Its surprising how much people ask for what they dont want rather than what they do want. Its seems counterintuitive, but its the way we are. Most of us dont even realize that were doing it.
To explain what I mean, consider the way your mind works. When you see or hear something, your mind deals with images, pictures in your mind. You are able to think about something even if you dont know the word for it (You know, the little round things on the bottom of fishing poles.) Your mind thinks in images.
Even when we read something, we dont think of the written words in our mind. We translate those words into images.
Words like no and not dont change the images theyre associated with. Telling someone else (or yourself) to not do something creates the image of what you dont want in your mind as well as theirs. How could it be otherwise?
This point is important because we tend to move toward what we think about. We hear about athletes who clearly imagine a perfect performance to help them achieve it. The same applies to everyday life. We may not actively choose our thoughts, but we will still tend to move toward them – even if were thinking about what we dont want.
An example I use at my seminars is also the only bit of parenting advice Ill ever venture to give. (I dont know who said it, but I agree with the sentiment expressed by: Before I had children, I had seven theories of childrearing. Now I have seven children and no theories.)
Imagine youre the parent of a 3 year old who is in the kitchen attempting the incredible feat of carrying a full ½ gallon container of milk from the counter to the table. Your psychic parental vision gives you an image of yourself cleaning up a large puddle of milk in the near future. You say to the child
Most folks say something like Dont spill the milk. As you say that, what picture do you have in your mind? What image did you create in your childs mind?
In hypnosis circles, a statement like that is known as an imbedded command. The dont in a statement like Dont relax any more quickly then you puts the conscious mind at ease and lets it accept the command to relax.
In the same way, Dont spill the milk is a command to spill it, and saying it increases the chance that youll get a result you dont want. You, in fact, asked for it.
How about this statement: Carry the milk carefully and safely using two hands. What image does that create? The difference is now youve asked for what you want, not what you dont want. By doing so, you’ve dramatically improved your chances of getting a result you want.
You decide. Which style, asking for what you want or asking for what you dont want, is more likely to yield results that please you? Asking for what you want is the way to go.
Yet most people ask for what they dont want. Listen with this in mind and youll hear all sorts of examples. Dont forget your keys. Dont stay out too late. I sure hope I dont blow this presentation.
Now that youre aware of this principle it will be fairly easy for you to change to asking for what you want. Its a relatively small shift in mind set that pays large cumulative dividends.
At first, it may take a little effort to catch your negative requests, but soon youll be asking for what you want. Youll find the shift easy. After all, its much more fun to think about what you want than the things you dont want.