From time to time, you come across a piece of advice that really impacts on one’s thinking and has the potential to shift the outlook of anyone who is challenged by self-doubt, when faced with a difficult situation or an exciting opportunity.
Over the past week I have been listening to Debbie Ford’s book ‘The Dark Side of the Light Chasers’ and at one point, she talks about how our language impacts significantly on whether we take action to realise our desires, or keep ourselves stuck where we are.
Take the example of a project that I am contemplating right now; starting a podcast. The usual way that we approach such ‘step outside of our comfort zone’ projects is to say something like:
“I would really love to do a podcast BUT I…don’t know where to start, or don’t have the money to buy the equipment or don’t think people would be interested in what I have to say.”
As a result, the idea stalls at the first hurdle and typically gets filed under the section called ‘Life Regrets’.
Instead, she suggests replacing ‘BUT’ with ‘AND’ in order to open up the closed idea to new possibilities and choices. So it now reads:
“I would really love to do a podcast AND I…don’t know where to start, or don’t have the money to buy the equipment or don’t think people would be interested in what I have to say.”
You now have an unfinished sentence that is crying out for a conclusion and in creating that conclusion you have a choice, you can say… “SO, I am going to drop that idea and do nothing more” or you can say… “SO, I am going to talk to someone who runs a podcast to get more information”.
You are forced to make a conscious decision, one way or the other, and in most cases people will actually decide to do something to at least explore the possibility further.
And as it happens, that is exactly what I have done in relation to creating a new podcast. It will focus on speaking with business owners about themselves, their challenges and their successes, and I am excited to get it launched after having got past my initial reservations and negative thinking about it using this technique.
And so, back to you, let’s look at your idea, plan, dream or goal and apply the substitution technique:
“I would love to………… AND I am concerned about/afraid of/don’t know how to……….. SO, I am going to take the following action………….!”
Is it alive again?
Can you see the possibilities?
Has a solution just appeared?
Has the task just become a little less difficult?
It has for me. That’s why I thought it might be a game changer for you too.
Photo by Mark Wieder on Unsplash