’re layin’ down Jeannette, and I sometimes find myself tripped up by this one. Cuz in my pre-LOA-days I would always say something exactly like that.
    A very special and spiritual man I knew as a child used to say, “Never expect anything” and I really took that to heart and thought it to be a wise, wise thing … like “you will never be disappointed, you always get more than you expected if you expect nothing.”
    I know he didn’t mean literally expect NOTHING but more like a lack of a heavy-handed, clingy grasp on things. Like not “expect very little” but “release expectation.” Subtly different.
    Anyway, I get sorta tripped up with this one because that makes sense to me and yet I know so clearly that you get what you put out there.
    I laugh when I remember the bespeckled, supergeeky Clay Aiken answering the question, “Why are you here?” with “I am going to be the next American Idol.” And we all thought, “Yeah, riiiight” but then he belted out a tune and look how far he got.
    I wonder how you put what you want out there without being all cocky about it. What do you think Jeannette?

  • Oh my gosh, you guys are making great cases for empowered versions of “we’ll see”! lol
    Yes, this seeing it as “non attachment” is taking off my steaming charge on it, and putting a whole new twist on the phrase.
    Thanks for that, Jessica and everyone else!
    Look how brilliant you all are! 🙂

  • The Inner Genius Coach says:

    Ouch, Jeanette:
    Today, I will be the person being coached and not the coach on this post.
    This post hit the nail on the head for me. I do use this term and just today, I was in an important meeting and I was in the vibration of, “we will see.” I may not have said the word but it was clearly my vibe.
    You know, the truth is that I would not take it from a client. Just like I tweeted one of my clients the other day who was proclaiming how stupid she was; I jumped on her and tweeted her not to talk to my favorite client like that!
    So, this post hit me as I have been vibing that.
    No excuses, no yeah buts… but, I think it has to do with my legal training where you start out with the worst possible outcome.
    So my turn around is that everything discussed in that meeting is phenomenally wonderful for me.
    Thanks for knowing to write the post just for me.
    I bow in obeisance to you, O thou great woman of high vibrations!
    Thank you, Queen Jeanette.
    You set me straight.

  • Jessica says:

    Okay, okay! You caught me.
    I just heard some good news that I was expecting about being accepted into a program. 14 spots for 35 applicants, and I met all of them- they had some mojo! I got thinking they wanted it way more than I did, but I just knew I was meant to be there… hmmm.
    So I found myself saying, “We’ll see what happens”. It was because I was detached. It was because I realized that either way I’d be happy. It was because if I got in, great- my new path begins; but if I didn’t, I was thrilled someone more deserving would get to fulfill their dreams and I’d know that there was some other opportunity that was way better for me out there.
    So, depending on how ya look at it, it really meant power for me, via detachment… per our other conversations in this blog.
    Hmmm. So what’cha think about that version of “we’ll see?” Does it seem to have a different charge now?! I hope so, because I am thrilled I found that place, it helped me to attract it with ease. My mom was shocked because I wasn’t worried, and she didn’t think I’d get in, etc.
    I love how timely your posts are! Great!

  • Ryan, I was so excited for your first post here that I put a link to your site in tonight’s ezine!!
    This is truly a day to mark on the calendar!! ha
    Seriously, fabulous to hear from you and thanks for being here. 🙂

  • Oh my word, Clay said that, Col?! I didn’t know that!!
    My new favorite story!!
    Hey, yeah – I love how you nailed this subtle difference between “expect very little” and “release expectation.”
    Huge, huh?!
    As to your question about how to put it out there without being cocky … I say get cocky. hee hee
    For real.
    At least CONFIDENT. Who cares if someone thinks you’re not being humble? It’s better to get what you want than to try to stay small to keep everyone else comfortable, right?
    That’s my thoughts on it in this red hot moment, anyway.
    Thanks for pitching in, Col! I love you!!

  • Well, it always is easier to dish it out than it is to practice what we preach, right, Iyabo?
    But doing so sure sets our clients up for success – when they’re in the vibe of someone walking the talk and setting a strong example of it.
    Which you do more than you realize, I suspect.
    Pleasure to hear from you on this, Iyabo, and I bet lots of folks are relating to what you say here. 🙂

  • Gillian says:

    Thanks for this great reminder Jeannette!!! I tend to do that sometimes and realize how disempowering the phrase is. (Am glad I did not have Jeannette yelling in my ear while uttering that phrase, hi hi)

  • Oh my word, did I just hear Adam Lambert say “We’ll see what happens” on American Idol?! Sheesh!
    I bet he was just being polite or politically correct – but STILL!

  • I LOVE this clever reminder that “I’ll SAY it” instead of “We’ll SEE.”
    Thank you!

  • Judiesjuice says:

    Danae, thank you for your thoughts. I’m sure my kids will appreciate them as well 🙂

  • THAT’S totally empowered, Danae – I love it!
    Thanks for putting a whole new twist on it!

  • oh, Judiesjuice – just a thought, from one Mama to another – in those situations I avoid saying no to my children by answering with something like ‘icecream sounds great – raincheck?’ or ‘yes, you can have icecream another day after school’, or even ‘I’d love to take you for icecream, lets plan to do that really soon – today we have ….. to do’. That way they get their yes and so do you.

  • LOL you guys.. I love this blog!
    I never use the phrase ‘we’ll see’ unless its a righteous, strong ‘well we’ll just SEE about THAT!’ as in ‘I’m really going to take care of this once and for all’… but I was thinking that maybe taking the charge of it is simple – after all the ‘we’ll’ part of it is short for we WILL. So hey, how about when you here it you agree and say ‘oh YEAH, we WILL see about that’ and laugh! Its funny that people (even the ones who do know to listen to themselves) often don’t realise what they’re saying – so completely sweet and innocent!
    d 🙂

  • No, you’re are NOT a horrible mother, JudiesJuice!! lol
    In fact, if I were a mom, I would probably use it myself to stay in the flow of things rather than make commitments that might not feel good later.
    Actually, I think I probably do use something similar in business life … hmm .. I wonder what it is. Huh – I’ll have to listen for it!

  • Judiesjuice says:

    It’s funny because I do tend to use this phrase with my children! My two girls are almost 6 and almost 4 and most times saying “We’ll see” is an easy way out for me at the given time. For example, when they ask “can we get some ice cream after school?” it’s easier for me to say “maybe, we’ll see” and hope they forget vs me having say to say “No” and dealing with temper tantrums. Does this mean I am a horrible mother? 😉
    At the same time, we have been experiencing some odd, warm weather so I did answer “yes, we WILL have ice cream after school” without hesitation!

  • Now that’s a nice association, Laura – “let’s see how the Universe is going to make this happen.” THAT feels like a positive way to use the phrase, because we’re not wondering whether it’s going to happen, we’re just wondering what Universe cooked up to MAKE it happen.
    Nicely done! I think I could very well get on board with that. 🙂

  • Laura says:

    Hey Jeannette/Tia/Dana….
    Funny how is usually goes back to the associations we have from childhood. While I don’t remember my parents saying “we’ll see” was usually just “no”. Ha! But, my first reaction of “we’ll see” since I have been LOA savvy is “let’s see how the Universe is going to make this happen” or “let’s see if it’s how I pictured it”. So, as you mentioned Jeannette, it can have a positive vibe to it as long as your intention in using it is coming from that place. Sometimes we know what we want but are not exactly sure what is looks like; that is the perfect example of “we’ll see” meaning just that. Just another way of looking at it…great to be conscious of, either way!

  • Well, it hasn’t happened yet, MissyB – still grates on me when I hear it here! lol
    But I love that you have positive associations with it – and I’m sure you’re not alone.
    Thanks for reading and for chiming into the conversation! 🙂

  • MissyB says:

    Isn’t it odd, my mum always used “we’ll see” and it nearly always meant a positive outcome was about to materialise. My special friend also uses it, and to mean a positive outcome too, but alas, he’s not kept true to his word on many ocassion, and now when he says “we’ll see” I counteract it in my mind with “we won’t”. The coincidence here is that I’ve not heard the phrase for sometime, yet both GVC and my special friend have used it within 48 hours of each other.
    I guess its like any of this stuff…if something doesn’t sit right with you its not going to work. GVC – perhaps this IS your chance to make friends with the statement “we’ll see” and thus disempowering it. I really like the idea of making friends with something you don’t like in order to release it.
    Anyway – we’ll see ! LOL

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Tia, “toning it down…when other people might not understand my dreams/enthusiasm” actually makes me even more committed to banishing it from my vocabulary. You hit the nail on the head. As if it’s not ok to love what you’re creating because they don’t get it. Maybe if we’re as excited about it to those people, they’ll want some of what we’ve got.
    I do know that when someone is excited about what they’re creating, it seems as if everyone wants to share in it and be part of it or help somehow.
    Maybe we should give everyone else a little more credit and know that they will get it and that everyone is going out of their way to help us. That feels better, doesn’t it?
    In terms of “it will be fine,” have you asked them powerful questions to help them decide that it will be fine on their own terms?

  • Ooooh Word! Dana I do the same. I tone it down sometimes with people when I think they might not understand my dreams or support them. I also say that when it comes to things I want but am not totally committed to or want time to think about something.
    It does have a helpless ring to it when I tell someone I care about that ‘it will be fine’ and I don’t have a clue how. Cos then it’s not my faith being tested, it’s theirs and I worry about how they’ll handle it and want to ‘fix’ their problems. That’s when guilt comes in about not doing more.
    Wow, what an un-empowering thing to do! Luckily, I don’t say that a lot and now that I’m aware of when I say it I’ll be more careful about my underlying message.
    Something as small as “we’ll see” and so much attached to it. Who wlda thunk :)? Food for thought today.

  • Good point, Dana. Sometimes we use these words to (try to) manage the responses and thoughts of others, huh?
    But I like how YOU know it within, even if you don’t express that confidence to those you’re in conversation with. Sometimes that may be a smart move so we don’t have to feel the challenge of someone else’s unsupportive or pessimistic reaction.
    It reminds me of my favorite story that everyone’s heard me tell … how Ali on Season 5 of the Biggest Loser didn’t say “We’ll see how it goes” … she said “I am the Biggest Loser.”
    And that won her a quarter of a million, was it? Not to mention a body to be proud of.
    Do keep us posted, Dana, as to what changes as you eliminate this vibe from your story!! 🙂

  • Dana - Your Inspired Coach says:

    Interesting post, Jeannette. Interesting because it has me thinking about when I use this phrase. I use it when I’m talking to other people about what I want, even when I know how I want it to go. I do it, I think, so that I don’t sound overly confident or overly attached to an outcome in their presence. I might say something like, “Yeah, I want to build my coaching practice into a six figure business, but we’ll see what happens.” D’oh! I don’t say that to myself. I guess I’m afraid if I say it without the “we’ll see what happens” part they might think I’m a dreamer…and how awful would THAT be?
    My mom said “we’ll see” a lot when I was a kid, which meant NO without having to deal with the consequences of no. I wonder if I sometimes use it after things I don’t really want but think I should want, so that I am saying I want them to the people who “matter” and punctuating it with my little eraser. LOL!
    I have made an effort to stop using that phrase since I’ve evolved as a coach. I can feel the vibration of it. It’s very wishy washy and not at all owning or committing to what you want.
    Let’s see what happens when I banish it from my vocabulary! 😉

  • Oh, she’s a FIRECRACKER, Ms Nikki! Do not be fooled!! lol
    Yeah, SCREAMING. And good for her – she doesn’t have to do that more than once (with me, anyway) to get her point across.
    But I do cringe when I’m in a group of people and I hear someone say it … ha … cause I know what reaction they’ll get from her!
    Anyway … I was thinking after I posted this, Ms Nikki, that it certainly is possible for “We’ll see” to be an empowering thought.
    Like, if we really didn’t expect something to happen, but we wanted it to, sometimes saying “we’ll see” gives the Universe an opening.
    Know what I mean?
    I guess I’m using your post as an opportunity to argue with myself about how the phrase really can be a positive one.
    Thanks for reading, and for writing especially, Ms Nikki! 🙂

  • MSNikki says:

    I happen to say your favorite catchphrase a lot! I say it to people who have an expectation of a negative outcome. By saying it, I am challenging them that they may be wrong and to be open to suprises. I also say it to myself when I have too much attachment to an outcome which thus alleviates the pressure.
    I also see where you are coming from as well about the passive nature of the phrase. If there is only one outcome then there is no need to passively wait it out. I didn’t think about this perspective until this blog posting! Also, it is difficult to imagine Martha Beck as a drill sergeant screaming in folks ears! I have seen her in person four times now and she seems to be calm as can be. But then again, she is the one giving the presentation to book enthusiasts and not coaches to be!

  • I hear ya, Allison! When I told Russ I wanted to bring Sadie with us to Moab last weekend (he’s never traveled with my dogs before), he was certain I wouldn’t find a room that allowed dogs. Certain!! Pfff!
    If I had the “well see what happens” mode going, he might have been right.
    But I didn’t call to see if there were rooms available. I called to say where I wanted to stay.
    And then when I got to the beautiful hotel I didn’t SEE if they’d let me have an early check-in (although they said on the phone they didn’t allow those). I SAID an early check-in is what I wanted. And that’s what we got.
    Had I sent Russ in … I’m not so sure we’d have gotten the same results. lol
    And then when it was time to eat, there’s usually a long wait at our favorite Mexican restaurant. And I really hate to wait. For anything.
    So when he said “let’s go see how busy they are” I just thought to myself “we’re seated quickly.” Even though there were over a half dozen people milling about the lobby when we got there, the host said hello as soon as we walked through the door and seated us at the biggest table at the end of the walkway from the front door (it was like a table for 8) immediately. It was almost a little embarrassing having the people standing in the lobby seeing us get seated immediately at the big table. hee hee
    Poor host, though – what else is he gonna do? Everyone else is believing in “busy” and “waiting” and then someone comes through with a “seat me now” vibe … what else can he do but seat me?
    Pretty cool how this stufff works, huh?
    Here’s to “saying it,” Allison! 🙂

  • Allison says:

    Oh yes! You said it! Patrick constantly says “We’ll see…” and I BARK at him every time: “Do you WANT it? You have to SAY it! You have FEEL it!” And I love proving him otherwise when I get what I want by saying it and being positive and feeling like there is no question in the world why I shouldn’t already have it. LOL!!
    Who else grew up hearing “We’ll see.”? I despise that phrase than for no other reason than it really meant “no”.

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