The power of Autosuggestion, also called self-suggestion, is the practice of changing the way we talk to ourselves in order to learn how to re-frame situations to create desired outcomes.
It’s is a powerful technique that can really change the course of your weight loss journey, for good or bad.
What is the Power of Autosuggestion
Autosuggestion is the method used in order to reinforce a behavior or habit, that involves speaking to yourself in a specific way.
It is only the tool used to get the result desired. It is intentionally using words or perspectives that point only toward achieving the goal.
If the goal of autosuggestion is to reinforce a behavior or habit, it’s more important then, that we look at the goal itself.
You’re doing autosuggestion, and you probably always have. You just don’t know you’re doing it. People tell on themselves constantly through unconscious word choice.
Listen to the words you are using. Principle 3 is all about using your words on purpose. Harness this amazing power for good, instead of evil.
How To Use The Power Of Autosuggestion To Fuel Weight Loss
One of the signs of genius is that you talk to yourself, alone or in public. I’m a nerd for all things scientific and psychology, so these are the kinds of rabbit holes I love to explore.
Luckily for you, I’ll lay out what I’ve found here. On every article I’ve read as I’ve searched the internet, they all agree that talking to yourself is a sign of genius. But is talking to yourself the same thing as autosuggestion?
These kinds of things get categorized as too woo-woo, or “out there” and people gloss over it. Here at this-authentic-life.com, we’re not afraid of the woo-woo.
I think the aversion is just because people don’t really understand how to explain the concept, so it gets lost in translation. They can express that their intuition knows it’s right.
But because there isn’t solid evidence, the brain gets skeptical. And the full impact of the concept is eroded. If you’re like me, anyway.
What you need to understand about autosuggestion is that having a brain is like having a smart phone. You download different Apps that do different things.
Autosuggestion is like that pre-loaded App you never knew how to use. It’s there for everyone, but only those who are made aware of it’s use really get any value from it.
Principle 3: The Power of Autosuggestion
Don’t bad mouth yourself to yourself. Your brain is always working on solving problems, so make sure you only introduce problems in a way that gets you a positive solution, not a negative one.
There’s this concept I hear over and over again in my professional accounting experience outside of this-authentic-life.com: garbage in, garbage out.
If the data we are putting into the accounting software is flawed or inaccurate or biased, we will only get flawed or inaccurate or biased reports out of it.
I’m sure this is not the first time someone has suggested that your brain is like a computer. I’m going to repeat it, because the analogy is so perfect. Your computer brain can only process what you, the user, puts into it.
If you put in garbage, you will get garbage out.
(If this is the first time someone has suggested that “You” are separate from “Your Brain”, I’m sorry if the thought is jarring. But now that you are jarred, let’s make some progress.)
If I am struggling to lose weight, do I just start telling myself I’m already skinny?
No. But you need to start talking to yourself like you would talk to someone who you believe can reach their goals.
This concept gets so bastardized, and I apologize for the harsh language, but it makes me mad.
Crappy fake gurus out there are pushing this concept of change your brain from scarcity to abundance, and just watch the success roll in. That’s such a cheap version of autosuggestion.
Garbage in, garbage out.
What Autosuggestion Has To Do With Weight Loss
All big goals – even extreme weight loss goals – begin with small habits. I had weight loss surgery, and that helps the process along. But it still all comes back to me, my behaviors, and ultimately, my goals.
One of the ways to achieve my goals is through giving myself the support to do it.
The power of autosuggestion
I can moan about how my external support system is letting me fail, or I can become my own support system and really put some gas in the tank. Ultimately, now, there is no one I’d rather rely on than myself. Everyone else can either be supportive or sabotage.
And if they are there for support, it lifts me up. If they are there for sabotage, I can ignore it easily. This is an incredible tool in itself.
How Do I Succeed At Principle 3: The Power of Autosuggestion?
Ever heard of beginner’s luck?
The beginner can tap into this luck, maybe only because they don’t know any better. It’s a paradox, once you know about it you can’t access it anymore.
But they don’t understand the risk, or the statistic of failure. So, they go for it. And they win! If you’re playing craps at a casino, the best time to win is when there is a brand new player who’s never played before.
Or, maybe even a seasoned player who is just new to this table.
They haven’t been beaten down by the odds yet. They are full of excitement, and promise. And their excitement is contagious. It’s fun to be around someone who is having fun.
(If you feel like you have an addiction to food, do not transfer addict to craps. That’s not the point here, and you can see that throughout this-authentic-life.com.)
I’m a recovering addict, and I have addictive behaviors. So, I feel the need to point this out.
The point here is that it’s fun to be around someone who thinks we’re all going to win, even though the odds are against all of us! Who doesn’t want to be part of that table?
Even if everyone is losing money, everyone is having fun. And it’s hard to leave that table until you’re out of chips.
This is where the power of autosuggestion becomes a really important tool for your success.
Don’t let those who’ve been beaten down bring you down, too. Always be the freshest person at the table, and tell yourself you’re doing well.
How To Use The Power Of Autosuggestion
It’s going to sound weird, but guess what! You get to practice Principle 2 (Faith) here in Principle 3. You’re so lucky!
- Start Praising The RIDICULOUSLY Small Stuff
- Whenever I do anything, I tell myself I did a good job. When I trip, I say “Good job not falling.” When I eat out, I say “Good job fueling yourself today.” This is even more important the more my mental health is in a spiral. When I catch myself missing this, I can quickly identify that I’m actually headed into a depression or addiction spiral.
- They are connected. Fortunately, I’ve had so many spirals that I now know the signs (see, I did it again). They might be different in you, I haven’t been an intimate spectator in your mind, so I can’t tell. But, I’m going to use an educated guess here that I’m not alone.
- Broaden Your Net To Find Something Authentic To Praise
- When I trip, I cannot say “Well, at least you didn’t fall.” That seems close enough, right? No. It is completely wrong. I cannot feel encouraged by pointing out my failure. I must IGNORE the failure altogether, and focus only on the stupidly small thing I did right. This is such a subtle difference, but results in a lifetime of change. People will think you’re an idiot for ignoring your failures.
- That’s ok. We’re not here for what other people think. We’re here for what YOU think. Point your mind toward the goal, and then only praise yourself for the thing that got you closer to your goal. Ignore the things that took you farther away. I don’t care about your failures, and neither should you. I care about your wins, no matter how small they are.
- Say It Out Loud
- There’s a conversation happening in most people’s brains. See, we’re all already talking to ourselves. You’re not alone, and you’re not crazy. But when we say it out loud, the words have to travel through our ears to reach our brains. Our ears are fantastic, tangible filters. Remember, we already decided that You are separate from Your Brain.
- So, when You talk to Your Brain, do it out loud. That way, Your Brain isn’t trapped talking only to itself. You are talking to Your Brain. And when You say something out loud that doesn’t make sense, Your Brain is like, wait… what? If you didn’t do this, the filter between brain and mouth isn’t being used and Your Brain will just think it is so, so smart. Our brains need constant reminders that they don’t know everything.
- Praise Others For Their Small Achievements
- This one becomes automatic as you authentically praise yourself. You’re already talking out loud, so turn the small noticeable praise on other people. And, if you’re having trouble doing this for yourself, the best thing to do is to practice doing this on others. It has to be real, and it has to be small. “I like your shoes.” If you really like someone’s shoes, tell them.
- When you focus on this, you become a source of sunshine. And you consequently bring sunshine to everything in your life. The rain has stopped, and the growth can begin. Not just your growth, but the growth of everyone around you as well. People may react oddly to you at first. They don’t understand the sunshine, when all they’ve had is rain. Let them adjust. They will, if you remain constant.
GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT
If the input into our brains is flawed or inaccurate or biased, we will only get flawed or inaccurate or biased conclusions out of it.
Surround yourself with thoughts, ideas, movies, books, or music that tells you that you cannot achieve your goal, and you are making it harder to achieve your goal.
Why, why, why must we make it harder to achieve our goals for ourselves? It’s like we’re hardwired for self-sabotage. Yes, we are. It’s a survival mechanism.
Fight it with the power of autosuggestion.
Surround yourself with “I Can” media. You don’t necessarily have to cut off your family and friends. I think that’s a good indicator that you’re in the funnel of a trap. Completely removing any nay-sayers who can see what you can’t see is dangerous.
If someone is saying “Cut off anyone who will tell you to stop following me,” that’s actually a really big flag for me, personally. And I hope you can see the trap, too.
We’re reframing our minds and the way we talk to ourselves here, not isolating ourselves for predators. The difference can feel subtle, and fake gurus will capitalize on that to confuse you.
Now that you’re an armchair expert on autosuggestion, take a new look at those cheesy affirmations that you likely glossed over before. “Self-affirmation isn’t for me, that’s just not who I am.”
Yes, it is. Knock off that garbage and let’s reframe that sentence to use the power of autosuggestion for you.
“Self-affirmation is something I’m not used to doing, and I think the people who do it are different from me.” EXACTLY! That’s the point. And guess what? They have something that you want.
You just don’t realize it yet, because you’ve got some blinders on. You can have it, too. And affirmations are a great way to get there, here’s your proof in an article from MentalHelp.Net if you’d like more evidence.
Do affirmations feel differently to you now we are looking from this perspective? Maybe they still feel cheesy. That’s ok. You’re still learning their power.
I don’t blame you. But I’m not letting you give up on it without a fight, either. I’m a dragon, just so you know. And my power comes from two affirmations I use frequently.
I’ll let you know what they are soon, but first we need to get some more detail on affirmations.
Affirmations are phrases or mantras that we repeat over and over again. You probably use them without even realizing it, because you’re using a negative perspective instead of a positive one.
“I can’t…” is the most repeated mantra. It’s still using the power of autosuggestion, just in the opposite way we want. It might hide in different forms like, “But here’s my problem…”
I’M NOT AN JERK AND I’D LIKE TO APOLOGIZE
“But here’s my problem…” At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I cannot allow myself to react to your problem when it is presented this way.
If we both get sucked into why this is never going to work for you, it’s never going to work for you. And then I’ll be your biggest cheerleader. It’s not beneficial for me to let you convince me why.
I don’t want to cheer you on in that way.
I care about what IS working in your life. That’s the only thing that’s worth our focus. If you’ve met me in person, and presented me with your problem in this way, I’ve likely said “Hmmm…” and re-directed the conversation.
I’m working on how I do this better as part of my own development.
Because when I didn’t realize why I was doing this as a younger adult, I got accused of not being a nice person.
I am a nice person. But I’m not perceived as a nice person when I don’t frame this correctly.
So, I have to apologize to anyone who’s been harmed by me not understanding how I should wield this power.
That probably hurt, and while it wasn’t intentional, I do not aim to hurt anyone ever.
Use The Power Of Autosuggestion To Get Your Gold
What I have clumsily tried to explain in my past is that if you hit gold when mining, you don’t focus on all the areas on the mountain where you didn’t find the gold.
You’d drop every other claim, and spend all of your time, energy, and intent on that gold vein. You’d mine the heck out of it, and think it a waste of energy to look at anything else.
I’d happily dig beside you, celebrating your good fortune. Don’t ask me to praise you for breaking open the trees, and then label me as pretentious when I point out that “Gold isn’t found in trees.”
The things that are going well for you right now are gold veins you’ve already hit. The things that make up your goals for a better life are the gold veins you know are there.
The problems are everywhere else on the mountain where there isn’t gold.
The more you blame the rain for making it hard to hit gold, the more you need someone to say “Stop blaming the rain for not getting your gold.”
It’s going to rain. The rain will make it harder for you. Stop focusing on the rain. Put on a raincoat or set up a canopy to shield yourself from the rain.
But don’t stop digging because it’s raining. Did you forget how much you wanted the gold? Remind yourself how much you want that gold. And then, repeat those words over and over again, as you get soaked in rainwater.
This is how you will use the power of autosuggestion to get what you want.
MY TWO MANTRAS
I promised them, now I’m delivering on the promise.
The mantra I have used for years to get me to a place I feel successful is:
All of these are great in themselves. Have the Guts to do the thing. Be Resilient to do the thing again when you’ve already failed. Use Initiative to be creative to find news ways to do the thing.
Be Tenacious – this is the one that I’m working to overcome, keeping to all the other stuff even though you’ve failed over and over again.
I just remember to have GRIT when I’m working toward a goal.
I heard Bob Woodson on the radio in 2020. He is an American Civil Rights leader. And I just ate up everything he said that day. He is so right. This is a perfect example of the power of autosuggestion at work.
The person who is fighting to change their life is the strongest person in the room. Hopefully, that change is for the better, because they could use their strength in a negative way also.
But they are living these steps, and it makes them a force of nature. This mantra reminds me that I am stronger in my recovery than in my addiction.
Choose Who You Want To Be, And Talk To That Person That Way
Talk to yourself the way you’d cheerlead anyone on your team, either family, work, or school. Use the Power of Autosuggestion in your favor!
Don’t belittle your failures, praise your wins. If you can’t find a big win, get small. “Good job waking up and getting to work” may seem silly and trite to some, but it’s the tiniest thing that keeps us going everyday.
Remember in Principle 1, we talked about desire. What is the WHY that is driving your pursuit of change? In the course of my life, I often recycle my thoughts back through in logical steps.
It’s how my brain best likes to digest information, and it’s how I learn. Everyone learns differently, so this might not be the way for you.
Why am I doing this? Oh, yeah. I want to be healthier. Why do I want to be healthier? Because I feel like crap right now. Why do I feel like crap?
Because I chose to drink three beer margaritas on Mother’s Day and three days later it is still working it’s way out.
How do I prevent feeling like that in the future? Have fewer beer margaritas and more water. Don’t overdo it.
If I were in full-on weight loss mode, I’d not even have the beer margarita in the first place. But I’m not. I’m complacent, which is a horrible place to be, by the way.
But roller derby is starting up this Saturday, and I’ll be going back into “Athlete” mode soon. So, for my individual situation, I don’t need to go hard-core on what I put in my mouth.
If you’re not hitting the gym with the intensity of a thousand suns, you need to be cautious of what you put in your mouth. In liquid form or solid. Liquids are the sneaky beast.
Caffeine and alcohol WILL stall your weight loss. I don’t care how many articles you bring me that prove otherwise.
I know it. You know it. If you want to lose the weight, get rid of those two stimulants. For three months, at least. It’s hard to do, but it’s worth it.
Keep yourself going.
Happy weight loss <3