Knock on Wood to Avoid Creating an Undesired Reality

Are you avoid talking about certain things because you’re afraid once you mention it, you’re tempting fate and a negative outcome will pursue? You’re not alone. In fact, this is quite common.

Let me give an example that all those who have tried to put kids to bed will definitely relate to.

I’m a father of two wonderful, highly spirited kids and occasionally it’s difficult to help them go to sleep. I know. That’s not the norm, but go with me for a sec.

So imagine you just spent an hour plus putting your kids down. You’re relaxing on the couch watching a show and you suddenly have a thought:

Wow, it’s been 30 minutes and the kids haven’t made a noise. I’m so glad they are finally asleep.

Notice that you only thought this. Why is that?

Why not say it out loud? It’s a great subject to talk with your spouse about. You can both relish in the fact that both of the kids are asleep and that you are finally enjoying some “alone time” together.

The answer is simple. Experience has taught you that once you say it out loud, you are tempting fate and as soon as you say it, the kids will wake up and start whining.

Some people are brave and go ahead and say it, but they knock on wood. Why would someone do that?

Well, there’s also a belief that the knocking sound prevents the Devil from hearing your unwise comments.[1]

Question: What things do you avoid talking about because you’re afraid you’d be tempting fate?