When you talk to a very young child, saying “No” something or “Don’t do” whatever sometimes has the opposite effect. For example, if you tell a child, “Don’t touch the stove,” they’re probably going to touch the stove. If you say, “No hitting,” they might hit you. It might be partly to find out what you’ll do if they disobey you, but in large part it’s also because they don’t register “don’t” or “no.” They only hear the verb, not the negative.

The Universe can be kind of like that. If you say, “I don’t want to be late for work,” what’s going to happen? Quite probably, you won’t be able to find something you need to bring with you, so you have to spend time looking for it. Or your car won’t start, or you hit every traffic light red on your commute. The end result is that you’re late for work, exactly as you said you didn’t want, because the Universe doesn’t register the “don’t.” It only registers the verb; it hears that you want to be late.

When you’re learning to consciously create your life, it’s important to learn to change your phrasing. After all, you’re trying to create the things you do want, right? Not the things you don’t want?

It’s part of typical human phrasing to speak about the “don’ts” and “nots.” We do it all the time. “Don’t forget this.” “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” “I don’t want to argue with you.” And so on. It’s just the way our language has developed, and some of us talk that way out of habit.

The problem is, that habit contributes to negatives and don’t-wants cropping up in our lives. I know every time I tell myself, “Don’t forget to do this,” I promptly forget to do it. Unless I write it down, of course, but even then, if I’m focused on “don’t forget,” I’m likely to misplace the note or be someplace where I can’t look at it.

One of the early steps in working with creating your own reality is creating more positive phrasing. Rather than saying, “Don’t forget,” why not just say, “Remember”? Instead of “Don’t talk with your mouth full,” we could say, “Keep your mouth closed while you’re chewing.” And instead of, for example, “I don’t want this job anymore,” as we’re telling the Universe what we’re trying to create, we could say, “I want a job where I feel happy and fulfilled.”

It can be a little tricky, because we need to be mindful of our thoughts as well as our spoken words. If you’re saying, “I want a job where I feel happy,” but you’re *thinking*, “I don’t want to work at this crappy job anymore,” you’re still sending out “don’t-want” messages to the Universe. Those messages affect the energy you put out, so your energetic vibration lowers and becomes negative. And you end up stuck in the same crappy job.

So as you’re altering the words you speak, you also need to alter the things you think. You need to alter, to the extent possible, how you feel about what you’re trying to change. If you find yourself speaking and thinking in positive terms but you still seem to be stuck with the don’t-want, take a look at your emotions. Are you angry about your current situation? Are you discouraged that things aren’t going your way? Those emotions also lower your vibration.

Shifting your emotions takes a lot of work as well. One thing that works really well for me, and for others I’ve talked to about this, is to imagine that you already have the thing you want. Not just think about it, but completely immerse yourself in a mental image of the situation where your “want” has come to pass. Feel the emotions you would feel in that abundantly positive situation, and let those emotions fuel the creation of that thing.

It’s really easy to fall into the trap of thinking about what you don’t want, or feeling negatively about what you have, rather than thinking of what you do want and how you’ll feel when you have it. I have to constantly check in with myself to be sure I’m wanting and feeling positive when I’m working on creating new pieces of my life. It’s a process, but one that is definitely worth the effort.

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