Have you ever thought that sometimes your mind plays tricks on you?
You know when you tell yourself to not think of something… Or you’re trying hard not to be nervous? Then you find you can’t stop thinking about it or you get even more nervous…? Even though you really, really, really don’t want to…?
Don’t think about a cute little squirrel, now… Please, no matter what, just don’t think about a squirrel with its button eyes and bushy tail!
Well, you can’t do it, can you? It’s actually called the 'Law of Reversed Effect'. Which means that whenever you use the word “Don’t” you get the exact opposite of what you wanted.
Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s useful!
Understanding the ‘Law of Reversed Effect’ is your first step to running your own mind more successfully.
So, bear with me. This is why it is not easy to not think of cute squirrels (especially while I keep reminding you, what they look like with their sweet eyes and bushy tails… Bahahaha).
This applies to different contexts too: The more you tell yourself “Don’t be nervous”, the more you automatically think about being nervous. You can’t help it. It’s the way your mind works…
Aaaand before you know it, you start to remember the last time you were nervous…
And if that wasn’t enough, you then proceed to tell yourself “Oh I don’t want that to happen again!” … And because your mind still can’t process the negation, you imagine exactly the same thing happening again… and you really don’t want that.
Whether you are consciously aware of all these unconscious processes or not, the effect is the same!
The first step to running your own mind even more successfully is understanding it. And now you are one step closer to that goal! The second step is using this for your own good!
So here is your 5-step mission, should you choose to accept it:
1) Stand guard at the gates of your own mind
2) Every time you notice thinking "don’t" instantly think about what the opposite of that for you is.
3) Always think about what you DO want! Start every day by writing down how you DO WANT yourself to be in certain situations. The more specific you are, the better!
4) Pay attention to how you are communicating with others. Make a habit of describing what you do want them to do, instead of what you don’t want them to do.
5) Have fun with it all!