Why is negative language and negative self talk so disempowering?
Only 10% of our mind is conscious while 90% is unconscious. The conscious mind is our analytical, rational and logical mind and is said to hold our temporary memory. The unconscious mind on the other hand is irrational; it is where we form our habits and our beliefs. The unconscious mind is where we store everything we have ever learned, where we store our memories and all our past experiences. It is also the domain of our emotions. All behavior is considered unconscious and all learning and change happens at the unconscious level. The unconscious mind is just like a robot, it takes everything we say literally and personally. At any point in time, your unconscious mind is doing the best job it can with the directions you are providing it. So say it the way you want it. The results you are getting right now are as a result of the thoughts and words you are thinking and communicating. Pay attention to what you are saying and thinking and therefore communicating to your unconscious mind. Another key fact about the unconscious mind is that it does not process negatives. Therefore it does not hear or process the word “not”. Here’s an example. If I say to you, “don’t think of a purple elephant with red spots, don’t think of a purple elephant with red spots.” You have to imagine the purple elephant with red spots, in order to then delete the image. Consider this example, you say to your 5 year old, “don’t touch that stove, it’s hot.” And what does the 5 year old do? S/he is curious and reaches to touch the hot stove. Why? Because we just put that idea in the 5 year old’s mind. So, think of your unconscious mind like that 5 year old. In order to have your 5 year old obey your command you have to say something like “leave that alone.” Same message yet two very different results.
Ever listen to the language people are using? When you listen really carefully the words people use tell us a lot about their world. You may have heard some of these negative phrases. “Work is driving me crazy.” “What a pain in the neck he is.” “You’re killing me.” “You’re giving me a headache.” “Get off my back.” “She is making me sick to my stomach.” Sound familiar? Well guess what? You get what you think about so say it the way you want it. If you don’t want to “get a pain in the neck” or “get sick to your stomach”, then don’t use that language. Listen very carefully and pay close attention to the words you are using. What are you really telling your unconscious mind? Say it, the way you want it.
Practice turning negative, disempowering language into positive, empowering language:When someone asks you “how are you today”, instead of saying “not bad”, say “fantastic” or “unbelievable”. You will immediately begin to feel great, even if you weren’t feeling well to start with. When someone says “thanks”, instead of saying “no problem” say “you are welcome” or “anytime.”
Here are some things for you to ponder:
* Think and then verbalize what you want your results to be. Your words are like gifts that you give out and take in.
* When you catch yourself saying something negative, replace it immediately with something more positive. For example. “I feel sick today” is replaced with “I’d like to feel better.”
* Eliminate the words “should” and “have to” from your self-talk. These words imply obligation and hence build resentment over time.
* Avoid using the word “try” which implies potential failure.
* It takes 21 days to establish a habit, so practice positive self-talk every day.
* Remember to say it the way you want it!
“Interested in learning more about how to stop negative self talk, check out Mastering NLP Fundamentals.”
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