+Scott Watson

Thursday, 8 April 2010

How to curse effectively, part 2

I like fairy tales.

If you have read enough of them, you will know that very often there is an evil witch or a wicked stepmother who curses the poor, unfortunate hero or heroine.

It goes like this: "From now on, you are a frog (or beast, or sheep, or tea cup)!," and the hapless victim turns into that thing and is cursed to stay that way for all eternity - or until a prince comes along who can lift the curse.

And you know what? We curse ourselves on a regular basis!

Whenever we say to ourselves "I can't do this", we basically cut ourselves off from any chance of ever being able to do this thing - we cursed ourselves as effctively as any witch could do.

Think about it: we don't say that we might in future attempt it, we don't say that maybe we will succeed if we show enough persistence. No, we stopped ourselves from even attempting it.

"Can't" is the end of action.

The way to free ourselves (or others, who have put themselves in the same position) is to challenge this curse.

"I can't do it!"

"What would you do if you could?"
"You can't or you won't?"
"If there was a way to do it, what might it be?"

Same with ourselves: If we notice that we have stopped ourselves from taking action, we could ask empowering questions like "I wonder how somebody else might look at this?", "If I could do it, how would I?".

We have to be very careful with how we use language to empower and disempower ourselves.

Yes, we can!

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