DON’T READ THIS ARTICLE: How the Mind Understands Instructions

Because of how the brain processes language and images, we have ingrained programming to make a picture or concept of an instruction or command sequence, even if preceded by the word “don’t.” The mind remembers the positive image, and drops the negative qualifier ‘not’ and the body inadvertently executes the imaged action. The same effect occurs in warnings or commands stated negatively in child rearing and in work settings. Furthermore, this can happen in cautions in self-talk in worry about the future. The way out of the box is the installation of positive instruction that is a behavior that contradicts or inhibits the mistake. In other words, delete a negative instruction and substitute the corrective action stated in positive terms and images.

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