Don't think of a pet...
Don't think of that pet...
Don't think of any pet...
Don't under any circumstances bring to mind a pet...
Don't do it or you'll think of a pet.
Saying this to someone and giving them the time to process the instruction will have the person think of a pet from their life experience. Even if they've never owned a pet the word is vague enough for them to find some kind of way of attaching some arbitrary animal that is most likely a dog or cat and maybe someone else's who they recall or even make up to fill the gaps. This is because in order to understand the statements the person has to know what not to do in order to not do it. You may have thought of a pet yourself.
This is a very powerful yet massively misused by well meaning people.
Don't do drugs.
My sister said to me the other day, "You aren't going to do drugs again, are you?" which had the upward inflection of being a question at the end. I was sober and happy and not thinking of drugs but now I had this question in my mind that had the desirable thought of doing drugs again which wasn't what she had intended no matter what paranoid delusional thinking may suggest.
These are pretty easy to spot as they tend to come in the form of the action to be avoided or not thought of with words such as don't and avoid connected to them. Another is using can't which on one level is understood as a limit and usually on an unconscious level the thing they are supposed to not be able to do is taken as something that can be done.
You can't draw.
The person may understand this as a limitation and on a deeper level they will have some understanding of the action of drawing. Unless you have no arms, legs or orifice to hold a pencil or are missing the visual part of your brain and senses then you can draw to some degree. And everyone can learn to do better given the right instruction.
People often think that it is the instructions that are the problem or solution in either hindering or propelling people to carry them out. The real driver is how the instructions are given. This can be the wording, tone, teaching style and so on.
This is shown by a teacher who is given a class of supposedly 'learning disabled' kids to teach but told they are all high achievers and good learners.
The teacher manages to get far more positive results because she believes in the kids and even when things aren't understood the teacher takes this as a fault in teaching rather than a fault in the kids.
Our eduction systems tend to work the other way and the students are labelled in how smart they are based on how well they understand each teacher. This is so wrong and if you have kids and want them to be well educated then an hour each night of fun interaction on homework and more is worth a month of class room time. If you leave your children's eduction in the hands of public schooling then prepare for a game of chance.
And believe they will understand eventually which is simply being able to keep altering how you deliver information as shouting it louder isn't that effective.
A parent may give their child the well meaning instruction, "Don't do that, you'll spill your drink." And the kid stops for a second and then resumes playing up and spills the drink.
In hypnosis this can be thought of as direct suggestion as used by more authoritarian word weavers. It has both negation that is saying not to do the action and also the clear idea of what the kid will do in the near future. So they only have the choice of not acting up which leaves them more than often with acting up as the only other option available. They also have a goal that they can focus on of spilling the drink.
Think of what goes your mind as you think about the idea that you'll spill your drink. Chances are you'll imagine some liquid being knocked over and splashing on a table or similar. Our brains are goal seeking and young minds are also adults, will find that this unintended goal is thought of out of awareness and the unconscious mind can make the body do certain actions without thinking through logically or deciding to carry them out to make the thought become real.
This is a basic way of thinking of how the brain moves the mind and body in the directions we want or in many cases, don't want. If you're in a car that skids as it then heads towards a wall, those with enough skill will look for the safe area to drive into since focusing on the wall unconsciously moves the person towards it. Put your eyes where you wish to go and let your mind make the adjustments necessary to alter your course.
So how can you overcome this seemingly problematic linguistic functioning?
First is to be aware of them although some people automatically have habits of thought that can take the don't's and find the do's so they have a new choice that is more positive.
Then you can ignore the negation and focus on the instruction to be avoided or that can't be done and quickly decide if you want to do this or if you agree and want to do something different.
If you want to do drugs and someone says "don't do drugs." then you don't have to do shit.
If you agree then you instantly think of the positive intention such as being sober and suggest that to yourself such as "be sober."
There is a saying among many hypnotists that all hypnosis is self hypnosis. This is worth taking note of since you may find you are giving yourself a problematic hypnosis session by telling yourself things that you don't want.
"I don't want that cake. No, really, I just don't. NOPE!! Stop teasing me sugary delight from gastronomic heaven!"
You can see where that one is heading. It's negation hell on a one way trip to mess up your plans.
"the cake reminds me how amazing it will be fitting into my favourite jeans again. Seeing the food stuff makes me feel good that I'm losing that weight as my thoughts burn up even more of that disappearing fat store. I don't want to be really healthy and I can't be my ideal weight and I avoid loving that hunger feeling making me happy that I'm still burning up the spare tyre and not thinking of that six pack and how others will see the sexy new me!"
It's just the things we tell ourselves and most people are on automatic pilot.
To give yourself a directed suggestion it is good to find a point where that is possible. One such mind spaces is the moment we become aware of being in the moment. You can do this really easily by placing a hand on your body to feel yourself connected to the real world. The moment you realize you are a sentient being existing in the material plane with an infinite number of possible next moves you can start to give yourself suggestions worth having.
So when you hear don't and can't you can feel that wham! as you awaken to negation and quickly after a few practices alter the suggestion to be more in your favour.
If you don't want to do drugs then if the word 'drugs' pops into your mind and even if it seems positive in intent, insure it is not negation and not problematic.
Take the thought, "I'm not going to do drugs"
and add in your own wording that is most understandable and agreeable to you as an individual, "and now I'm thinking of what sober activities I've enjoyed in the past that are positive and fun such that as I think of this enjoyable thing which I am beginning to automatically think of at any mention of drugs so that I find myself thinking so much about having natural and healthy fun doing this and other desired actions so much that I never think drugs and always think sobriety and how great it feels while I increase my attraction to these new healthy and natural fun events to keep them always being more enticing and bursting me with overflowing incentive to carry them out and I don't carry them out all the time can can't always be thinking in the sober state of great things and don't want to feel amazing all the time and in increasing amounts as I find that mmmm lust for life that is just soooooo yummmmmmy mmmmmm."
Or something like that.
You could make up a audio file of lots of don't's that you want to do such that those who often fight direct suggestions of doing a certain thing will find enjoyment of agreeing not to do the thing they want realizing that the long list of suggestions are actually bypassing their normal critical mind.
And this is where self hypnosis works. If you say, "I'm sober at all times" then you may feel that you're not fully convinced. "I'm not sober at all times" can be far more easily taken as how things seem while putting that smile on your face of having your unconscious mind build the goal in your imagination that it takes as a direction and goal to then move in towards it by shifting mind and body in subtle ways that are often out of awareness.
You don't want to be naughty and tell someone not to be itchy and they can't feel itchy and don't want to scratch because they are not really starting to feel irritated about that itch that isn't there because they don't feel itchy in any way.
That is just naughty but also a lesson for you and them showing the power you have over experience.
What do you think the belief, "Words don't change people, experience does." implies?
As a person hears or reads words you can see that one person may believe and act on the words while another will resist the idea and think it wrong and not do it.
The same words in the same delivery but it's not until the person responds through their experience as a reaction or conscious decision to those words as they are processed.
This can be seen in how some will not do drugs when told not to while others will even if they don't want to. Everyone has their own experience and unless you know the future then you can only go by what reactions the other people have.
Hypnotists of any skill worth something realize that it's not so much the words they use in the moment but the words they use in response as the next thing to say as they go by the response of the person as they have their own experience and not by what they expected the words to generate as a response. You are reading this sentence, and you are looking at the screen and you are breathing as you my begin to wonder if your eyes are really getting a lot heavier or is just some that is in your imagination that a blink can be restful for the lids that close in a form of mini sleep and sleep is deep relaxation for many and you may feel that weight of expectation as a positive when making your eyes ease into comfortable feelings of lots of mmmmm ahhhhhh so nice quilted warmth covering your eyes with those now lids that you don't have to feel heaviness or relaxation in them to be able to close them and relax even deeper as is often the case in a closed eyed situation in your comfort zone of feeling good if you can't feel really amazing and don't want to feel great right now...
And if you want to know for certain how you react then you are now in possession of your own mind using the power that we all have which is self hypnosis at master skilled level that may have gone a bit haywire for some and simply needs that initial tending of the rudder so as to move out of negative thinking of previous damaging suggestions we used to give ourselves as we move even more into that eternal bliss of the forever optimist at all times even when a bird had shat on your head before since those who see it as good luck tend to feel happier than those who use it to fuck up their lives by getting upset about having to use a little water to wash it off and get on with life as if everything that happens is for our best at all times no matter what since there is no other way it happened and now your stuck with it so if you're ready to make the best of it then shine on your crazy diamond and light up your universe!
Don't suggest you don't want to enjoy life to the maximum and don't suggest that the enjoyment continually increases at all times and don't do it especially not right now!