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Centerpointe Research

It’s What You Say and How You Say It

The mind is a strange thing. They way you would think it works may not be the way it actually works. It is the reason that some things that you would think would work to change behavior do not work. Sometimes you have to do the opposite of what you would think would be right.

Your children (or your friend’s children) and maybe a friend or two are playing on the floor in the family room. All of a sudden you notice that a full glass of soda pop is sitting in the middle of the floor and has just missed being knocked over several times. The first thing that comes out of your mouth is, “Don’t knock that glass over”, and what happens, one of the children immediately accidentally knocks the glass over spilling the soda pop. What actually really registers is, “Knock the glass over.” Probably it would have been better to say, “Children listen to me, “Billy (or Sally, it doesn’t matter who) please pick up that glass of soda and bring it to me.” You are putting attention on what you want the children to do, not what you don’t want them to do.

The unconscious or subconscious frequently works in the same way. If you make a goal for the New Year, you might say, “I am not fat by my wedding anniversary.” You should mention what you want to be in a positive format. The unconscious mind does not hear the “not” like the conscious mind does so it registers as,”I am fat for my wedding anniversary.”

People frequently try to change the thoughts in their heads and, by default, their behavior by making affirmations. These should always state what you want to happen (not what you do not want to happen) and, as you are working with the subconscious or unconscious mind, it should also be in the present tense. The unconscious mind is always in the here and now. You should say what you want to be as if it was already accomplished and present. You could say, for example, “I am at my healthy weight. I eat nutrious foods and I am satisfied with small amounts.”

To change unwanted thoughts, you need to put new, contradictory, thoughts in your head and, since you are working with your unconscious, also be sure they are things phrased as if they are actively happening now such as, “I love myself and people love me.” Last, but probably not least, when you make these affirmations use any one or more of your five senses, whenever possible, to make sure what you are stating is vivid. See it, hear it, feel it, even smell it and taste it if possible. Make it real.

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