Don’t worry about this temporary recession. Don’t cancel Jesus Day. Don’t feel anxious. Don’t feel bad you need to take that extra job at the burger bar. In fact don’t drop down into despair and feel bad.
All well and good, sincerely meant to be offering positives. They suggest what not to do and are offered with good intentions.
BUT it doesn’t quite have that effect now, does it?
The effect it has is to FIRST concentrate or focus thoughts on what is in essence exactly what you do not want. Opps!
This is because language, in order to be understood, is processed, made sense of, by what is said first. And this is done so fast it is done outside of consciousness. It is like half a message NOT THIS but then what? Well that will be the SECOND intended effect and we will get on to that a little later.
As part of my job as an NLP Trainer and Therapist I regularly drive to a variety of places in the UK. Doing so I am privy to the many wonderful Road Signs, strategically placed, with the intention of providing information or attempting to deliver a message. Some are particularly poingient in this current exploration. Here are some examples of them.
- xxx Accidents in the last year. nnn Fatalities.
- Don’t Speed
- Don’t not park close to the cliff edge.
All these signs send a message. Some tell you what not to do, others provide information BUT this is only half of the intended message. It is in the form of a warning.
Let me digress slightly. Imagine you have Children ( if you don’t already ) and one of them sticks a pencil that their uncle gave them in an electricity socket. You shout ( quite reasonably ) ‘Don’t do that’. Or they move to touch a disconnected yet still very hot iron, again you shout ‘Don’t touch that!’ They hesitate and await ( if you are quick ) the next instruction you deliver, or not! OK I know the tone and energy of your voice will carry the warning ( it’s not just the words )
So there has, been at least two messages conveyed by you in this instance. The verbal part, the words and much more importantly, the inherent danger, conveyed in your voice tone.
The language and thoughts we use can massively influence and effect how we act in the world. There are a lot of NLP people who get overly excited and carried away about the nature of so called negative commands ( expressing what NOT to do ) and seems to forget that for the most part they do actually work very well.
This next part is particularly focused and tuned to you the reader. Take for example the very reasonable thoughts.
- I don’t want to loose my job
- I don’t want to feel anxious
- I must not allow my boss to bully me
- I will never feel confident enough to ask for a pay rise
All of these are very reasonable examples of actual situations. Check these thoroughly for yourself right now. Once you have done that lets address the SECOND part of the intended communication.
- I don’t want to loose my job -> I want to continue to be employed
- I don’t want to feel anxious -> I want to feel calm and in control
- I must not allow my boss to bully me -> I want my boss to respect my opinions and treat me in a dignified way
- I will never feel confident enough to ask for a pay rise -> I want to feel confident when I make my supporting case for a pay rise
So as you begin to notice the times you are telling yourself what you don’t want, in addition to that start to add the second half of the communication on to it. Tell yourself what you do want.
Think about it this way
WARNING ( move away ) FIRST -> REWARD ( move toward ) SECOND
A WARNING gives a powerful motivation to do something, perhaps from our fight / flight / sleep system. Now you can channel this energy to direct yourself to what you do want instead. The reward or outcome.
- Don’t worry about this temporary recession, instead begin to feel calm and notice what you can do about this temporary situation.
- Don’t cancel Jesus Day, celebrate Jesus Day.
- Don’t feel anxious, feel a little more relaxed more of the time.
- Don’t feel bad you need to take that extra job at the burger bar, instead understand you are taking control of your situation as best you can at the moment.
- In fact don’t drop down into despair and feel bad, take courage, keep going and feel as good as you can.