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The Pink Elephant Paradox

Happy Friday!

I wanted to share a reminder today of the ‘Pink Elephant Paradox’. 

The Pink Elephant Paradox illustrates that by trying to suppress a thought, it is likely to make it more intrusive. This can result in experiencing persistent negative emotions which can impact our focus and lead to poor decision making, it’s also not 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 find it more easy to share with me; 

  • all the things they don't want, 

  • all the things they don’t consider themselves to be, 

  • all the things they don't have, 

  • all the things they wish they'd done differently 

  • all the things they don’t see themselves as capable of…..

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 and statements, it helps to stop the negative and limiting emotions and beliefs to fester, take over and spiral. Instead, using towards language and towards statements help to empower us to give it go, do our best and release what we are truly capable of. 

Try these out today…

  • I don’t want ➡️ I do want

  • I can't ➡️ I can

  • I don't like ➡️ I do like

  • It won't work ➡️ It will work

  • I have failed ➡️ I have learnt

  • 'm not sure I can ➡️ I will do my best

  • I am not good at ➡️ I am good at

  • -I won’t ➡️ I will

The more you challenge yourself to do this, the more opportunity you have to embed a ‘towards’ habit. 

Have a great weekend ahead!


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