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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 24-May-06

 


Wednesday 24-May-06

Trying stuff

Whenever I have a sticky problem that doesn't fall into place right away, I quickly get to a point where I feel frustrated and need to take another tack. You might have felt this tension too, when the way forward is like treacle, fog, or some other inhibiting annoyance.

What I and others have found is that talking about the problem out loud can sometimes work wonders when thinking is not enough.

Vocalizing engages the brain through the ears, forcing it to respond as if someone else asked. This different perspective is often enough to trigger the mind to think differently about the problem. If you find this a little embarrassing, you can can try 'rubber ducking', where you explain the issue to an understanding friend who just nods their head like a rubber duck.

A key point here is that when one method isn't working, it doesn't mean that no other method will work. A change is as good as a rest, as they say, which is also true when changing minds. If one method doesn't work, don't bang your head against a brick wall--try another method instead.

The biggest problem with trying stuff is not the stuff (changingminds.org is packed with stuff): it's the trying. When your favorite method doesn't work, it is easy to assume that nothing else will work. Yet the fact is that you don't know until you try.

So go on: expand your toolbox. Keep trying new ways to change minds. And if one way doesn't work, don't worry! There's plenty more techniques in the website.

[A quick test: did you notice that I used the feel-felt-found technique earlier -- sorry, just practicing what I preach...]


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