Everybody knows that black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking gets us into trouble. Beliefs like, “You’re either with us or against us” are not only inaccurate, but can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Not because they’re true (they aren’t), but because the belief blinds you to alternatives that are right in front of you.
“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” and I’ll show you a simple trick that’s pretty good at bringing things back into your field of vision.
The trick? Take hard-edged, absolute statements like “I can’t,” or “always,” or “never,” and loosen them up:
Turn “I Can’t” Into “I Haven’t Yet”
Often people remember this one when talking to children. The child says, “I can’t ride a bike,” and the adult replies, “Not yet.”
“Not yet” is a magical phrase, from a hypnotist’s point of view, because it admits that the future might be different from the past. No guarantees, but it emphasizes the possibility.