Monday, 1 October 2018

Can't - it would seem we and computers do have something in common

Next time you say you "can't" do anything you might want to remember that, since it confuses website search engines, it's no wonder it confuses your mind.
Let me explain - you'd think it would be easy enough to find the above book on online book sites?

Fuelled with the enthusiasm you'd expect from me as book launch got close, and the knowledge that Can't see the wood for the trees was being stocked by many a bookseller, I was disappointed I couldn't find it - just nil returns and being told there was no such book etc.

"How will anyone find it" I cried.   

Thankfully I eventually did find my book, with many successful searches being via other word searches, for example Alison Smith, Wood for the Trees, and Landscaping your Life. (Which means of course you can buy the book on all these sites
GoodreadsBarnes and NobleWHSWaterstonesDeep BooksInner TraditionsIndieBound, & Findhorn Press *)

The searches just didn't understand nor accept can't!

You know me I love a good metaphor - and this is SUCH a great metaphor. 

When you say you can't do anything, just like a computer, we're going to get a big juicy nil return. And I'm not sure that's what we want when we use that word.
  • I can't swim fast
  • I can't market myself 
  • I can't find the answer 
  • I can't get unstuck
  • I can't get back on track 
  • I can't etc
When I'm moaning about the weights my personal trainer has just increased, and I am saying "I can't do that", he often replies with "You mean you won't even try!"

He's right - like us when we use the word can't the website searches gave up and didn't even try! It's as if we get bored before we even get to the end of the sentence, and move onto another conversation!

The problem is, these are all statements where we're looking for an answer or alternative solution, and a nil return isn't going to give us that.

Which means, if we really do want to shift a situation we need to get clearer about what we do want.
  • I want to swim quicker
  • I want to learn how to market myself better, or find someone who can do that for me 
  • I want to find the answer
  • I want to get unstuck 
  • I want to get back on track 
Which then instils within us a desire to develop an action plan to achieve the goal. 

Even I can not is better than I can't as I support the belief that we can't compute not either - for example try not thinking about an elephant and let me know how you get on.   

Without the not at least it means we've translated the words to:
  • I can swim fast
  • I can market myself 
  • I can find the answer 
  • I can get unstuck
  • I can get back on track 
Which would have us finding ways of making it a reality.

As I say often in this blog WORDS HAVE POWER. You have a choice every day therefore whether the words you use help or hinder you achieving your objectives. **

Which of course that is what Can't see the wood for the trees is all about - using the words we're using to describe being stuck, and using the landscape contained within them to get unstuck.

Always happy to come and conduct a word audit for you or your teams to help you dispense with those unhelpful and downright barrier building words - coaching, speaking and training too.

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life 
Unlocking the patterns that are holding you back

You'll find our more about, the book here, and the book launch where we visited four Fife landscapes here.

* Amazon UK's search has now learnt it needs to accept the full title, and when you start typing Can't see the wood for the trees it comes up as an option (which the geek in me find very satisfying).

** Posts written about the unintended consequences of the words we use include: No Pain no GainJuggling balls or spinning plateslife got in the waytreading water, needing to be on the same page as othersturning over a new leaftesting the water and even following our dreams.

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