And you're doing it to yourself!
As a Hypnotist, a published author and a student of all things Psychology I’ve always been fascinated by the language we use and by the art of persuasion.
What I’ve come to appreciate more and more is that the way we talk to ourselves, the language we use both spoken out loud and spoken internally, shapes our perception of and experiences with reality.
And there’s one particularly interesting language pattern I hear people use over and over…Let me share a story with you to illustrate what I mean…
Recently I took a walk by the river near me. There’s a gravel path which winds its way alongside the river, with open fields stretching away on both side. It’s away from the roads so it’s quiet; only the sounds of the river flowing, with swans and ducks, the gentle rustle of swaying trees…you get the idea, it’s peaceful.
At one point I’d paused to watch the water flow past when I heard a family coming toward me. They were a way off but I could hear snippets of their conversation. Closest was a young girl and a boy, chatting together, with their parents following about ten steps or so behind. The girl, who was around eight years old, was trying to convince her brother, who was maybe a couple of years older to try doing a cart wheel…
“Go, on try it!” She said.
And he said “If I do that I’m going to feel sick.”
So, she kept pestering, saying look it’s easy, and he kept repeating “If I do that, I’ll feel sick.” and this went on as they walked closer and closer, and I thought it was interesting. Eventually, just as they got close to where I was stood, the boy gave in to his sister’s demands and finally attempted to do a cart wheel.
(For those of you unsure what I mean by a cart wheel, it’s a gymnastic tumble where you flip yourself over, like rolling though a sideways handstand and landing back on your feet…ish)
The boy ran into it, slammed his hands onto the gravel, threw himself over with all the commitment you could wish for, but very little of the dexterity…
I felt the thud of him hitting the floor through the soles of my feet. He ended up on his side in a crumpled mess. He was close enough that I could see that his hands were scuffed and that he’d landed on his hip hard enough to cause serious damage…
But, the very first thing he did was to wrap his hands around his stomach, then look up at his sister and say; “See, I told you I’d feel sick!”
And I had to wonder, if that feeling would have been there if he hadn’t been looking for it? If he hadn’t have created the suggestion in his own mind…and I mean, fair dues, it was a great suggestion for pain control, as he wasn’t bothered about his shredded hand or his pulverized hip at all…but it was interesting how he’d created that reality in his head, how he’d linked his own expectations to a negative feeling, and then looked for confirmation…and that’s the interesting thing…it’s self hypnosis!
And the truth is we do this “self hypnosis” to ourselves in our daily lives, all the time, mostly without even realising. We set up pictures in our minds and attach them to a negative feeling, we tell our minds that if that situation happens we’ll experience that emotion. And because the wonderful, creative, emotional part of our mind isn’t interested in logic or reason, it does exactly what we’ve asked it to do…
If this happens, I’ll feel that.
“I can’t even look at that, it’ll make me queasy.”
“If he looks at me that way again I’m going to flip…”
“If that phone rings one more time, I’ll…”
“I can’t do that, just thinking about it is making me anxious…”
“I can’t do that, I’m not good enough…”
It is easy to program your mind to look for those uncomfortable feelings and Negative Emotions. Just like the boy on the river bank, when we look for them, when we expect them to be there, we’ll find them.
And then, and this is the really important bit, your unconscious remembers those negative feelings.
You create an association. Then because you know it’s not pleasant to experience, and you don’t want to repeat that feeling, you’ll try to spot it happening. Your wonderful Brain will try to predict those things or anything that’s remotely similar, and then send you a signal in the form of the fight / flight / freeze anxiety threat response when it thinks that situation might occur.
Think about the next time that boy is tempted to try another cart wheel, what is he going to be most worried about, scuffing his hands or feeling sick again?
It’s amazing that he created that entirely with his words…
But, and here’s another important factor…it’s not only His own words, it’s not only ‘self’ hypnosis which creates the “If this, then that” language pattern.
Consider the level of threats we’ve been seeing and hearing on the news this past year, the political tension, the arguments, the conflict of opinions…scenes and images conveying emotion, loss of income, of freedom, maybe even the loss of loved ones…all that negative programming, predicting threat, it’s no wonder our minds are on constant high alert – why we’re so emotionally and mentally frazzled.
The real question though is, if we’re doing this all the time, and it’s happening all the time, can we hack the process and make it a positive one??
Can we use our own language to create amazing outcomes and healthy feelings?
100% Yes. When you start to become aware of those things you say which lead to those negative situations, thoughts, feelings and emotions, and you begin to untangle and update those internal language patterns, then amazing things begin to happen to your positivity, your self worth, your emotional state…
Words have power. Language shapes reality. Speak kindly to yourself, as you’re always listening…
If you’re ready to change the way you think and feel, and change your own reality, and ready to explore those language patterns and create yourself an amazing life, then let’s talk.