In a few weeks I’ll be headed for a vacation in a tropical locale that has a poolside bar and drinks with little umbrellas in them. There will be palm trees swaying behind the beach chairs where I intend to plant myself. Thinking about all this makes me feel pretty good. I expect to have a good time. And, that suggestion alone is one of the factors that will insure it.
When it is suggested to us — through our own personal thoughts or the statement by another person – that things are going to go well, we tend to plan, prepare and otherwise do the things (even unconsciously) that will insure things do in fact will go well.
Course, when bad outcomes are suggested, we generally get those things too. The Terrible Two’s, may in fact be terrible because that is what you expect. The anticipation that a medical procedure will be painful, is bound to hurt a lot more than if you remind yourself it won’t be a big deal. A work meeting will be more boring if you’ve been told by others that the meetings are always lame.
But we can use the power of suggestion to create success and happiness rather than the opposite.
Here are four ways to do it:
1. Become conscious. This is good advice for just about anything. But as is with so many things, awareness is required to help us identify the suggestions that are coming our way in the first place. If you are not aware of the messages you’re sending or receiving from others it’s tough to counteract what you hear or to make conscious choices to adopt more positive scenarios. Tune into what’s going on around you. Get curious about it and the suggestions that are influencing you will be easier to spot. Also, notice what you hear or see the next time you decide to do something. Notice the response and pay attention to those suggestions that are most helpful.
2. Suggest helpful thoughts. Instead of letting the internal tape run amok, deliberately suggest positive outcomes and expectations to yourself. Seriously, people, you can choose your thoughts so choose helpful ones.
“I’ve heard this is bad” will get you much different results than “I can handle this.”
“I’m not good at interviews” is different than “I’m going to do my best and have fun with this.”
Simply by making a helpful suggestion you increase your chances of success and feel better along the way.
3. Choose positive, direct language. Sometimes even when our intent is to develop a more positive action plan, we use words that inadvertently sabotage our success.
For example: “It can’t be that bad” is more likely to lead to more negative outcomes than a statement like “I’ve got this.” While both imply the same thing – that you will get through it – one uses more positive language – to fire up the suggestion of something good.
Get clear, be positive, and use the suggestion as a pep talk to help you move toward better outcomes.
4. Act on the suggestion. After choosing a powerful suggestion take one baby step toward it. Much of what we do, we do without awareness, but consider how powerful it is to take conscious directed action toward what you want. It’s just super-charges the power of suggestion.
So suggest the outcome you want, and begin expecting that, then take a step toward the outcome.
Remember, whether you are aware of it or not, the influence of suggestion is always working.
If you expect something to happen – if someone or something suggests to you a specific outcome – your expectations of that outcome play a major role in its occurrence. The suggestion alone is enough to alter your behavior (often unconsciously) and that is often enough to make it reality.