The word ‘’Procrastination’’ is such a word which keeps on changing our lifestyle since the era of Adam & Eve. Each & every person on this earth has experienced procrastination. Now, some people like it & some people don’t and in my perception those who like it, are going to procrastinate for the rest of their lives. That’s it end of story! But wait, for those who don’t, I have something for them.
Researchers at the Houston & Boston College found that our self talk can have a huge impact on our behavior. These researchers discovered that something as simple as changing the word ‘’can’t’’ with ‘’don’t’’ can have a huge impact on our activities. It can make the difference between taking a good action–say, declining that sweet pastry or going to gym or taking a not-so-good-action—say, having just a small bite of that pastry or skipping the gym.
The words “can’t’’ & ‘’don’t’’ may seem to be easily interchangeable but they actually have a huge difference in psychological impact.
Telling yourself (or others) that you ‘’can’t’’ do something persuades the mind that you would very much like to do it but, you’re denying it yourself. That you’re exerting will power. On the other hand the word ‘’don’t’’ is far more empowering. Imagine somebody saying ‘’ I don’t drink’’ or ‘’ I don’t eat fast food’’. By using the word ‘’don’t’’, you convince your mind the idea that you’re not the kind of person who does that.
At the end of the study, the researchers offered a choice of either a granola bar or a chocolate bar as a matter of appreciation for the involvement in the study. The participants who had been taught to say ‘’ I don’t’’ were almost as likely to (64% v/s 39%) to choose the healthier option than the ‘’I can’t’’ participants.
Likewise, it was seen that participants who were working towards a goal related to physical fitness & health were 8 times more likely to take a bad action (such as eating junk food or skipping the gym) if they told themselves “I can’t”. While 8 out of 10 of those using the “I don’t” formulas were able to resist such temptations.
So, whenever you catch yourself telling yourself (or anyone) that you can’t have this or do that, simply swap it for a “I don’t do this”.