Neurolinguistics and Suggestibility in Affirmations

Neurolinguistics and Suggestibility in Affirmationsfeatured

By Andrew Wilding

Diagram showing the different suggestibilities of right and left brain hemisphere dominance

Your suggestibility is a set of neurolinguistic patterns to which your subconscious mind responds, and is effected by the dominant brain hemisphere in your thinking.


Affirmations are like many effective methods that have become commercialised and lost some essential detail that is required for the method to be successful. Most people find it intuitive that the exact wording or neurolinguistics of your affirmation determines the depth to which you are suggestible to the content.

Neurolinguistics is the science of subconscious language and if this science is properly understood, affirmations can actually be as life-changing as many people claim them to be.

It is a well established principle in neuroscience that we do not all respond to words and language in the same way – each person responds according to their individual beliefs, values, and memories – but if you were to use a program of certain words that have positive symbolic meaning for you, the effect of repeating that program of words would be life-changing because you would be learning a new belief about yourself. In this way you could literally accomplish anything you set your mind to – provided you know what neurolinguistic programming (NLP) to use.

The $2,000,000 question is: Who knows the words?

With the answer to that question, you could manifest $2,000,000, or stop smoking, or lose weight, or overcome anxiety, or depression, or heal yourself from a terminal disease, and there are hundreds of best selling books written by ordinary people who have changed their lives in exactly this way. A good qualification in NLP or hypnotherapy will teach you how to read your own neurolinguistics, and determine the specific language patterns to which you are suggestible. It will of course take time to know yourself to the point where you can script an effective neurolinguistic program for yourself, but an easy way to get started is to explore your suggestibility.


What is Suggestibility?

Your suggestibility is a set of neurolinguistic patterns to which your subconscious mind responds. Dr. John Kappas [HMI California, where I qualified] conclusively found that we favour the use of one brain hemisphere, and the result is predictable suggestibility to certain language patterns. His study found that 50% of any population uses their left brain hemisphere more than the right, resulting in a heightened suggestibility to “Intellectual” language patters, while the other 50% is right brain dominant, resulting in a heightened suggestibility to “Physical” language patters.

Kappas’ research (c. 1980) was quite revolutionary, at a time when psychology was still very dominated by gender-based differences, and in the field of couples therapy this new model gave therapists a far more accurate understanding of relationship dynamics that earlier chauvinistic forms of psycho-analysis could never approach. Suggestible occurs by percentage, for example 67% left, 33% right, and is learned up to that age of early puberty. Here are some examples to differentiate between the left and right hemisphere ways of thinking:


Right Brain Hemisphere = “Physical” Suggestibility

  • Take things very literally
  • Respond well to physical descriptions and direct suggestions
  • Feel uncomfortable talking about their emotions

Example affirmations:

  • I am successful
  • The more I focus on my success, the more confident I am
  • The more confident I am, the more successful I am


Left Brain Hemisphere = “Intellectual” Suggestibility

  • Tendency to read between the lines
  • Respond well to emotional descriptions, and inferred suggestions
  • Tend to feel uncomfortable with direct requests or commands

Example affirmations:

  • Because I have succeeded, I remember that feeling of accomplishment
  • Focusing my mind on the emotion of success, I feel more confident
  • Imagining my success, I tend to be more successful


The full HMI Suggestibility Test is part of my hypnotherapy treatment. You can do this on-line via Skype or Google Chat, or book a walk-in session in Cape Town.

Check availability here.

About the author

Andrew Wilding

Andrew Wilding is a Counseling Hypnotherapist (HMI C.Ht) specialising in creative Visualization and psychoacoustics. He is also a radio presenter on Fine Music Radio, committee member of the Friends of Orchestral Music Cape Town, and a motivational speaker.