The Write Stuff

By Michelle Dresbold, an EO Speaker

It may not seem extreme, but believe it or not, a lot can be learned about how you live and work from the way you dot your “i” or cross your “t.” Did you know that changing your handwriting can increase your self-esteem, create more opportunities and help you achieve even greater success in work and life?

Handwriting therapy works on the principle that behavioral changes can effect psychological changes. Numerous studies have shown that the physical act of laughing actually helps strengthen the immune system. Similarly, your writing drags downhill when you feel sad; forcing your hand to write uphill will make you feel more upbeat.

In my years of experience analyzing the correlation between handwriting and human nature, I’ve uncovered a few tricks that create lasting impressions. Here are five writing suggestions that can help you be more successful in your professional and personal life:

  1. Get to the top by writing uphill. When you write, use unlined paper and make a conscious effort to write slightly uphill. More than 90 percent of the top players in almost every career have handwriting that slopes upward.
  2. Follow your dreams by following through on your t-bars. Cross your “t” high, strong and firm. A “t” that is consistently crossed high with a firm stroke shows a writer who sets high goals and has the determination to go after them.
  3. Clean up your “o”s and “a”s to communicate better. Make your “o” and “a” letters very clear. These are the communication letters. Get rid of all the extra gunk, blobs, squiggles and curly-cues inside your “o”s and “a”s and you’ll find that your communication skills will be more effective.
  4. Align yourself for success. You’ll feel more confident in public if you underscore your signature with one simple underline.
  5. Develop an even disposition by controlling your pugilistic “p’’s. Writers who are overly argumentative often make their lowercase “p” with an initial stroke that spikes far above the rounded part of the letter. Learn to control your spikes and you just might start hearing new things, like the words your associate was trying to get out before you interrupted him.

Handwriting therapy has helped me make some effective changes in my own life. For example, when I first started studying handwriting analysis, my teacher took one look at my writing and said: “Michelle, you’ve sure got a ‘pugilistic p.’ I bet you love to argue!” “What! Me? No way!” I insisted. And yet, as I observed my interactions with others, it was true.

So, I decided to change my handwriting. Every time I wrote, I consciously made my “p” without a high initial stroke. Changing the way I made my letters wasn’t enough, though. As I was writing each “p,” I repeated to myself, “I listen when others talk, don’t interrupt and calmly resolve issues.” And it worked! As my writing changed, a gentler, non-confrontational Michelle emerged. Now when I disagree with people, I’m not nearly as disagreeable.

Knowing how to change my handwriting has been a powerful tool in my professional life, too. After I graduated from college, I floundered for years. I knew that I needed to change something, but what and how? I started by changing one seemingly minor thing that I could see and control: the letter “t” in my handwriting.

The horizontal cross bars on my “t”s were wimpy. They stopped short, going only halfway through the “t” and barely crossing through the stem. Like my cross bars, I wasn’t following through on the things that were important to me in life. I decided to work on it. As I wrote my “t”s strong, firm and complete, I would repeat, “I know what I want, and I go for it.” Since then, many of my dreams have become a reality. I became a regular handwriting consultant for the police, I’ve published a book and I’ve spoken about handwriting on television and at conferences around the world.

If you think that adjusting your handwriting won’t make much of a difference, think again. Handwriting is a pathway to the brain, so if you can change your handwriting, you can change the way you think. And if you can change the way you think, you can change your life!

Categories: Best Practices Lessons Learned Productivity

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