I had a conversation the other evening with a group of people who all work in the same firm and in which several colleagues had all lost significant amounts of weight and had kept it off. I asked how they had got started on this course of action. The answer, which everyone was in agreement with, was that one particular person had started to lose weight and was about 20 pounds lighter than before; everyone began to comment upon how good he looked and then one colleague said he would do it too…then the other’s said “if you’re doing it, I’ll do it too”. A reference was made to the “herd instinct”.
That’s how it all began. Everyone who joined this group has lost weight and kept if off – EVERYONE. Now that is, I have to say, unusual. Clearly the first person, the leader, inspired a great deal of confidence within the group. I do not know them well enough to know what dynamics were at work, but it is interesting to conjecture what might have happened…
Perhaps this “weight loss leader” was someone who was particularly well respected in general, someone who everybody looked up to and tried to emulate. Perhaps this was not the case; maybe this “weight loss leader” was actually a REALLY overweight person, who had tried every diet under the sun and failed in the past, and in losing weight now made everyone think “If he can do it, I DEFINITELY can”. You can see now how diverse the underlying dynamics could be, but whatever they were, they worked.
What is also demonstrated is how suggestible we all are, provided we are given the right suggestion. A stage hypnotist knows only too well how to put the human instinct for suggestibility to work. A stage hypnotist will pick the most highly suggestible subject to perform the first “trick” and then work in order from one person to another in accordance with their initial levels of suggestibility. As each person is seen responding to the hypnotist’s suggestion the following person’s suggestibility is raised. And so by the end, the least suggestible subject will become as suggestible as the first subject to be picked. That person’s belief in the hypnotist’s ability is raised, bit by bit, simply by observing the others reactions.
The bottom line is that we are all suggestible, given the correct stimulus. I wish I had a dollar for every person who over the years has booked a hypnotherapy session and upon arrival their opening announcement was “I don’t know if this will work as I know I’m not suggestible”. As a hypnotherapist, my job is to work out what is the right “hook” for each person. This job is quite often done before the client arrives; for example, if a heavy smoker has been for a hypnotherapy session and stopped easily, then everyone they tell expects it to work for them, just as if a “larger” person has lost a lot of weight encourages everyone else to think that they can do it too.
And so when asked the question of how suggestible you are, the answer is that you are as suggestible as you want to be. It boils down to expectation and desire. We are all inherently suggestible which is witnessed in the way in which we pick up our native tongue, and learn so many things simply by imitating and copying. We are suggestible in things such as clothing fashion, hair style, and choice of career. Every human being is extraordinarily suggestible!
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis mp3 downloads for hypnosis weight loss, stop smoking hypnosis, health, well-being and success.