Autosuggestion, Repetition & The Subconscious Mind

Autosuggestion, also known as self-suggestion, is the act of using ones own conscious mind to make a suggestion to the subconscious mind.

Napoleon hill wrote about this principle in Think and Grow Rich, stating that autosuggestion is essentially an affirmation or repeated instruction given to the subconscious mind.

The goal is to convince the subconscious mind that you believe that you will receive whatever it is you are affirming. It will then act upon this belief to bring about the necessary resources, circumstances and synchronicity for its manifestation.

The principle of autosuggestion was popularised by the pharmacist Emile Coue. He began practising classical hypnotism in 1901 to help his patients heal faster with an increased success rate. However, by 1910 he decided to transition into a new technique whereby he taught patients the art of “conscious autosuggestion”.

The reason Emile Coue believed autosuggestion to be more effective than classical hypnotism was because he realised that suggestions made by the hypnotist were only successful when the subject voluntarily accepted them.

He discovered that, through autosuggestion, anyone can repeat a suggestion to themselves enough times until they eventually accept it to be true.

There are four basic laws of autosuggestion:

1. The Law of Concentrated Attention

Whatever ideas you focus your attention on grow stronger in your subconscious mind. Coue advised patients that autosuggestion should be practised with concentration, repeating the affirmation with certainty and faith.

2. The Law of Auxiliary Emotion

Autosuggestion must be accompanied by strong emotions to create a powerful and lasting impact on the subconscious mind.

3. The Law of Reversed Effort

The harder you try, the less effective the suggestion. Do not try and consciously force the suggestion. It should be effortless and with ease.

4. The Law of Subconscious Teleology

When a goal has been successfully suggested to the subconscious mind, it will find the means for its accomplishment. Autosuggestion should be used to focus on end goals which the individual desires to achieve and then allow the subconscious to deliver the “how”. Check out Psycho-Cybernetics for more on how the subconscious mind is the ultimate goal-striving mechanism.


Emile Coue’s most famously prescribed autosuggestion was:

Day by day, in every way, I am getting better and better.

He would instruct his patients to repeat the affirmation every morning as soon as they woke up and every night before falling asleep. The recommended number of repetitions was twenty and it was advised that patients physically move their lips and say it aloud instead of just silently thinking it.

How will you apply the principle of autosuggestion in your own life? Let us know by leaving a comment below!