Tips on wording of suggestions

Table of Contents

What are suggestions?

Suggestions are statements spoken with a view to bring about some change in the person being spoken to.

Tips on wording of suggestions:

These suggestions can be used to create desired change in clients. For better results before giving suggestion induce a hypnotic state in clients.

The following tips can also be used for creating a change in self, simply create these suggestions in first person and use in combination with self hypnosis.

1. Repeat the suggestion

The more you repeat something the better you become at it. Suggestions should generally practised for 21 days consecutively. The same suggestion can even be restated in different words, or repeated in different sections of the session.

2. Use Positive Words

The wording must invoke an image of what the client wants, not what they don’t want.

Right: You trust yourself and you are confident of speaking in front of large audiences

Wrong: You are no longer afraid of speaking in public

3. Use the present tense or present continuous tense

Tell the client that whatever it is they want, they have it now. It is part of their life now. Suggestions need to tell the client’s subconscious that it exists in them right now, not at some future time that may never arrive.

Right: You are becoming confident of your ability to speak on a stage.

Wrong: You will be confident of your ability to speak on a stage.

4. Reflect the client’s experience

Suggestions should be matched to the client’s experience.

Right: Every little thing you do right increases your confidence: parking the car, preparing a meal, getting a smile from a stranger.

Wrong: Your confidence rises so much so that you can fly an airplane. (When client is not a pilot and has no training to fly a airplane)

5. Use the client’s beliefs

If the client believes strongly in astrology then tell them the stars are in their favour. If the client believes in destiny and karma then tell them that success is their destiny. Use what whatever metaphors the client uses to understand their own life. Do not challenge the clients belief, rather except it and then enhance it to achieve desired therapeutic results.

Right: The fact that you came here today is a sign, a sign that things are now moving in your favour. And it is easier to maintain a movement once it has started. This knowledge is making you stronger right now. You are changing. Confidence is building in you right now. You are strong and determined. Now that you have decided to change, you know you can change.

Wrong: Your beliefs are holding you back . You are in charge of your life. If you want to change you can.

6. Focus on one area

It is possible to deal with closely related issues in one session but it is best to focus on one problem. If the client has problems with smoking and confidence they should be treated separately. Suggestions should be clustered together so that they reinforce each other.

Right: You radiate confidence when you enter a room. You look fit and well. Your appearance lets others in that room see you as a success. In their eyes you are someone who knows what he is doing, someone they can respect. And their respect gives you more self confidence.

Wrong: You are really confident and you always brush your shoes and exercise daily and don’t smoke.

7. Addresses every aspect of the problem

Suggestion should touch upon every aspect of the problem, not just suggest an overall solution. Individual suggestions should reinforce each other and lead to the overall solution.

Right: You stand confidently, dress confidently, move confidently. Your voice is strong and steady. Your handshake is firm and friendly. You look people in the eye and you smile easily. The way you hold yourself communicates confidence. Your attention and attitude helps people know you are pleased to see them and are looking forward to talk and share with them.

Wrong: You are really confident with new people.

8. Use the client’s experience

If the client tells you that they are relaxed and at peace near the sea, then use that in your suggestions. Nothing is too trivial to seed an idea. Every positive experience is valuable.

9. Emphasize the client’s own resources

Clients are frequently not aware of their own resources, or dismiss them as as of no value. During the discussion of their problem clients will often describe incidents in which they use abilities such as handling difficult people or organizing work. These incidents can be reframed to emphasize the strengths the client has.

10. Suggestions must be attainable

Suggestions must positive, they can stretch the client, but they must be acceptable within the client’s self belief. If the outcome is clearly beyond the client’s self perceived resources then the suggestion will be rejected. They also have to be possible. You cannot tell someone they will lose twenty kilos in time for their daughter’s birthday next week. Also refrain from using words like always, never…

Right: You can walk into a room and impress everyone there. Your poise and self confidence comes from knowing you have prepared well and you know what to say. You can talk comfortably as a result of this knowing.

Wrong: You walk into the room and you are the center of attention. You mesmerize the whole room with stories about your experiences and triumphs. They go helpless with laughter at your jokes. Everyone says you are the greatest person they have ever met.

11. Use all the senses

Each person experiences the world differently, so suggestions need to touch on each of the main senses to ensure that they have the greatest impact. If the suggestions only or mainly focus on seeing, or picturing, or other visual metaphors then a person who does not visualize well may be unable to process the suggestions adequately.

Right: Imagine you are going into that meeting. Deep inside yourself you can feel that confidence, like a rod holding you upright. You see the others smiling and that boosts your confidence. You hear them welcoming you… that means you have made a good impression. You smell the coffee and you know it’s all set up right, you feel the grip of a firm handshake, you feel the weight of the materials in your hand, you are ready, you can taste the success already… You are an outstanding presenter. You are giving them the greatest presentation they ever heard.

Wrong: When you stand up to speak you feel a rush of confidence.

12. Address the client’s behaviour & beliefs

Clients can only influence their own behaviour. Do not word suggestions to imply that other people will change.

13. Incorporate emotions

Suggestions make a greater impact on the subconscious mind when they are put in vibrant emotional terms, and when the behaviours are linked to strong emotions.

Right: As you rise to your feet, with each breathe your concentration increases. Every noise and thought from outside dwindles away. You feel all the resources of your mind awakening; your body feels a surge of confidence. Your hands feel alive, your brain is sharp, your eyes sparkle. You feel something stir deep inside you. A feeling, a feeling of anticipation and overwhelming certainty.

Wrong: When you stand up to speak you feel in charge.

14. Keep it simple

The various applications of suggestions for creating a positive change in the lives of people is covered extensively during our Cognitive Hypnotic Coaching™ program.