Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right!

Posted by: Jo Banks

Date: 11-02-2015

Have you ever wondered why you can't find your keys, when they're right in front of you?  Here's why...

Have you ever wondered why you can search high and low for something and you can’t find it, just to have someone else find it in exactly the same place you’ve looked half a dozen times ... it was right under your nose all along? The reason for this is that your brain is wired to prove you right –‘What the Thinker Thinks, the Prover Proves’. No matter what it is that you tell yourself, for example,” I can’t find that ...” your brain immediately goes about trying to prove what you’ve just told it.

When I first heard this I thought it was it was possible but it sounded a bit ‘new age’, until I thought about a lovely bracelet that I’d lost. For weeks I had searched high and low for that bracelet ... you know the drill: under the sofa cushions; in the car; under the bed, every place I could imagine having put it and a few that I hadn’t (that was the desperation bit of me) all to no avail.

Then I remembered what I had been told about the brain proving what you tell it, so decided to give it ago. I set about looking for my bracelet whilst saying to myself “I’m going to find that bracelet and I’m going to find it in the next 2 minutes”. I walked upstairs, straight to my jewellery box (which I had searched at least 15 times and even emptied everything out at least a dozen times) and low and behold, there it was!

I’ve got to be honest, it did spook me out a bit at first, but I’ve been practicing this now for a couple of years and it never fails me.  Whenever I lose anything, I think “I’m going to find that [whatever the item is] in the next two minutes” and I ALWAYS do, without fail.  It’s fantastic – you’ll never lose your keys, wallet, phone ever again.  You just have to remember to talk in positive terms.

It’s a bit like saying to your child, “Don’t drop that” then what do they immediately do?  They drop it or you say, “Mind you don’t fall” and what do they promptly do?  Fall.  What you have to do is make your sentences into positive ones like, “Walk carefully” “Carry that carefully” – their ‘Prover’ will go about proving what you’ve said ie that they can walk/carry carefully.  Give it a go and see what results you get.  When I tell my clients about this, they are amazed when they see me again.  I’ve had some fantastic stories of how clumsy children have turned into little angels and things that have been lost (and thought to be gone forever) are found.

After analysing it over the last couple of years, the scariest thing that has occurred to me about that is that if my brain has proved that I can’t find something as simple as a bracelet, what else could I be proving to myself? Imagine all the negative things that we say to ourselves...  

  • “I’ll never get that job”
  • “I’m just not good enough”
  • “I can’t do/be/have that because ...”

According to this principle, once we tell ourselves something negative, our brain will then go about trying to prove we’re right. Therefore, by the same principle, if we tell ourselves something positive, our brains will go about trying to prove that.

There’s a quote that I’ve always loved that I think sums it up quite nicely:

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t – you’re right” Henry Ford

Give it a go ... once you find that item you’ve been searching for, a whole world of possibilities will open up and just think how you could transform your relationship with your kids!


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JO's FIRST BOOK: Thoughts Become Things

Visit the website for Jo Banks' first book, Thoughts Become Things now available in paperback and Kindle formats.