The Power of Auto-Suggestion

I was motivated to make this post based on the exuberant number of negative and self-hating social media posts I’ve seen in recent weeks. Here are just a few of the examples I’ve seen throughout the week:

“If I didn’t fuck everything up all the time that would be great,”

“I’m really upset but it doesn’t really matter,”

“LOL I really just hate my life”

“Tried to do something different but I just suck”

And that’s just a FEW; there are so many more that I’ve seen and I can’t imagine how many there are that I haven’t seen.

There’s one major point I want to make here:

 “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.” -Marcus Aurelius

This is, in essence, the principle of auto-suggestion, it encompasses all suggestion and self-administered stimuli to the mind through the five sense. The thoughts that you feed your subconscious will result in the physical manifestation of those thoughts in the world around you, as well as in your attitude and beliefs. This sounds complicated (and Freudian) but it’s really quite simple.

The easiest example is your typical case of a Negative Nancy; someone who constantly sees the negative in themselves and everything around them. Well, when you have no control over your stream of thought impulses and you constantly allow yourself think negative thoughts all the time, guess what? That’s going to translate physically into the world and you’re going to approach every scenario with a negative attitude.

  “The subconscious mind makes no distinction between destructive and constructive thought impulses. It works with the material we feed it.” -Napoleon Hill

Auto-suggestion can be incredibly destructive to our lives by perpetuating self-hate, depression, and low self-esteem, but if we understand how it works we can just as easily flip it around into a success and happiness-breeding mechanism that allows us to accomplish goals, appreciate achievement, and ultimately enjoy our lives.

To begin down this path you must first believe you can change your thoughts and attitudes (which you absolutely can); all great successes require a little faith in yourself. Second, you must become consciously aware of when you are thinking negative thoughts, point them out to yourself, and literally check yourself. Realize your thoughts are destructive and then exercise control over them by reminding yourself of the positive things in life. If you have difficulty with this i.e. “there’s nothing to be positive about in my life,” then I want you to do this:

Take a look at every obstacle that stands in your way right now, and try to find an opportunity in it by thinking outside of the box. Realize that life does not always go according to plan, and that’s completely okay because you are capable of handling it and making the best out of it if you choose to.

Examples where I’ve done this in my life:

I recently couldn’t get into PSY 301, the required class to declare my Psychology major and take upper-level classes to ensure I graduate college on-time. Instead I am now going to major in Sociology with a Psychology minor, which will give me a different perspective from what I’m accustomed to and allow me the opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts I hadn’t considered before. Not to mention, the opportunity to take something that should be considered “bad” and make something good out of it, that in itself is an opportunity to practice excellency in dealing with adversity and something to be proud of.

My mother’s death a little over a year ago. No doubt this was the most difficult obstacle I’ve ever faced in my entire life, and while I of course grieved for her the first couple weeks, I still found the positive in this dire situation because her death gave me the opportunity to become closer with my step-dad, relatives I had lost touch with, and bring together many of the great people in my life to share themselves with each other and recall the good memories with my mother. The ultimate opportunity though was to succeed my mother’s legacy by being joyful and grateful for the many things in life, just like she did her throughout her life. Although a spectator would argue that she lived a life of pain and suffering, it couldn’t be further from the truth because of her choice to be happy for some of the most simple things in life, such as watching me eat four cheeseburgers in one sitting and the cartoon character Tweety Bird.

So please, take advantage of the knowledge I’ve provided and take control of auto-suggestion to use as a tool to better your life, because you are capable of living an enriching and joyful life provided you have the knowledge, tools, and the belief in yourself that you can make the best of any situation that comes your way.

Every obstacle is an opportunity to practice excellence.

 

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The Power of Auto-Suggestion

Balancing the Warrior Energy and Building Self-Confidence

I look around and I see a serious issue with the male culture of today.

Several of my friends, acquaintances, and countless random people on the internet that I have spoken to all suffer from a similar problem: they’re out of touch with their masculinity; specifically with the masculine energy of the Warrior. They’re plagued by low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence which leads to unhappy and unfulfilled lives, and in a generation where depression and anxiety disorders are at their peak, this cannot be ignored. The principles of Jungian Psychology, developed by Carl Jung, state that the mature masculine psyche is made up of four archetypes: the Lover, the Magician, the Warrior, and the King. These other archetypes do not concern me as much because I don’t see many men out of touch with the others in the same magnitude as the Warrior. If these principles interest you I would invite you to check out “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover” by Robert Moore.

So what is the Warrior exactly?

It is the energy inside every man (and woman) that allows us to be decisive, courageous, disciplined, aggressive, destructive, emotionally detached, driven, and loyal. Now I know several people will look at some of those traits and think “those sound so negative, I don’t want me/my son/my friend/etc. to be like that,” the only issue is this train of thought is exactly what has led this generation of men to be out of touch with their masculinity. Being in touch with these traits in a balanced way is necessary to be a fully functioning and balanced human being. We are a generation of “Nice guys” and “Yes men” because we lack the ability to be decisive, aggressive, and courageous. We need to bring out our warrior energy to improve our lives and achieve our goals.

Nice Guys

Ever since I’ve been in college there has been a constantly reoccurring theme coming from guys: “I’m such a nice guy, but I can’t get girls. Why do nice guys always finish last?”

The simple answer I would give to this is that it is not natural or healthy (or attractive in this case) to always be nice about everything. It’s human nature to have conflict and by being nice and agreeing to everything other people say all the time just to have external positive reinforcement, you give up your power, assertiveness, and uniqueness as an individual which basically makes you look and feel like a weakling.Then comes the vicious cycle of being ashamed of yourself because things didn’t work out well, even though you did what you thought was right according to your own thoughts/upbringing/societal norms and your self-esteem begins deteriorating. I have experienced this several times early on in my life and it was one of the worst experiences I have ever dealt with. I was lucky enough to realize that it was unnatural and unhealthy at a very young age, others are not this fortunate and I blame parenting as a major contributor to these mental issues.

Only in the last couple decades has the energy of the Warrior started to be shunned and perceived as negative, especially in the upbringing of children. Kids are repeatedly told over and over again to “be nice,” “don’t fight,” and “don’t argue,” it’s no wonder why we have such an influx of “Nice guys” and “Yes men” (or as I would say “Weak men”). Many of these men are just doing the right thing by reciprocating their childhood lessons and following what their parents taught them, yet they still suffer for this in their own lives in the future. We need to teach kids that being assertive, confrontational, and having conflicts is completely natural and healthy.

Balance

There is a reason I named this post “Balancing the Warrior Energy” instead of “Unleashing the Warrior Energy,” and that is because on the opposite side of the spectrum you have men that are over-indulged in the aspects of the Warrior. These would be the kids who bully others to deal with their personal insecurities, men who constantly fight for no reason, men who seek to attack and humiliate others for personal gain, men who commit acts of domestic violence, rape, murder, etc. who give the public increasing reason to hate and shun the aspects of the Warrior energy because these are the types of men that typically come to mind when words like “aggressive,” “destructive,” and “emotionally detached,” are thrown around. I cannot assert enough that these types of men are also WEAK. They lack self-control, purpose, and discipline, all which are traits of the Warrior. A Warrior is aggressive towards his goals and purpose, he is driven towards success, and destructive towards the things that hold him back (such as bad/unproductive habits).

How to Bring Out the Warrior Energy and Build Self-Confidence

Finally, the how-to guide on accessing this type of energy and building self-confidence. These are the methods that I personally used to improve my life by becoming more in touch with the Warrior energy and skyrocketing my self-confidence.

Do Things That Scare You. That anxious feeling you get in your gut when the possibilities of the unknown present themselves? Take it by the horns, assert your dominance over your gut, and in the words of Shia Labeouf, JUST DO IT. Do that thing that scares you, whatever it is. Take risks, because this is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.

Be Decisive. If you want to do something in a group, but you’re worried others might disagree even though they’re not speaking up, assert yourself anyways and make the decision to speak up. If you are unsure of which of two roads to take, imagine the worst possible result of each of them, think on it in that context, but make that decision. Don’t shrug it off and forget about it.

Don’t Seek Approval From Others. I cannot stress this enough: people will love you and hate you even if you are a people pleaser, so save yourself the trouble of trying to please everyone and embrace your own individuality by ignoring the opinions of others. The only opinion that matters is your own opinion of yourself.

Find Your Core Values. Take some serious time to think on what attributes and traits you value most. For example mine are: Knowledge, Wisdom, Strength, Justice, and Integrity. Write these down, focus on them, and let them guide you through life in your decisions and endeavors. This is also a great way to help figure out which career path you will most enjoy. Remember, there are no wrong answers to this so make it honest and true.

Take Initiative. Don’t wait around for life waiting to happen to you, go out and find or make what you want of it. Don’t be a reactive person, be a proactive person. This is a very important leadership trait to have and taking initiative when it matters most will not only boost the confidence you have in yourself, but people around you will be more confident in your abilities as well.

Stand Up For Yourself And Your Ideals. Once you have found your core values and you know what your beliefs are, stand up for them and fight for them. This is typically what makes Warriors so romanticized in fiction and media; their relentless ability to fight for their cause no matter the cost. Stand up for yourself in social situations: don’t allow yourself to be pushed around and don’t sheepishly walk away from confrontation (unless your life may be in danger). Assert yourself because you are a person of value like everyone else and your beliefs, feelings, and thoughts matter. This is not a free pass to be an over-aggressive asshole and attack people who believe differently though. Remember: balance.

That is all I have for you on this topic, hopefully you found this somewhat helpful or it at least got you thinking. If you disagree with what I’ve said here, then at least this will open up a dialogue for discussion. Also note: I realize this was mainly geared towards men; however, all of these methods and ideas apply to women who want to build self-confidence as well. There is just not a huge issue with a lack of the Warrior energy in women at this moment due to the large population of strong women in this world constantly fighting for their rights and beliefs (go feminism!). I think they have the Warrior energy figured out pretty well.

-Gabe Squier

Balancing the Warrior Energy and Building Self-Confidence