How The Power Of Suggestion Works — And How To Use It Wisely On Yourself

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The television blares. There is a commercial about antacids. The advertisement describes the stomach of a person with acid indigestion. “The tight, uncomfortable feeling, the accompanying headache, and nausea...”

Across the screen flashes the picture of an upset stomach. Little acid particles eat the lining of the stomach. It is graphic and compelling. You observe the discomfort of the sufferer — you relate to the animation and squirm with discomfort.

This scene captures an event taking place in millions of homes across the world, every night. People glued to their television screens being informed repeatedly through the power of suggestion that they could be the victims of indigestion, tooth decay, bad breath, or social exclusion because they don’t wear the correct deodorant, drink the right beer, or drive the coolest car.

This is known as the power of suggestion.

What is the power of suggestion?

The power of suggestion is when someone's ideas or words can influence what we think and do. It's like a kind of mind trick that can make us believe or act in certain ways.

Suggestions can come from different places like people, the media, or even our own thoughts. When someone suggests something to us, it can affect our subconscious mind and change how we see things.

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One important thing about the power of suggestion is how it affects our decisions. By using subtle cues or persuasive words, suggestions can make us choose certain things or do certain actions.

For example, ads often use suggestions to make us want to buy a specific product. Also, when someone convinces us to think a certain way or do something new, it shows how powerful a suggestion can be.

The power of suggestion shows that our minds can be influenced by outside things, and it's used in marketing, persuasion, and even therapy.

How does the power of suggestion work?

Television, radio, newspapers, billboards, and junk mail contribute to the bombardment of our psyche with the same mental, verbal, emotional, and pictorial suggestions. This onslaught of negativity exemplifies the misuse of mental energy or thought power.

The advertiser’s insistent, often dramatic tone creates an urgency to purchase the products that the consumer had not previously contemplated.

That is the power of suggestion in a nutshell: psychologically manipulating or guiding someone's behavior or thoughts just by "suggestion."

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In some cultures, the power of suggestion would be considered 'black magic.'

That means it plants in your mind a condition or consequence, and because your guard is down, you succumb and make it your own.

People are most easily entrained into a thought condition when relaxing unconsciously as they listen and watch television. Of course, that is not the only time we let others take over and dominate our thoughts. Whenever our reasoning faculties are turned off, we are in a kind of trance.

Generally, a person parks in front of the TV to relax and be entertained. They are tired and don’t want to think, solve problems, or make plans. It is a great way to “tune out” for a while.

This fatigued state places the viewer in a beautifully vulnerable condition. The cute little advertisements flash on the screen with their catchy tunes and jingles. You mentally sing along. As you do, you have accepted their suggestive message in your mind: “You deserve a break today...”

The cleverness of the lyrics determines how memorable the product is: “Have a Coke and a smile.” You grin a little. You wouldn’t dare have a party without it.

The uniqueness of a commercial sets it more firmly in your mind. Frogs selling beer (that looks like fun), skimpily clad models demonstrating exercise equipment (I want to look like that), children looking like victims of poverty (their appearance grabs your attention). Perhaps it is puppies with sad eyes.

For the purpose of analysis, dissect a commercial.

A typical advertisement for a “pain reliever” goes something like this. It begins with a detailed description of headache symptoms coupled with a human sufferer. You recognize and feel their pain as messages flash across the screen. The graphics are followed by illustrations of the interior workings of the body.

The messages portray how various areas are affected — the brain, nervous system, stomach, energy level, and ability to enjoy life. Thus the initial problem, in this case, a headache, becomes all-inclusive. Your life is ruined.

By the time the presentation concludes, the viewer is all in. He has engaged all physical senses — seeing, hearing, feeling, and sensing. He has identified with (remembered) the pain.

Depending on the vividness of their imagination, he could also have touched, tasted, and smelled the malady. Because his guard is down and he is receptive to being entertained or informed, the viewer is vulnerable: “You say flu season is upon us. Excuse me, I’m not feeling too good right now. I believe my stomach is queasy and my head hurts!”

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In other words, you can program the mind with negative or positive suggestions.

"Black magic" is the negative version of a shaman or medicine man repeating “You are well” while he moves around with drums beating rhythmically. Black magic is negative programming. White magic is positive. What magic are you using?

You may not think that much of an impression can occur in the space of 30 or 60 seconds, but multiply this by the number of repetitions throughout the day, the week, multiply by 52 weeks in a year, and by the various sources this type of information comes to you, and you begin to grasp the magnitude of this type of mental programming.

Of course, this type of sensory involvement is not limited to the media because we are inundated with similar negative ideas from the people who love us most. The process takes place every day with friends, family, and coworkers as we listen to and empathize with their stories of victimhood and powerlessness. They drank the Kool-aid and they are passing it along to you.

Mental programming is everywhere. Everyone has their ideas of what to be afraid of and how one can become a victim of something. It's on the evening news. You know the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.” (This is how the lead story is chosen for the nightly news.) Thus the drama, pain, and suffering dominate our nightly update of current events.

And it happens right before we go to bed at night, allowing the subconscious mind time to gestate the pictures and information.

And then there is an everyday conversation: “Did you know the virus is going around; everyone is getting it.” "That person is a pain in the neck (or some other part of the anatomy).” “That angers me.” “That breaks my heart” leading to heart problems, or “That burns me up" (good for stomach aches).” “They make me sick.”

What is your mental program? Does it sound similar to this?

We are constant receptors of mental suggestions — media, friends, books, school, relatives, and so on.

It's a reminder of the iconic movie "The Manchurian Candidate," about an American soldier captured by the communists and programmed day and night with a hypnotic technique until all his defenses are broken and he functions totally from outside control/suggestion.

His assignment is to kill the presidential candidate. He attempted to do this with robot-like precision until, of course, the hero of the story discerned the plot and saved the day (and the movie).

Perhaps your worldly experience is not as intense as "The Manchurian Candidate," yet it could be. Victims succumb to their victimizers as a way of surviving.

The “Me Too” movement is an illustration. To get work in Hollywood, you must succumb to the whims of the big dogs. That ruse is now being exposed for what it is: a way to victimize and intimidate fledgling actors and actresses. The same things happen in homes and businesses everywhere.

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In most cases, we do not realize that we are being programmed, and we often accept suggestions that are not in our best interest. Our defense in preventing the same robot-like state as the Manchurian Candidate is to become conscious, completely awake, and fully aware of what is going on around us.

We must engage our critical faculty. We must decide what is correct and appropriate for ourselves. We must reject ideas that are harmful and detrimental.

Murdering someone may never be a suggestion given to us. Yet we are continually offered opportunities to destroy our capabilities, our potential for success, and our state of health.

Allowing others to dominate your thoughts and actions is not beneficial. When you give into others’ ideas of reality, you are relinquishing your own. You have dominion over yourself and you will never fully evolve until you have accepted that.

Lisa Nichols, a world-renowned motivational speaker, tells her story of going from a struggling single mom on public assistance to a millionaire entrepreneur. She explains that her path to success started when she was broke, out of work, and had an infant son to care for.

Her defining moment was when she decided that “no matter what, she was going to make it.” It was at that instant that all the past negative programs of what she couldn’t do and why she wouldn’t be successful were trashed. She decided to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.

It was through clarity, focus, and determination that she moved forward, grasping opportunities to grow and thrive and build a business called Motivating the Masses Inc., which ultimately went public. She set her own mental program in place and defined her future to become an industry giant, an acclaimed speaker, and a media star.

And she was awake and aware when she did it. The point is you can do this, too.

How To Use The Power Of Suggestion For Good

Using the power of suggestion for positive purposes simply means making your own decisions and setting your own course.

You will have to discontinue letting media marketing tell you what to think, feel, and buy. And you may have to dismiss “friends” who cannot support a picture of your success.

And when you do this, you will begin to see without blinders what possibilities exist, and, just like Nichols, walk through the dark times to build your dream and success. It all starts with being positive.

I am talented and able. I can and will build my natural abilities to become the success I choose to be. I am continually expanding in joy, abundance, love, and expression. Each day new opportunities are offered to be more of what I truly am: successful, beautiful, appreciated, loved, talented, expressive, and abundant.

Bottom line: Become successful based on your interactions, personality, and disposition, not because you use a certain toothpaste, have the right hairstyle, or wear designer jeans.

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Buying into false standards leads to developing a phony value system that complicates your life and keeps you powerless.

Roger Crawford, a life coach, was born with rare birth defects that included a thumb-like projection extending directly out of their right forearm, and a thumb and one finger out of his left forearm. He had no palms. His arms and legs were shortened. He had only three toes on his shrunken right foot and a withered left leg, which was later amputated.

The doctor said that Roger would never walk or be able to take care of himself. Fortunately, his parents did not accept this. They taught their son that he was only as handicapped as he wanted to be, and never allowed him to feel sorry for himself or take advantage of people because of his handicap.

Thus to complete his homework, Roger had to hold his pencil with both hands, writing very slowly. As a result, he regularly got into trouble because his school papers were late.

To remedy the situation, Roger asked his dad to write a note to his teachers requesting a two-day extension. Instead, his dad made Roger start writing the papers two days earlier. Again, his parent's instructions: you are only as handicapped as you want to be.

As a result of this mental and physical programming, Roger got into sports. First football, where one day the ball landed in his hands, and as he was running for the goalpost, another player tackled him by grabbing his left leg. His prosthetic leg pulled off into the player’s hands and Roger hopped across the finish line carrying the ball and making a touchdown.

Crawford went on to become a tennis player and the first physically handicapped player to be certified as a teaching professional by the United States Professional Tennis Association. He currently tours the country speaking to groups about being a winner. Crawford lives by the mantra, "You are only as handicapped as you want to be."

Can you compare your life to Roger’s? He says everyone has handicaps. You can see his handicaps, but others are not so visible.

What’s yours? It is time to dump mental programs and beliefs that keep you limited and small. Crawford was not allowed to feel sorry for himself. Is it time for you to give up victimhood as well?

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You design your mental program and you also design your potential for success.

Consider the ideas and beliefs you have been tutored with. Are any of these harmful or limiting? The issue is whether or not you allow other people — writers, public relations people, smiley girls in media ads, the president, your mother, your best friend, or anyone — to dictate your mental, emotional, or physical well-being.

Discrimination has to be practiced daily. That includes being selective in defining your state of health. How do you picture yourself? Can you identify with vibrant health?

If you surrender control over your health, the consequences are negative because you have given up self-determination.

I have offered examples of mental misuse, which incorporates fear techniques to motivate people to achieve specific outcomes — namely, buy a product. Now, consider the fear that is programmed into the other areas of your life.

For example: “If you give yourself credit, people won’t like you.” “You must worry about what the neighbors think of you.” “Be afraid of strangers.” “If you don’t have a college degree, you will fail in life.” “Put your desires aside to please others.” “Don’t make waves or create conflict.”

These are typical beliefs handed to most of us during our domestication process. All of them undermine personal power. They affect your mental state (producing confusion and insecurity), your emotional condition (creating fear and anxiety), and your physical health.

Literally, every thought affects the body. Your beliefs govern your emotions, which then reflect in your physical condition. The body mimics the mind in the same manner that a servant follows the commands of his master. The servant responds spontaneously and so does the body.

Fear-based people focus on lack: What is wrong with life, what is missing, how we are not good enough, how it won’t work, and why we can’t have what we want. They inundate you with ideas of smallness, victimhood, and powerlessness. When, in fact, the opposite is true.

We are made in God’s image and we possess all the attributes of God, Universal Creative Intelligence. Our true essence is brilliant, loving, joyous, dynamic, healthy, energetic, and without limit. We are capable of creating or being anything we set our minds to.

If you choose to live harmonious, healthy lives, you must develop healthy attitudes and beliefs.

Discrimination is the key. Eliminate exposure to negative suggestions. Learn to manage stressful emotions. Make up your own mind including what you will accept as truth.

To do this, you must identify how you have achieved your present state and then replace fear-based beliefs with the truth of your Divine Identity — that we exist as the vibrant energy and life of the Universe. As such, every physical cell of our bodies has intelligence, contains within it the blueprint for perfect health, and, if allowed, can demonstrate it.

We have all been designed with the potential and capacity for health, wealth, self-esteem and success. Decide what these things mean to you. Set your own goals and never relinquish the right of choice to anyone or anything outside yourself.

To accept the limitations that we are confronted with daily is nothing less than blasphemy. And to allow small, fear-based ideas to define your expression, identity, and state of health is nothing less than wrong.

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Jean Walters is an international best-selling author and transformational coach with expertise in personal and spiritual empowerment. Her work has been featured in the St. Louis Suburban Journals, The Fax Daily, St. Louis Globe-Democrat Newspaper, St. Louis Home Magazine, and elsewhere.