Can I Give You A Suggestion?

Hypnotists and Hypnotherapists are known for giving suggestions. We can do so directly or indirectly to help people discover and make positive changes in their lives.

While this is something we study and tend to get proficient in creating and using suggestions that target and reach the deepest and most profound parts of the mind, everyone is giving suggestions. Are there ways to be more effective or supportive when doing so? Are there ways to transform through the words and directions in our lives? Read on and find out (that was a suggestion, by the way)

Anatomy of a Suggestion

A suggestion could also be a proposal, idea, plan, advice, or order. This is something we do regularly. Often times we are using to elicit a response in others – to have them do, thing or probably act on something we say.

Even if we do an indirect ask, like “I wonder what it would be like if someone moved the chair over there”, there may be no physical action (unless someone was raised to act on indirect suggestions) but that person might just imagine what it would be like nonetheless.

So when we give suggestions, we want them to be clear and simple, so the mind can imagine. When we make suggestions that are too complex or overloaded, the child-like subconscious blanks out.

Even when we express what we don’t want, the imaginative part of the mind works imagining what we DON’T want. So “don’t leave your socks in piles on the floor” is often heard without the “don’t” (which is the opposite of what we really want, right?) This forces us to work a little harder on our suggestions and actually define what we’d prefer. So “pick up your socks and put them in the laundry basket” would be a better bet.

That’s why we ‘suggest’ that you frame your suggestions positively – so the mind can grasp what we want rather than what we don’t want. You might remember that the next time you explain to a spouse, child or co-worker what they did wrong (and will probably experience again) rather than the change you desire.

In my life there are lots of things that I’m going to do, like learn Spanish or take up knitting again. Really, I will… eventually. When we give suggestions in the future, there isn’t the same message to the subconscious that we need to get on it NOW. It’s for later – no rush. But if I’m not doing something YET and want to make a suggestion, isn’t it lying to say that I study Spanish and love it, or knit and feel calm? Sometimes we need to ‘bend’ the truth, so the mind gets going – putting something in the present that is coming in the future.

Sometimes we use the idea of a continually developing present for the mind to accept a shift right away, like “Every day I (study Spanish, knit) more and more”. You might be able to think of some suggestions that you’ve put out into the future for yourself or others that need to .

Are there other ways to make suggestions easier to follow? Of course, but if you work on these three areas – simplicity, in the positive, and in present-form – you’ll be pleasantly surprised, day by day, at the change in results you experience. (yes, that was another suggestion)

Words Have Power

“It’s just semantics” is something I often hear (whether they use that word or not). But the meaning of words can have a major impact on our lives. The labels we place on others or have placed on ourselves can inhibit or direct us.

I’m good at _______. He’s the _______ one, she’s the ________ one. I can’t ______. They couldn’t _________ their way out of a paper bag… you get the drift.

Some of the suggestions we have taken in may be valid right now, but may have been taken on accidentally or erroneously at some point. A smoker? Probably not for the first years of life… Not creative? I’ve found that everyone has creativity yet it is a suggestion that many people have been given (usually because they have connected it with fine arts and stopped practicing). Whenever we automatically assume something about ourselves or others – especially when it’s not working anymore – it may be time to assess the suggestions that are being given now or have been given in the future.

We also get personally affected when we say something to others. Sometimes when we repeat what we don’t want with others, we not only have them follow suggestions in the wrong direction, but we hear ourselves and it reinforces our negative beliefs and feelings.

Once you start listening to yourself and what you say – even to yourself – you’ll start to be a bit more careful. I used to say “traffic drives me crazy”. Now is that something I want in my life – do I want something so relatively small to affect my mental and emotional balance? NO! So I could stop giving traffic (which surprisingly doesn’t seem to be affected by how I feel about it – imagine that!) any of my internal or external suggestions/expressions. Or, taken from the suggestion of a friend, make it into something that I’d prefer (or can laugh at when I say it). So now I say “this traffic is driving me skinny!” Much better.

Suggestions in State

When do we give suggestions? There are a few times and situations that make giving and receiving suggestions easier.

Wake-up and going to bed time leaves us more open to suggestions.

When others are completely focused on something is a great time to slip in suggestions – while they’re playing a computer game, or working hard on a project, for example. When we or others are doing something repetitive or are in ‘flow’.

When we’re emotionally engaged. While people who are emotional may be less likely to understand rational or analytical concepts or conversations, they still take in ideas when they are in the emotional subconscious. That’s why we often don’t remember but are affected by the things people say when we are at our low or high points in our lives.
Suggestions repeated tend to be remembered in the subconscious. Just like a commercial or ad, repetition reinforces a suggestion, so it becomes recalled or robust in our mind. “How many times to I have to repeat myself?” Probably more than you think to lock a suggestion into the automatic and enduring subconscious.

While there are other times and places when suggestions can have greater or more lasting power, these will get you started.

Offer or Give?

While I’m ‘giving’ suggestions or advice on suggestions, when I work with clients I tend to ‘offer’ them rather than give them. What’s the difference? Imagine a gift given to you – it wasn’t want you liked or wanted but you got it anyway. Imagine someone offering you the choice of gifts with one greatly valued and immediately useful.

When I offer suggestions to my clients they can reject or refuse them if they want, yet most of the suggestions I share with clients tend to be ones that they want or need in their lives, so they are the gifts that keep on giving.

Starting in November, I’m offering a short course with audios and video on how to power-up your abilities to recommend and receive the best suggestions for yourself and those around you. For my newsletter readers (and their friends if they forward this email to them) this is at NO CHARGE. They are brief but effective ideas that you can take into your life. If you’re interested in joining this journey, register here {registration has closed but let me know if you’re interested in learning about this topic – I’ll let you know when our next class is taking place}

If you need or want any personal support in creating or getting suggestions to positively shift your life, please let me know and I’d be honoured to work with you.

Have a great month (yes, a final suggestion just for you)


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