Auto-Suggestion: The Third Principle

Steven Barnes
4 min readJun 16, 2021

“Auto-suggestion is a term which applies to all suggestions and all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the five senses. Stated in another way, auto-suggestion is self-suggestion. It is the agency of communication between that part of the mind where conscious thought takes place, and that which serves as the seat of action for the subconscious mind.” — THINK AND GROW RICH

The best and most honest thing I can do here is to speak of my own use of the principle, and its evolution.

  1. As a kid, saying things like “every day in every way I’m getting better and better” was a part of my home life.
  2. Eventually, it became clearer that this must be said with ENTHUSIASM…mere repetition was not enough. It was EMOTION that drives it into the unconscious mind.
  3. Then I came across the notion that WRITING OUT your goals and personal statements every day, and reading them aloud, was even more powerful. Octavia Butler tried to do this, and it sustained her in some very hard times. Same with Bruce Lee and Jim Carrey.
  4. The notion of a physical ritual for goal setting was introduced to me by Tim Piering. He would visualize a mentor or role model standing in front of him, and then literally “step into” that space.
  5. The notion that physical motion, high-energy physical states, can be “anchored” to our emotions was a suggestion I heard from Tony Robbins.
  6. Running with that, I combine Tai Chi with the M.A.G.I.C. formula almost every day (I’m working on combining it with yoga for off days) to focus on being the kind of person who naturally and easily creates joy, health, and success, as well as supporting his community.
  7. Because I model successful people, people I consider fully worthy of emulation, it is possible to focus more on being the person who can have the thing, be the thing, than the goal per se. I don’t say “I earn X per year” as much as seeking to follow in the footsteps of the kind of PERSON who can make X+ per year. Follow the recipe, and you’ll cook the dinner. You can actually focus on the shopping, preparing, cooking, serving…and you look up and say “wow. We had dinner!” while still focusing on the moment to moment activities, rather than the final product.

The point is to ask: what kind of person do I need to be to be a martial artist/successful writer/have a healthy passionate relationship? Who is that? What are their…

Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts. www.lifewritingpodcast.com.