One of my wonderful coaching clients kindly sent me this adorable little fellow this week to celebrate 7 years of Arch inspire. He now has pride of place in my office and I've called him Archie!
The 'pink elephant' paradox is significant for my client, as during our coaching we have focused on exploring, visualising, clarifying and cementing:
-what they do want as opposed to what they don't want
-what they do have as opposed to what they don't
-the skills/talents they possess as opposed to those they don't (yet)
-what makes them unique and talented as opposed to only focusing on those areas they still want to develop
-who the people are in their work and in their life that lift them higher as opposed to those people who pull them down
The Pink Elephant Paradox illustrates that by trying to suppress a thought it is likely to make it more intrusive. This can negatively result in experiencing persistent negative emotions which can impact our focus and lead to poor decision making - it's not at all good for us physically or mentally.
I use this paradox with many of my clients, when at the start of their coaching they may often share with me; all the things they don't want, all the things they are not in their eyes, all the things they don't have, all the things they wish they'd done differently. When I say the following: 'Whatever you do now, do not think of a pink elephant' - of course, one pops into their head. It works the same with how we view and regard ourselves - keep telling yourself what you don't have or what you can't do and guess what?…that becomes your focus.
By replacing these negative statements with 'towards' language it helps to stop the negative statements to fester, take over and spiral. Try it today....
-I can't versus I can
-I don't like versus I do like
-It won't work versus it will work
-I have failed versus I have learnt
-I don't want versus I do want
-I'm not sure I can versus I will do my best
Have a great weekend ahead!