What do these all have in common:
“Don’t miss the deadline.” “Don’t forget your words.” “Don’t get creative block today.”
(And no, the word, “don’t”!)
Our brains struggle with negative things. See for yourself: try saying to yourself, “Don’t think of the colour Yellow.” Easy to say, hard to do once you’ve said it!
We get what we focus on, whether we want it or not.
“Don’t hit the curb, there’s a steep drop after it and you don’t want to go crashing down the side” isn’t a useful focus, then. But, “Keep your eyes on the road, this is a fun windy bit to make real smooth for my passengers” is a much better focus.
“Don’t miss the deadline” isn’t a useful focus, either. Instead, “I’ll make progress every day in line with my plan” is a much better focus.
“Don’t forget your words” is a doozie. Why not go with, “I love the words in this script, I’ve studied them well and can’t wait to share them with the audience” instead?
We can stop setting our brains up for failure by speaking in negatives.
Also, doesn’t it just feel better to focus on the positives, anyway?