WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK:
- "I am a writer." – believing what you say.
The human brain is designed to respond in a very specific way. They way respond is hardwired in a manner that allows us to quickly navigate our environment and survive. For example, if you have not eaten in a few hours and you see a picture of your favourite food, it’s likely you’ll feel hungry. As recently as thirty or forty years ago, even in western societies, food was not readily abundant—so if good food was on offer, it was sensible to eat, even if we weren’t really hungry.
Obviously this hardwiring in our brain is doing us no favours now with the obesity epidemic—however our brain is littered with millions of these hardwired reactions and when we understand how they work we can use them to our advantage.
We are also hardwired to believe things people say—to a certain degree. If someone says: “Don’t follow the eastern path, it’s dangerous.” We would reconsider following the eastern path—or at least, be careful when doing so. If five people told us the eastern path was dangerous, we’d be even less likely to do use it. If everyone we knew told us the eastern path was dangerous, we probably wouldn’t go there. Have you ever stuck your hand in liquid nitrogen? I’d assume not, if you still have two hands. We can say, scientifically, sticking your hand in liquid nitrogen is bad. We believe this, because we have been told and possibly seen evidence—even though it could, technically, be a huge complicated lie.
If you hear things enough, your natural inclination is to believe them. It’s wise to fight this inclination in many cases, but you can also use it to literally change your own behaviour through repetition.
Put up a sign (or several) where you will see it every day. Have it say something positive and general. Mine says: “I am a writer.”
Don’t be too specific. Don’t say: “I write 1000 words a day.” Or “I will be published this year.” If this doesn’t come true, it will cause cognitive dissonance.
However you could say: “I am a brilliant writer.” Or “I enjoy writing every day.”
You could also put up a sign that says: “I am beautiful.”, “I love my wife.” or “I make healthy choices.”
All of these things will slowly be imprinted into your brain as ‘true facts’ through repetition. This is exactly how advertising works, by the way.
Make it work for you!
Copyright Talitha Kalago. 2011