Taming Your Not (s)
Perhaps you've already discovered that
you can't not
think about something without thinking about it first?
How many times
have you made a special point of asking someone to not do something?
Like reminding your spouse ...
Or cautioning a small child ...
Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning.
Don't spill the milk.
Or telling a teenager ...
Or advising a client ...
Don't forget to put out the garbage.
Don't worry about the delivery on this product.
And what usually happens?
“You can't not
think about something without thinking about it first.”
Since you can't, (not
think about something without thinking about it first) when you
tell someone to do the process of not doing something, your
listener first has to think about ‛doing’ the behaviour, to be able to think
of not doing it (to add the not.)
So it's easy for your listener's unconscious mind to
miss this step (delete the not) and respond by acting on the
initial thought, doing what you asked them not to do.
When you say ...
Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning.”
unconscious hears ...
Forget to pick up the dry cleaning.
And they usually do!
The child who is told ...
And Your Clients ....
Don't spill the milk.
Spill the milk
complies, usually as soon as the word ‛spill’ is out of your
it is you tell your clients not to worry
about? How often does that become the very thing they worry
One solution to all of this is to make a habit of telling people what you
want them to do, instead of what you don't want.
Remember to pick up
the dry cleaning.
Carry the milk
Remember to put out
You can feel
confident that our deliveries are always on time.
Becoming a Power User
You may also choose to become a power user of the
negative forms of
Begin to use not, never, can't, won't and
don't to assist others by helping them create positive mental images
that will assist them to achieve their outcomes.
Instead of saying ...
This is going to hurt a little
know it is a difficult task.
Use I know it's not an easy task.
Becomes This isn't going to be
is going to take longer than we thought
The statements are technically true and they invite the listener to
create a positive internal image instead of dwelling on the less attractive
aspects of a situation. Some people are inclined to awful-ize - make
things sound worse than they are - and this is a great antidote. You may be
amazed at how well it works.
Translates to It's not going to be
a quick as we hoped.
check out the next Word Power page (on the menu to the left)
because there is something more I'd like to share with you. Research on the word because and
the amazing power it has to increase
acceptance for your message.