Power of Suggestion

To understand the Power of Suggestion, you need to appreciate the nature of suggestion and how it works. For example, suggestions should always be in the positive.

If you read ‘don’t think of a black cat’, what do you think of? If only at a subconscious level, you probably thought of a black cat.

That is because you have to think about each word before understanding the grammar. The unconscious works in the same way. So if you think to yourself ‘don’t worry, don’t worry‘ you are actually programming yourself to worry, because ‘worry’ is being repeated to your subconscious. Do you see how this works? This is a useful tip for everyday life. For example it is more influential to say ‘please be on time‘ rather than ‘please don’t be late‘. When someone asks you how you are, answering ‘not bad‘ will leave the word ‘bad’ lingering in their subconscious, which they may then associate with you. So first tip for the power of suggestion: the subconscious takes things literally, one word at a time, and processes all the associations for those words.

TRICK OF THE MIND

As you stare at the dot below, allow the colours to disappear completely as you realise just how flexible your mind really is …now

The power of suggestion is based on the psychological mechanism that whatever the subconscious accepts, it acts on. This could be a negative comment blasted down from a parent, a goal that is repeated every night, a self-image belief etc. So the whole idea to use the power of suggestion is to find ways to communicate to the subconscious. This could be to yourself, it could be to others. How do you sneak suggestions past the critical conscious mind – the ‘bouncers’ or ‘guards’ of the subconscious?

One method to enhance the power of suggestion is repetition. Think of advertising, or songs on the radio. So remember to repeat the same suggestions with no less confidence or enthusiasm each time you do it. Of course they can also be amazingly powerful when only used once, as this is often how phobias are caused. Self Hypnosis is something that you can get good at and learn more about the more you practice. It is helpful to practice a few times each day, if only for a few minutes.

Another way to boost your power of suggestion? If suggesting to others, you could ‘mark out’ the suggestion by using ‘embedded commands’. You could mark them out by slightly changing your voice, tone, a body movement, a tilt of the head, any subtle difference that the subconscious will recognise, but the conscious mind won’t. E.g. ‘Its amazing how the sun can make you feel good‘ or ‘yes I can see you were feeling angry, but I wonder if you can relax and calmly explain how you would like to feel better‘.

There are many other examples of the power of suggestion, including implication, distraction, association, or metaphor.

Suggestion for goal setting

  • Repeat to yourself in positive terms what you need to do, or be, to attain the goal, in present terms. For example ‘you are confident’.

  • Imagine telling yourself about a time when you have displayed confidence. See, hear, feel, smell, experience the memory in all its detail, focussing on how confident you felt (or determined, focussed, happy, powerful etc).
  • Then think about a future event.
  • Visualise yourself as you would like to be, in every detail.
  • Rewind it in your mind’s eye, and replay it but stepping inside the body of yourself, and experiencing those details from the inside.
  • Do this a few times for different situations.
  • End with the goal, even if you have used it already, visualising yourself and knowing how it feels to have achieved that goal in every detail.

I hope that this has shown you some ways in which the power of suggestion can work. Just remember – what the subconscious accepts, it acts on. That is really all it does. It works like software in a computer. So make sure your suggestions, words, intonation and beliefs are positive, and accept them. If you find this difficult, you may have opposing beliefs or previously accepted ‘software’ conflicting. The Power of Suggestion is just one small element of hypnotic psychology – so continue to browse the site to learn more about how this works.

Just a suggestion.

32 thoughts on “Power of Suggestion”

  1. I am doing a science fair project about the power of suggestion that will be used against an eye-witness of a fake crime
    it was very confusing at first but this sight has made it clearer and given me a few ideas to try on my friends
    if you have any other info about this topic please email me at rainbowfish90210@gmail.com

  2. Hi Dimitri
    There were some famous studies by Loftus and Loftus in the seventies who investigated a similar thing. Witnesses were asked questions such as “did you see the broken headlight?” (when there was no broken headlight), and also asked after an earlier leading question such as “how fast do you think the car was going as it smashed into the other car?” (the word ‘smashed’ obviously offering the suggestion of a broken headlight). Choose your words carefully and ‘act as if’ and you may very well lead your witness down a few distorted memories!
    WW

  3. What a coincidence! This is also very helpful since I, as well, am doing my science fair project on the power of suggestion.

  4. Hi Rosey, these science fairs sound great! If I was doing one, I’d do it on the power of suggestion too. On a series called People Watchers last year, they opened an empty bottle to an audience, asking them to raise their hand when they could smell the powerful odour within. Sure enough, people at the front started putting up their hand, this suggestion along with the hypersensitivity and suggestion of smell made the next row start to put up their hands and so on. Everyone reported a different smell! It was very interesting.

  5. they did for me but when i thought about why im doing this or this wont work they caame back but when i thought of how black and small the dot was they began to drift away.

  6. It worked and then i left it for a while…. i then came back and didn’t read the suggestion and focused on the dot and it didn’t work. Interesting.

    Suggestion is a powerful tool.

  7. I am doing ‘the power of suggestion’ project aswell.
    I never new how powerful the suggestion is….
    Do you have any suggestions on what I should have them look at to remember? I saw how on other sites I was on that using a poster of faces would be the best. I am still not exactly clear on what to get though…

    :) Thanks..

  8. im doing a project on how the power of suggestions effects peoples taste ie the word diet im so glad 4 your website but has there been any times when your experiments didn’t work? pls reply to hlk0703@gmail.com

  9. Hi,
    I also am doing a science fair project on the power of suggestion, but I’m not sure how i should test it. Any suggestions?

  10. I am doing a persuasive speech. I am trying to figure out what I can use as a visual aid to make my point stronger. Any suggestions?

  11. I am also doing my science fair project on the power of suggestion. And Will, the science fair project is a big project students do in school (most from 9-12 grade). You research a topic and do an experiment on it. Maddi, if it helps mine is going to be with food. I don’t want to give to much away though because it is a competition at some point.

  12. im doing a science fair project on this as well and i have come up with a way to test it.

    1. get your teacher to help you
    2. the teacher will hand out a board game (any game works) and says, “class, i am giving this game to my son/nephew for his birthday and i want you guys to try it out and tell me if you find it fun or not, i have already tried it and i loved the game”
    3. at the end have your teacher to tally how many people liked it and how many did not
    4. are they less likely to enjoy it if she/he had said that he/her had found it boring? and did they enjoy it more because she said that she enjoyed it?

    there are tons of variations on this if you dont like this exact experiment

    1. Hi Science Fairers,
      Here’s some neat ideas.
      1) Ask people to come closer… towards a big sealed jar on a table. Say that there is a pungent smell in the jar, but that different people will pick up on different scents depending on their olfactory sensitivity. To some it will smell like rotten eggs… to others a kind of toxic smell. Then open the lid, and keep offering suggestions that it might take a while for the smell to reach them. Ask people to put up their hand when they can smell something. Hopefully, someone towards the front will soon raise their hand… if they do, it will contribute to the suggestive force to those behind. (Of course, there is nothing in the jar).
      2) If doing a speech or presentation, say that in a moment you’re going to ask a random volunteer to come up to the front, where you’re going to ask them some tricky questions. Then, without speaking, look around the room, pensively, as if searching for the right person. Look everyone in the eye if you can. Then after a few moments, say that you were just kidding – but ask people to put their hand up who felt a horrible feeling inside. A cruel little trick – but through suggestion, by installing the imagination of being out at the front, you changed their body state.
      Will

  13. i have read the book called “The Master Key System”, to be honest, i like that book, as i am sure so many of you do, becuase it is such a famous book very well written. However, the information i find here, is very very good. and i want to learn more about power of suggestion and how i could i use it on otherS, “lets say i am a salesman, and i want people to accept my suggestion, then how do i do it???? what are the ways or body language or structure involved in trasfering that sneaky suggestion i want to be planted in to the customers subconscious mind….

    i really want to learn. please guide me!

  14. I am doing my science fair on the power of suggestion and would love to see more ideas on this subject…..i am in 7th grade and am very interested in doin this and am excited that i might have a chance to win the science fair award or whatever they do:) i love projects that have to do with the human mind and body :) and things that have to do with reactions

  15. Thanks for this article I have recently done an experiment on the power of suggestion. it somprises of cutting a cookie in half and shen telling the subject that they are two different cookies. I sorta got a half and half result but it was really fun!

  16. wow..why is everyone doing a science project on this?
    it’s ok, I’m doing a projsect on this, too. :)
    i like the idea with the empty bottle, i think that is a really simple, very effective example. Also, I just thought, as a star wars fan, that this is what the jedi mind trick is. just thought i should get that out there.
    great site, very helpful, thanks :D

  17. Hi–I am an Rn, and I would like to learn more ways to heal my patients with the power—. I have already started since reading an ed. article, but I need to learn more persuasive ways to attract the unconsious.:) By this I mean better ways of saying things, as I am not as articulate as I’d like to be. thanks, pat

    1. As a patient, I found that understanding that accepting suggestion does not require one to accept that a problem is all in one head. In fact, even if a health problem is very real one can allow suggestive thinking to help them. There was a situation, I believe in Iraq, were they ran out of morphine. Drs knew that patients with torn or amputated limbs where without a doubt in pain and could go into shock without medication. They chose to give the soldiers iv drips of saline and told them it was morphine. Most of the soldiers responded well to the suggestion. It must be understood that accepting this kind of help does not require the health problem to be all in ones head. It can work even if ones pain or illness is very real.

      When we stop fearing that which can help us we can allow ourselves to heal. No one wants to be deceived and thought a fool. But can we have the strenghth to seek out help from t those who see this powerful tool as a way to fool people? Those people who smell something when you thought there was nothing there…. When you start to realise that these people may have a gift that you simply don’t understand, that is when you are mature enough to truly have this gift.

      This gift is truly a gift. Use it for the good of mankind. Its been long known that there is mote happiness in giving then receiveing. Pat, I think you have been given this gift to help people.

      As for the rest of you, if you can’t find a way to use it to help others, you would be better off using it to build pyramids and move rocks. Don’t hurt people to your advantage.

      Keep in mind that what you want may not always be what’s best. For example, Manipulating people into voting for your best friend as president doesn’t mean he’s going to be the best choice . Munipulating people into taking a medication may fill your pockets but you could potentially kill many people., something you will have to live with the rest of your lives.

      This gift comes with power but it also comes with responsibility. Use it wisely grasshopper.

  18. Hi I am doing a science fair project on the power of suggestion and I am trying ot find sources that are books but the local library does not have any and online there are very few books that I actually understand. If you have any idea on what would be good books for a 7th grader to read for research on the ower of suggestion please let me know
    Thank You

  19. ..the colors did vanish .
    There is a tiny video on youtube on how the subconscious works REALLY ASTONISHING. But ,anyway here is the whole idea : When you watch a movie your adrenalin goes up and down together with the action, right? Fire , bombs , running , fights , and so on , but really are those things happening to you ? No. Your subconscious accepts that which you consciously give him and acts accordingly. Personally I really don’t like the horror movies and the bad end movies , I really hate to see when the good guy dies.. (HA ..ha.. )
    Subconscious mind does not know if it’s real or not , does not care if it’s real or not , does not have the ability to do that , it only does nothing but what you suggest to it . If I want to wake up at a certain hour and I picture that to myself really important , probably 8 out of 10 times I wake up at that exact hour. Im not joking . I remember I was 13 in a hollyday at my uncle’s and I had a girlfriend few next doors as we use to sit and chat late nights on the door steps, and one night she told me she will leave with her dad next day at 5 AM . So she said If I could just pop out to say the last “good bye”. I went to sleep really worried that I had no clock to wake me up , and that I MUST wake up at 5… I had no alarm clock , my old uncle had just a mechanic watch.
    Fell asleep and morning I woke up as if a bomb dropped , jumped off the bed right to my uncle’s watch : 2 minutes to 5 , got dressed quickly and walked out the door … surprise ,she was IN THAT SECOND passing by with her dad. We saluted all each other respectfully , as I so much wanted.
    The key to it is to FEEL IT , intensely .
    Just do it !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzBVep04LXM

  20. Someone else mentioned the poster of faces… if you’re trying to do a project on this, go to sciencebuddies.org and search the power of suggestion. Good luck!

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Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, NLP, Self-Hypnosis