Do Not Do: Don’t

The word “don’t” isn’t realized or actuated by the body. There’s no command of action in it.

Don’t spill the coffee, is heard by the body as, “spill the coffee.” Don’t, is not the same as to give the implicit meaning inherent in the action word spill.

Think its just mumbo jumbo? Just think back to the last time you were doing some minor tasks recently. As you’re making a sandwich, fixing a project, ______________ (fill in the blank). How many times can you remember saying to yourself, “OK, whatever you do just don’t spill anything, or don’t drop it, or…
Then you find yourself suddenly infuriated with yourself because that’s exactly what you just did.

Usually this happens when you’re rushing. And, you’ll more than likely lay the blame at the feet of: “You were rushing!” However, I’ll contend the “rushing” part only helped to up the average of it happening. (As in greasing the wheels of helping to foster its conclusion. Not the sole reason that rushing by itself is conceived to have.)

Just look at the difference in the power of this one example below for clues. Where just maybe the reasons why you’re having any difficulty moving away from, changing or breaking a habit, or a myriad of others (that only you can address) might just be in how you’re asking yourself to move, or deal, with anything. i.e.,

Don’t do that! (As opposed to) I will not do that!

One statement leaves ambiguity and gives no clear commands as to do or not do something. The other is directed far more positively as to achieve the same. After all, if research is showing the mind or body will lean towards then acting as if it heard Don’t do that!”  How is ambiguity not present? Whether it does or doesn’t is up for chance is it not?

Top this off with the normal trait where one tries not to think about something, i.e., “not doing this or that.” Only to then think even more about it. You can then start or run a vicious circle in your mind that would make a black hole blush.

You need to make sure your concentration of efforts are placed on the empowering aspects of self talk. Not on the ambiguous. Even if you disagree with the premise what is not up for question is the “don’t” example does not have the same power of determination contained within as the “will not.”

Why is such a small detail so important? Well, just think about how the above fits in backed with a summation about thoughts from the book, Antifragile: Things that gain from disorder Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Nov. 27. 2012 Random House)

(I’m paraphrasing)

“Like tormenting love. Some thoughts are so antifragile that you feed them by trying to get rid of them. Turning them into obsessions. Physiologists have shown the irony of the process of thought control, The more energy you put into trying to control your ideas and what you think about the more your ideas end up controlling you.”

If the statement of the more we try as to not think about something, only makes us think of it more. Backed with the idea that we may be asking ourselves the wrong way to get a desired result. Is it not logical to use this information for what it shows at face value and just command ourselves to make the desired actions rather, than just leave it up to chance to be run over, and over, and over again giving us exactly what we didn’t want?

Don’t think about it!

© 2013 Mark St.Cyr