Today I’m starting a series on the destructive power of fear that is rampant in our society today. These posts may be a bit longer than normal, and I encourage you to stick with the series to see how these pieces fit together. Here’s what the series will focus on: suggestibility, the emotion of fear, and the effect of repetition.
People fear hypnosis because they think I can control their minds. A, that’s not true, though I’d be pretty wealthy if I had that superpower! And B, individuals subject themselves to being suggestible every day without me. Let’s start with the definition of hypnosis that I’ve discussed before, but bears repeating.
Hypnosis is accomplished using a process, typically some form of induction, that guides you toward reaching the desired state. Hypnosis is a heightened state of awareness and focus, where you are open to suggestions. When you are aware and focused, you are much more in control of what you decide to accept. Heightened awareness activates your protective mechanisms that limit or prevent ideas from taking hold that are not in alignment with your beliefs and values. This critical factor, as it is called, can be helpful or harmful, depending on the beliefs you hold and the goals you want to accomplish.
But you are suggestible in your normal day to day. Suggestions come from everywhere: People in your life, packaging, advertisements, brands, social media, magazines, events, situations and the thoughts you think about yourself. Ideas are presented to you all the time.
These daily suggestions are most powerful when they are delivered by certain kinds of people:
- People in authority or who have special knowledge, like your doctor, a professor, a politician, or even your boss
- People you love and trust, like your parents, family, spouse, or close friends
- People you think you know and trust, like a famous athlete, actor, or someone else you may aspire to be like
Let’s call the suggestions that come from these kinds of people “persuasive suggestions.” They are most likely to be believed, because they come from people you think have your best interests in mind.
The problem with persuasive suggestions is that you are not necessarily aware that you are getting them, much less that you are taking them in. Without awareness, you are unlikely to challenge persuasive suggestions, and therefore accept them without question.
Now that I’ve laid the ground work for how people are influenced, tune in next week when I discuss why adding the emotion of fear to a persuasive suggestion is powerfully destructive.
I’m Roberta Fernandez, a Board Certified hypnotist and Certified Trainer at FARE Hypnosis, helping you take back control, by unlocking the power of your mind to reach your goals of any kind.