What is the persuasion role of self persuasion?
This week, I’ll share with you a few items in order to answer the question, ‘What is the persuasion role of self-persuasion?’ First, I wish to point out that I end my live persuasion training program by telling my groups that the one thing you must believe in order to be persuasive is simply this: “I can do this.”
This statement is about self persuasion, about what you tell yourself is true before you set out to do a thing. Subjectively, things are true because you say they are. So what do you want to say to yourself? What do you want to be true? What truth empowers you to use your resources and be persuasive, effective, capable?Contrast this with “This is hard,” or “I can’t remember all this,” or some other truth that is naught but a fiction until you make it real by persuading yourself of it. It just seems obvious to me, and necessary for you, to understand that the most important person to persuade is always yourself. To use self persuasion effectively, I’m cognizant that there is a remedial side to it, and a generative side. Let me explain.
Remedial is about dealing with old stuff, old conditioned ideas about what is so. Interestingly, our minds are organized in such a way that whatever you believe is true, you will find evidence and support for it. That doesn’t make those ideas true, but if you think they are or feel they are, you’ll act as if they are and look for proof.
Today I spoke with a friend at length about dealing with fear and anxiety. This friend is recovering from a major life-changing surgery. This friend has had enough of playing out old conditioning. I shared with my friend my useful assumption that we never escape from our childhood conditioning, nor should we, nor should we want to. That conditioning is what got us from there to here. It worked, it helped us survive, and no matter how screwy it seems in this moment of life, at a previous moment, it somehow made perfect sense. Instead of dissociating from that old conditioning, I prefer to be informed by it, to be reminded by it of what is true for me now.
How about you? Your comments are welcome. I’ll continue this in my next post. For now, I’m off to Macworld. Back to you in a couple of days…
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.