Here's Your Quiz

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What makes a good suggestion?

Here's Your Quiz

Look over these one-line suggestions, and see what you think or them and why. Do you agree with my analysis?


I will stop striking out.

I always hit a home run.

I swing the bat smoothly, in the groove, with perfect timing, and hit the ball solidly.

The first option, as you see, is not a good one, because it is phrased in the negative. The second is surely positive, but it is not realistic. The third concentrates on improving the process. This is something you can do. You may not have a perfect swing every time, but this approach will give you the attitude you need to improve your skills and your confidence. Phrase the suggestion in a way that is meaningful for you. If you are a baseball player, you will be able to come up with a better suggestion than this one.


I am a famous guitarist.

I am an expert guitar player.

I learn more from each guitar lesson and practice every day, playing better each day.

The first option here, although positive, is unrealistic. Chances are, the second is also not accurate although you can become expert. Now, if you are an expert who is suffering a problem with your confidence, this may be appropriate. For most guitar students, the third is the best option. It will give you the mindset to get the most from your sessions and continue to improve your playing.


I will stop eating junk food.

I dislike eating junk food.

I always eat healthy food.

The first option is negative. The second may be seen as negative or positive, but it is not realistic, though this approach does work for some people. The third is probably best, although it may not be realistic either. Don't dilute it with words like "'almost," which have a negative effect. "I eat healthy food and continue to improve my diet. I enjoy eating a healthy diet," may work better. See what works for you. You will know what matches your attitudes and goals. A variant of the second option does work for smoking cessation. In this, you convince yourself that cigarettes have a disgusting taste, and you will just throw any cigarette down and put it out because the taste is so revolting. You can try convincing yourself that fried food, for instance, is greasy and unpleasant. (It is greasy and after avoiding it for a while, it will seem unpleasant.) Analyze your own problems with food, and work on those.



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Tammi Reynolds