Don’t jinx it!

April 11, 2021 By

For years I was on quite a profound level convinced that if I visualised, or even thought about something I wanted in too much detail, I would jinx it. “Don’t think about it or it won’t happen!” It was my mantra for years. I am clearly not alone in this: a Google search for “jinxing it” returns almost a million results. And we don’t limit ourselves in terms of what we believe we have the ability to jinx – exams, a job opportunity, our dream house, our favourite sports team’s performance, the list is long.

When we are afraid of jinxing it, we want the thing that we want to happen. We really do. So much that we are likely to get disappointed if it doesn’t, and to a large extent the notion of the jinx is our mind’s way of protecting us by not getting our hopes up. The more time we spent visualising ourself in that new job with the nice salary, or in the house by the sea that we’d always wanted, the bigger the disappointment if it doesn’t come through. That, mixed in with our normal dose of self-belief issues, of course, as well as cultural norms around being too big for your boots or flying too close to the sun.

But even if part of me could rationalise it to that extent, I found it really hard to shift the belief that if I did dare to dream, it was the most sureproof way of ensuring that whatever it was I wanted certainly wouldn’t happen.

How wrong was I?

It was only when I started to understand the power of visualisations and of fully leaning into big, bold and positive visions for my future self that that I was able to finally break free from it. By allowing myself to visualise my hoped-for future, I could suddenly see how doing so opened up new ways of thinking and actually allowed me to put a plan together to achieve what I wanted rather than creating imaginary stumbling blocks that in themselves hinder achievement.

Because the fear of jinxing it, ironically does the opposite of what we hope for when we invoke it. It closes us down to opportunities, it tells us to look away from the very thing that we want, to disregard it. And that makes us less likely to see opportunities, think of creative solutions to get to there, to think of alternatives if that hiring manager says no, or your dream house goes to someone else or you failed your exam. It tells us that this was your only shot, and that a negative result will crush you so hard that you need to be protected from it at all cost. But you are stronger than that. And you will never grow unless you throw yourself out there and reach for the sky.

So dream your ambitious dreams, visualise where you want to get to. It’s your best way forward.