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A3 Autosuggestion Technique

A3 Autosuggestion Technique

1. Introduction to the A3 type of Autosuggestion

Have you ever been in a meeting and had what could be a great idea, but felt hesitant to share it? Or have you pulled away from what could have been a good friendship due to a feeling of insecurity? Our shyness, fears and insecurities can hold us back and keep us from achieving our full potentials in all aspects of our lives. We may see others who are able to handle situations like public speaking or approaching others calmly and wish we could be like them. However, if we don’t see these qualities in ourselves, it can be hard to believe that we can ever develop them and be as good.

Many people experience such problems, and there are many articles, self-help books, courses, etc. designed to help people to overcome it. Some of these solutions can be complex as well. However, most people are unaware that there is a technique that is as simple as repeating a few lines regularly that can help to resolve shyness, fears, insecurities and much more. This is the A3 Autosuggestion technique. In this article, we explain more about this technique and how one can apply it to overcome such blocks and other negative personality traits.

2. Definition of the A3 Autosuggestion (AS) technique

The A3 Autosuggestion technique is also known as the ‘Hypnotic desensitisation technique’ or ‘Imagery in a hypnotic trance’. The technique consists of creating a scene in one’s mind of successfully facing a stressful situation in a self-induced hypnotic trance. This mental rehearsal enables a person to overcome the stressor. Since the mind has rehearsed how to face the incident, when the incident actually does take place, one does not feel stressed.

Use the A3 Autosuggestion to overcome incorrect reactions when the duration of the incident is long.

Desensitisation means bringing about a gradual decline in the intensity of an experience or emotion (feared stimulus) in a step-wise manner. This is done by conditioning or cultivating a new positive response to the stimulus that was previously feared. By repeatedly rehearsing in one’s mind as to how to face the feared stimulus or situation successfully, it eventually weakens the unpleasant response in one’s mind.

3. When is it used?

  • The A3 Autosuggestion technique is used to overcome any wrong/incorrect reactions caused by a prolonged incident/situation (that causes stress to a person). This is when the duration of the incident lasts for more than 1-2 minutes, for example, fear of travelling by air, stress about an upcoming examination, uneasiness about attending a party, impotency during sex, etc.
  • It is used to overcome personality defects such as lack of perseverance, lack of initiative, being reserved, lack of self-confidence, submissiveness, timidity, feelings of inferiority, etc. It is also used to overcome negative impressions such as ‘I cannot do this, or I am not sure if I will be able to do it’.
  • Additionally, the A3 Autosuggestions can help to overcome phobias (a situation in which there is extreme anxiety due to fear arising from an object or situation) and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) symptoms. Phobias can be debilitating. The Oxford English dictionary lists about 108 phobias. This Autosuggestion can also help in alleviating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

3.1 Countering negative thoughts

The mind gives us many negative thoughts about situations where we may feel a lack of confidence, a sense of inferiority, fearfulness, etc.

For example, when a person is due to appear for an interview, prior to that he can be overcome with nervousness and stress, which in turn has a paralysing effect on him. By the person’s mind painting a negative picture of the event, he can be flooded with thoughts like, ‘Oh, I will not fare well in the interview, I will be nervous, the interviewers will not be satisfied with the answers which I will give, I am sure I will stammer and eventually I will not be selected, etc.’ Every thought has energy behind it, and it has the potential to bring one down. When there are many negative thoughts, our mind sets us up for failure.

A3 Autosuggestions help to counter all such negative thoughts with positive ones. They also help us to rehearse how we will actually go about facing the situation and hence they reassure the mind.

3.2 Planning versus rehearsal

Many a time, we plan in advance how we will speak, behave or act when visiting a place/attending an event. So, is such a type of plan the same as a rehearsal of the incident like it is done while taking an A3 Autosuggestion ? The answer is that these two are different. The first (that is, planning) is at the level of the conscious mind and the second (that is, rehearsing through an AS) is at the level of the subconscious mind.

4. The format to frame an A3 type of Autosuggestion is :

To frame an A3 Autosuggestion, the whole incident is written in the present continuous tense in a positive way, rehearsing in our mind that we are facing a difficult situation successfully. This is formulated so that we are able to overcome the stress in the mind. It helps us to address the actual situation in a better manner, by improving our actions and thought processes while dealing with it. Each positive sentence given to the mind helps to counter the negative thoughts.

The format for framing an A3 Autosuggestion is as follows :

  1. We should frame sentences in the present continuous tense.
  2. The sentences should be positive. We should not use any negative words such as ‘not’.
  3. It should be not less than 5 sentences and not more than 15 sentences.
  4. The sentences should be simple so that the mind can grasp them easily.
  5. The wording of the sentences at the end wherever possible should say that we have completed the task successfully.

Using the above format, let us take an example to illustrate how an A3 Autosuggestion can be written :

One example of how an A3 Autosuggestion can be used to address this fear is given below.

  • I am getting thoughts that I need to conduct a meeting.
  • I am praying and starting to calm down.
  • I understand the topic of the meeting and I am planning what to say.
  • I am entering the meeting room with a stable mind and starting the meeting with confidence.
  • The meeting is going smoothly, and I am answering the questions of my superiors satisfactorily.
  • Everyone is looking content and satisfied with my presentation.
  • I am expressing gratitude to God that I am able to conduct the meeting with confidence.

Another example of how an A3 Autosuggestion can be framed is as follows :

  • My presentation is scheduled for Monday.
  • I am practising the points of the presentation aloud which I need to explain to others.
  • I am fully prepared for it.
  • I am calmly revising the points in my mind.
  • I am confident that I will be able to satisfactorily answer any question asked by the audience.
  • I reach the conference venue on time.
  • I am called to the dais to make the presentation.
  • I am sitting on my seat very calmly.
  • The master of ceremonies asks me to start my presentation.
  • I am explaining all the points mentioned in my presentation and it is flowing well.
  • All the questions asked by the audience are easy and I am able to answer them perfectly.
  • The time limit for the presentation comes to an end.
  • I am returning home and telling my family that I delivered a very good presentation and it was liked by everyone.
  • My self-confidence has grown. I am relaxing and preparing for the next day.
  • I am falling asleep peacefully.

5. How to know when to select the A3 Autosuggestion technique

A visual representation showing how to assess when to select the A3 technique is given below.

Let us take the mistake below as a practical example to illustrate how to know when to select the A3 technique.

Example of being fearful and its solution

Example analysis :

  1. The first question we need to ask to determine the type of Autosuggestion to use is – whose personality defect is primarily the cause of stress in the situation, or who is responsible for the mistake. Here it is ‘self’ as Helen is worrying on her own. Helen has put a lot of effort into setting up her Airbnb rental, so chances are that the guests may give a positive review as well. So, it is ‘self’.
  2. The next question we would ask is – Was this mistake an ‘incorrect action, thought or emotion’ or was it an ‘incorrect reaction’ ? Here it is a ‘reaction’ to the guests/situation.
  3. Finally, we would need to ask if the incident provoking the reaction is a prolonged incident. In this case, it is prolonged as Helen is continuously worrying about the possibility of receiving negative reviews from guests coming to stay at her Airbnb rental.

So, based on the analysis, an A3 Autosuggestion can be used.

The Autosuggestion can be :

  • I am getting thoughts that an Airbnb guest is checking in today.
  • I am feeling calm as their room is ready and everything is prepared for their arrival.
  • I send a short message to ask the guest when they will arrive, and they respond positively.
  • When the guest arrives, I greet them warmly and share with them how to use the facilities in the house.
  • They are listening and understanding the instructions with a positive attitude.
  • During the guest’s stay, everything happens smoothly, and I am communicating with them clearly.
  • They are enjoying their stay and I am able to attend to them with care.
  • After the guests checks out, they leave a positive review on Airbnb. By God’s grace, up to now most of my guest have been giving a positive review.
  • I am expressing gratitude to God as the entire stay happened smoothly.

6. How to give an A3 Autosuggestion

There are 2 ways of taking an A3 AS.

6.1 Method 1 for giving an A3 Autosuggestion

The first method is as per the format given in the table below. It starts with a prayer and thereafter chanting to calm the mind. One has to read the A3 Autosuggestion once only. Unlike other AS techniques where one is to repeat them 5 times, the A3 AS needs to be repeated only once as it is much longer.

# Particulars Min: Seconds
1 Prayer – ‘Oh God let this AS reach my subconscious mind, remove all the obstacles with regards to this AS and let me imbibe qualities by giving this AS.’ 0:30
2 Chanting the Name of God1 2:00
3 Giving the A3 AS 1:30
4 Expressing gratitude – ‘Gratitude for getting this AS done. Let me be able to persevere in doing the AS every day.’ 1:00
Total duration of the AS 5:00

Footnote 1 : Chanting God’s Name produces a relaxing effect, which has the same effect on the mind as the ‘conditioned counting technique’ given below.

6.2 Method 2 for giving an A3 Autosuggestion

The second method is by inducing a trance. A deep trance is needed to give an A3 Autosuggestion. Going into a trance means opening the veil between the conscious and subconscious mind through an exercise. When this veil is lifted, whatever is told to the conscious mind enters the subconscious mind and gradually starts showing the expected results.

There are various exercises to go into a trance. One of the simplest is the deep trance exercise, the ‘conditioned counting technique’ and it is described below.

The conditioned counting technique : We can imagine that we are going into a trance. One can imagine, ‘now I am going to count from 1 to 10. At the count of 3, I will close my eyes and relax. With each successive number, I will relax more and more, and with the count of 10 I will be able to go into the deepest possible state of relaxation and will be able to concentrate fully on what I am thinking. 1…..2…..3 (close eyes)…..4…..5…..6…..7…..8…..9…..10.’

Advantages of the conditioned counting technique

  1. It can be done anywhere even in a train, bus, office, etc. as the exercise does not involve any odd movements of one’s arms or hands.
  2. As the exercise is short, it requires only about 20 seconds to induce a trance, so more sessions can be done in a day. This is useful especially in an emergency or a dire situation (like becoming tense before an examination or an interview) it is easier to count from 1 to 10. After inducing a trance, we need to imagine the situation in the trance in a positive way.

How to conduct imagery (the AS) in a hypnotic trance ?

  1. First go into a trance.
  2. Imagine the situation which is inducing the stress – in the positive, present continuous tense, without any negative statements in it.
  3. As the entire suggestion is rather long. it is to be done only once during each session of autohypnosis.

Then, express gratitude and the session ends.

7. Examples of A3 type Autosuggestions

In this section, we provide you with various examples of situations where one commonly may have a reaction. The slideshow below has :

  1. The mistake
  2. The analysis
  3. A suggested Autosuggestion
Please note that we have provided alternative Autosuggestions for each mistake. This is because for any individual, as per his/her personality, his/her mind may be more receptive to certain perspectives over others.

These Autosuggestions help to overcome personality defects such as

  1. Fear of flying
  2. Stress before an interview
  3. Fear of driving
  4. Fear of taking a driving exam
  5. Feeling inferior while meeting friends at a college reunion
  6. Feeling anxious about an exam
  7. Lack of perseverance when dieting
  8. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  9. Fear of my visa interview
  10. Shyness about meeting new people
  11. Lack of confidence in starting a business
  12. Timidity and shyness in speaking to women
  13. Anxiety about meeting one’s ex-husband
  14. Being submissive

8. Conclusion

We often identify with personality traits such as fear, lack of confidence, etc. believing that they are a part of who we are. There is a feeling that we will not be able to transcend them. However, through the A3 Autosuggestion technique, we can overcome such traits. Many long-standing issues which have brought us down are resolved by taking such Autosuggestions.

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