By Sharon Dalzell-Schlotthauer
Hearing a commercial come on the radio, I turn the radio off. I am tired of being bombarded by suggestions that I probably have termites or rodents in the basement and I need an exterminator for my house that I can ‘refi’ as easily as falling off a log. These repetitive suggestions are meant to bypass our conscious recognition. The most powerful suggestions operate in the subconscious mind and become our prejudices, assumptions, and habits of thinking. These suggestions given to us from outside sources, such as radio tv, movies, operate like the way we chew gum without thinking about it, the way we reach for certain brands, and shop at particular stores. The method used is post hypnotic suggestion, or neuro linguistic programming, known as NLP, and is profoundly effective, especially with repetition. The idea is to implant the name of a brand into the subconscious mind. Then, when the roof leaks, we automatically think of that particular roofing company, the one that we always hear on the radio.
TV marketing or advertising uses hypnotic suggestion to encourage or lead us to whatever is being offered for sale.
Hypnotic marketing strategies sometimes if not oftentimes exploit our trust, utilizing suggestive evocative images and phrases meant to tug at our sentiments and inspire a willingness to buy whatever is being offered for sale. An introduction followed by some free information, or gift , or help is given . The marketing strategy is to ignite in the individual the spirit of reciprocity. The target market means a group or an individual being led to desire a product or process, that supposedly, will give that group or individual satisfaction. Through a gift being offered, the desire to purchase the product or process is being inserted into the subconscious mind . The strategy instills trust in the receiver. By this means, our, ( the target market ) sense of fairness is triggered because we think that the giver has shown faith and trust in us by giving us something, perhaps, truly valuable. And, we begin to show faith and trust in return by buying product from what we consider a trusted vendor, After accepting a free gift, we “take the bait” or trust and believe that what is being purchased will benefit us , meet our needs, and satisfy our desires. Sometimes there is some satisfaction, often times just the opposite. How many times has the consumer felt and actually been sold a promise in a product or service that fell far short of that promise.
How strange I felt when I realized that that marketing techniques, post hypnotic suggestion, guided imagery, NLP were the same techniques that I was learning in my study of hypnosis. The difference being that my intention was and is to use the techniques to benefit the individual as she or he decides. For instance hypnosis can be successful in it’s power to break habits that my clients no longer want, beliefs running automatically below the level of consciousness via the subconscious mind, sometimes the very beliefs put there by marketing strategies. Those advertising campaigns glamorizing junk food, cigarettes, or other legal addictive substances, using alluring images of good feelings , hypnotic suggestion that these products have great value .
It is clear that hypnotic suggestion is a double-edged sword.
It can be used to manipulate the subconscious mind destructively or constructively. It’s a tool that depends on the integrity of who is using it. Considering hypnotic suggestion that goes beyond even marketing strategies selling products to consumers, notice the absurd or destructive behavior in which crowds can be led by a hypnotic speaker, to offer huge amounts of money in return for some notion of abundance returning ten fold, or worse the hypnotic power of a speaker who can stir up a hate driven lynch mob. It is important to notice and to remember that suggestion is not a trifling matter.
Our ability to trust our perceptions and our environment is as vital to our survival as our ability to be learn from whatever events we have experienced as painful , sometimes traumatic. When our trust has been exploited, manipulated by outside forces, we either begin to refuse or become afraid to trust what is going on in and around us, or we become denizens believing and doing whatever we’re told. Either way, obedient or rebellious, we are still, more often than not, at the mercy of hypnotic suggestions coming at us and into our minds, from outside influence that bypass the conscious mind and influence our thinking without our being aware of what is being placed in our minds.
We can use hypnotic suggestion for our own benefit.
We can use this same set of hypnotic tools to undo thinking habits that have been inserted into our subconscious minds, provided we do it consciously. We can anchor the notion to disobey no longer useful or wanted old ideas that are running automatically in our subconscious minds and take advantage of a hypnotic trance to instill in our subconscious minds the notion of confidence, freedom of expression, freedom to make new and different choices. We can dislodge old fear based limits and anchor belief in freedom to make mistakes, engaging in trial and error to find new and better ways of living, creating a world in which we want to live. We can change the content of our subconscious minds, for our own benefit. We can break free of what has been inserted by in authentic authorities. We can move beyond whatever limits in mind that keep us frightened of the unknown, of failure of success. Finding we can change and clear our minds for our own benefit is an awakening of our creative power. It s a genuinely valuable use of the mind.