My older cousin, Tammy, was also in the same tree. She was hanging on the first big limb, about ten feet below me. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I remember my dad's voice over the wind yell, "Bart, Hold on tightly." So I did. The next thing I know, I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs, laying flat on the ground. She had fallen out of the tree.
In fact, people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling, her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling, then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined. Whereas, my eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly.
The only way to properly visualize not doing something is to actually find a word for what you want to do and visualize that.
Ø But: Negates any words that are stated before it.
Ø Try: Presupposes failure.
Ø If: Presupposes that you may not.
Ø Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener..
Ø Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.
Ø Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen implies guilt
Ø Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
Ø Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.
Toxic phrase: "Don't drop the ball!"
Likely result: Drops the ball
Better language: "Catch the ball!"* *
Toxic phrase: "You shouldn't watch so much television."
Likely result: Watches more television.
Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid.