This might seem like a misnomer to most people reading this. This blog is going to equip you to begin rejecting these unhelpful (albeit well meaning) suggestions that you are constantly bombarded with. Are you even aware of the suggestions that you accept? They occur both overtly and covertly. Examples range from that old friend you see in the store who says “are you feeling okay? You don’t look well” to the doctor who says, “Most people with this issue develop _______” You can fill in the blank. For me the real life example I accepted was back in 1998, when they diagnosed me with Graves disease. When they handed me the pamphlet that was going to answer all the questions I had ever experienced, they also said to me, “We need to warn you that you are very likely to develop cancer. 98% of people with Graves disease go on to develop cancer.” I remember that day like it was today. Time seemed to stop for me for a moment while I just evaluated what had been said to me. In that instant I decided that this would not be my reality. This may seem like an extreme example but let me break it down a little bit. I’m sure we are all familiar with at least one person who we have to hide the side effects pamphlet of the medication from, otherwise they will develop them all. Are you aware of why this happens for them? My understanding is because their subconscious minds are willing to absorb those suggestions.
I could easily digress into what a suggestion is, but instead let’s just agree that there are more suggestions in the world than we are aware of. Here are a few common ones: The Freshman 15 (whereby everyone gains 15 pounds their first year of college), boy pregnancies are worse than girl pregnancies, step parents are mean people, the youngest child is the most immature, you won’t make a profit your first year of owning your own business, you can either work or play but not both, rich people don’t work for their money. I am willing to concede that these have been based in ‘someone’s’ experience, but I refuse to engage in the mindset which says it HAS to happen that way… Because it doesn’t. I have a free will, or as I like to empower people “The Power of Rejection”.
I’ve already alluded to the power of your subconscious mind. Without making this entire blog about the subconscious mind I want you to understand the massive and powerful abilities of this part of your brain. 96-98% of all of your habits and behaviors are stored in the subconscious mind, what impact do you suppose suggestions have on it? I suspect that most of us are not in the habit of filtering out suggestions whether they are helpful or harmful. I would like to empower you with the ability to reject suggestions, and it’s fairly simple. The key here is commitment to yourself and to your wellbeing.
Whenever someone presents me with a suggestion that does not meet my goals I simply say (either internally or externally) I reject that suggestion. Let me give you some examples: I’m eating with a goal of dissolving weight, however it confuses some people. People will say things like, “If you keep eating like that you are going to have cholesterol issues.” I immediately either say out loud to them or inside of my own head, “I reject that suggestion”. I honestly do this with each and every interaction I have throughout every day. When ever a person, situation, interaction or experience presents me with a suggestion that is not going to meet my highest goals, I simply reject that suggestion. It’s not meant to be confrontational, just a matter of fact.
This is an amazingly empowering technique. It brings me so much joy when my bonus kids say to me, “I reject that suggestion”. It literally makes me laugh because they have been paying attention!
I hope that you will begin rejecting all of the suggestions that don’t meet your needs or goals.
Jenn Bovee, LCSW, CRADC, CCHt
Jenn is a private practice therapist in Central Illinois who specializes in the subconscious mind. Learn more about her at www.Inspiringenterprisesllc.com