Connect with us

Life

The Most Important Psychology Hack You Should Know

Avatar

Published

on

Changing your thoughts can change your life

How many times have you seen a sign that says “Don’t touch; wet paint” and wanted to touch the wet paint? How many times have you seen that sign, ignored it, and done the thing you’ve been explicitly told not to do?

If you’re anything like me, I’m guessing a lot! (But maybe I’m just a rebel like that.) Don’t think of a red tree. Did you think of the red tree? You thought of the tree, didn’t you? Even though I specifically told you not to think of a red tree…that’s what you did.

Weird, right? Maybe this seems funny. But it also touches on deeply rooted psychological forces that influence our everyday experience and our relationship with ourselves.

 

Be careful what you tell yourself

How many times have you said to yourself…“Don’t mess this up,” or “Don’t be an idiot,” or “I don’t want to fail”?

Psychologically, what do you think happens when you say these things? Your mind latches onto messing up, being an idiot, being a failure. The unconscious mind can’t handle the word “don’t.” The concept doesn’t compute. The math doesn’t make sense.

When you say “I don’t want to fail,” you’re giving your brain nearly infinite ideas to ponder over. Infinity minus one, to be precise. The one being “don’t fail.”

Not very good odds. Because your brain can’t possibly comprehend all of these possibilities, it focuses on the one thing you have given it: failingYou end up focusing on the one thing you didn’t want to focus on.

 

Change what you’re telling yourself

What would happen if you changed “I don’t want to fail” to “I want to succeed”?

It would be like changing “don’t think of a red tree” to “think of a red tree”. When you don’t want to think of a red tree, you end up thinking about a red tree because “infinity minus one” possibilities is too many to handle. You’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re directly undermining your intention.

On the other hand, when you want to think of a red tree, it’s easy to call it to mind. You choose to think of something you want. You choose to be specific over being abstract.

If you live your life saying “I don’t want”, thinking about all the things you don’t want, that’s exactly what you’ll end up with.

If you live your life saying “I want”, thinking about all the specific things you do want, that’s exactly what you’ll end up with.

What experience do you have with this method? Has it worked for you? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Daniel DiPiazza is the Founder of Rich20Something, where he writes about starting a business you care about, living a happier life, and occasionally, bacon. If you liked this article, be sure to join the Tribe by signing up for his free newsletter.

Advertisement
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Silvia Turonova

    Jun 30, 2016 at 1:21 am

    Hey, Daniel. Very interesting post. It makes so much sense what you have described. Unfortunately, we often don’t realize it. Thanks for an excellent article.

  2. Avatar

    Tim Denning

    Jun 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Hey Daniel thanks for sharing this idea. I use this psychology method to ensure that I trick myself into doing things that I may not necessarily be good at. It’s very powerful when used in the right way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

10 Life Lessons I Learned in 2020 and What to Expect Next

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

The year 2020 has been full of ups and downs. And it is something that this generation has never been through before. And like most people, I put a lot of effort into planning, organizing, and setting goals for everything I wanted to achieve. The beginning of the year 2020 was great until the pandemic hit, everything changed. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

10 Remarkable Lessons From an Unconventional School Teacher

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell is the founder of The Freedom Writers Foundation, created to inspire and show young people a better way of life. An educator by profession, she has worked with high school students and inspired change through her unique teaching methods. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

3 of the Most Important Life Lessons You Can Learn From Sports

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

Among the many values of sports, there are three special lessons that transition flawlessly into life. Every successful person I have ever worked with has developed these three concepts. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

How to Crush Fear, Beat Imposter Syndrome, and Create a Fulfilled Life

Avatar

Published

on

Image Credit: Unsplash

If you spent time studying greatness and the leaders who went before us and created success, you’d see a group of individuals that came to understand the power of a strong mindset.  The word “mindset” is described as “a mental attitude or inclination” by Merriam-Webster. It’s one of the leading indicators of creating success, accomplishing goals, and living a fulfilled life. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending