Using Stories for the Power of Suggestion
This little yellow pill can change your life. It is irrefutable. Studies have proven that simply by taking this pill you can achieve things never before believed. It increases your intuition, connecting you to an inner adaptive ability to perceive clearly and make decisions that positively impact important outcomes in your life. How does it work? By opening specific receptors in the brain the conscious mind is able to access information and abilities that are normally controlled by the subconscious, making intention a powerful, unassailable tool.
The only catch You must believe.
Lately I have been spending a lot of time exploring the idea of manifestation and, in turn the power of suggestion that is implied in the discourse. For those familiar with the teachings of Abraham, the Law of Attraction assumes that we attract everything to us – the physical manifestations we see, like money or friends or possessions, as well as the other details that color our experience such as love, are brought to us through the vibrational frequency we exude. We attract what we feel, and what we feel is dictated by the thoughts we continually entertain.
So if this is true, what does it really mean to our existence? If I have cancer, is it because I thought about having cancer too much? If I win the lottery, is it because I expected to?
Sort of. If you’ve seen “The Secret”, you might think that this is all there is to it. Think about nice things and allow them to come to you. It is, in actuality, a much more complex theory than this, but at the core is the idea that if we expect certain things to be true, they will be. The Power of Suggestion holds a significant position in our experience of our world and our life.
They can because they think they can. - VIRGIL
Neuroscience has explored the power of suggestion, delving into the relationships between suggestion, cognition and behavior. Some studies have uncovered that deliberate suggestion can have powerful influence over how people perform on learning and memory tasks, how they respond to medicine, and what products they prefer. What they’ve noted is that suggestion sets up automatic responses that actively influence the way in which we achieve certain outcomes. If we expect people to be rude to us, we take notice of the impolite and ignorant activities of those around us, ignoring more pleasant responses and, ultimately, fulfilling our own prophecies.
But can the Power of Suggestion really help us win the lottery? Or get that dream job? Or cure our stubborn case of foot fungus?
Well, how deeply can you truly believe?
We tell ourselves stories for millions of reasons, but one major one is to make sense of the world around us so that we can automate our lives enough to function. It’s how we establish confidence in things. And confidence allows us to focus attention on other things, expecting that whatever it is we have confidence in will operate successfully on its own, with minimal attention.
My own personal analogy is my experience learning to snowboard. The first time I got up on that flat, polished, death platform and looked down that vertical ice slope I thought “this is pure insanity. Guaranteed disaster.” For whatever reason, I stood up and went for it despite my most pronounced internal arguments, and ended up with an extremely bruised tailbone. It was exhausting, defeating, and painful. But I got back up and did it again, and again, and again, believing that I would never be able to make it down the hill on my feet, but allowing my stubbornness to keep my feet in those boots for the day.
It took three days. And then all of a sudden, halfway down the hill on that third day, something clicked. We say “clicked” because it feels so very much like that – an immediate, definitive connection. An instantaneous change in paradigms. One minute something is impossible, and suddenly it is reality. Boom. Shift.
But there’s a story attached to it. And to believe, we need that story. We need an evolution to take place. We need some sort of evidence to back up our new theory and perspective. In order to truly believe something, we need the narrative.
We can and do manifest things. “Thoughts become things.” But it’s not as easy as simply thinking about what you want out of life. You have to expect it. You need a story that you buy into. Marketers know this. Psychologists, too. And good storytellers.
So what is it you’re wanting out of life? What would you need to happen to believe it? Maybe all it would take is some good storytelling skills and that little yellow pill really would make all your dreams come true. Maybe.