As we should all know by now, Auto-Suggestion and Self-Hypnosis are a very important part of the self-cure process of our speech impediments, and of course, can also help us deal with many other problems.
As Alex Korb, PhD in Neuroscience, said, in order to stop stuttering “we need to create a new habit, and in order to do that we need to repeat them over and over until our brain re-wires itself”. This is the basis of Auto-Suggestion, the way Émile Coué, the father of modern Auto-Suggestion, explains them and that we recommend. Explained in the simplest way possible, to give ourselves an autosuggestion treatment (AST), we need to be as relaxed as we can, and then repeat a series of affirmations, at least twenty times each. As we can see, repetition is the key. The most repeated thought becomes the predominant one, that’s the moral of this story. We are actually brainwashing ourselves, but in the way that we want, not the environment.
The main difference between auto-suggestion and self-hypnosis is that in the former, the affirmations have to go through the filter of the conscious mind before reaching the subconscious mind, whereas in the latter, the affirmations go directly to the subconscious mind. But in either case, we can use the same list of affirmations for both.
At this moment I don’t use the same affirmations as when I was trying to stop stuttering. At that time, all of them were focused on my speech. There is a very useful list of affirmations in Lee’s book, “Stuttering & Anxiety Self-Cures”, as well as in his “Speech Anxiety to Public Speaking”. Now, as a PWSS, just a few of my ASTs are focused on improving my speech. The rest of them are aimed to other aspects of my personality that I want to improve or change.
Currently, my three favourite affirmations are these:
- Every day, in every way, my speech gets better and better. (My first affirmation of the list, and an adaptation of one of Émile Coué’s most famous affirmations.)
- Every day, I plan less and less words.
- Today I’m going to make a happy day. (My last one.)
A few weeks ago one of my colleagues, Prathusha, in one of her coaching sessions, explained very clearly with a metaphor the importance of doing auto-suggestions (and/or self-hypnosis) every day if we want to stop stuttering. The Crutches work like a pill. They will “get rid of the pain”. But ASTs are like surgery and they will help us remove the “tumour.” I couldn’t have explained it better, and of course, it works just as well with other problems or aspects of ourselves that we want to improve.
Most likely we won’t feel the effects of the ASTs or Self-Hypnosis immediately, but they do work. It took around three weeks from the first time I began giving myself self-hypnosis treatments until the moment I began feeling the effects of these, and they were quite intense. So don’t feel discouraged if at the beginning you don’t see any changes. Keep on trying, persistence is the key to success!
Tell us about your experiences with ASTs and/or Self-Hypnosis! You can do it in the Forum of WSSA. Which are your favourite or most helpful affirmations?