The first one I want to talk about today is negative programming. In the book, Helmstetter mentions that most children by the age of 18 have heard the word no and what they cannot do an average of 148,000 times. They've heard what they CAN do much less frequently. Now whether the number he gives is accurate or not isn't really important. Because the fact that we tell children what not to do much more than what to do is a fact. Helmstetter spends a lot of time talking about how our brains only know to do what we tell it to do. For children, we are programming them from a very young age what they can't do. "Don't run in the house", "Don't jump on the bed", "Don't hit your sister". What children need to know is what they can do. "You may run in place or you may run outside", "You may jump on the floor or sit on the bed", "If your sister took a toy away, use your words and tell her to give it back". Even as adults, if I tell you "Don't think about pink elephants". What are you thinking about right now? Pink elephants. But if I say, "Think of yourself as a kind and caring person", what are you thinking of now? In other words, what we say to ourselves (and others) matters a lot! Here's something else to consider-what we say to children when they are young becomes their inner voice.
So today I want to challenge you to spend some time thinking about those internal messages you tell yourself. Try to start re-programming them. Instead of "I'm so tired", try telling yourself "I'm full of energy and I will get a lot accomplished today". Instead of "I'm so stupid, I shouldn't have done that", try "I made a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. I've learned from this mistake and will not do it again".
We are going to talk some more about negative programming in tomorrow's post, so stay tuned.