"When the imagination and will power are in conflict, are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception." Émile Coué

Émile Coué was a French psychologist and pharmacist who introduced a popular method of psychotherapy and self-improvement based on optimistic autosuggestion.

In the same way that we can distract ourselves from our stress reaction by stepping back and reflecting on it (using the BASIC ID technique), so we can also choose to spend our time imagining how we want to be.


One of Coué’s better-known autosuggestions is ‘Every day in every way I’m getting better and better’. This focuses the mind on the optimistic outcome of getting better. Like a mantra, this can be repeated in an effort to keep negative alternatives from intruding.


A variation on this theme is to invite one’s mind to search for an answer to a question that posits an optimistic outcome. Posed as an open question, our mind’s reaction is to look for the evidence to support or refute the supposition. For example, “What will be my strongest performance today?” suggests that you will have a strong performance in something today. ‘Strongest’ is a superlative adjective that indicates all performance is relative, so the statement is true.


A better autosuggestive question that you need not try and answer is “Why am I feeling more and more confident as each day passes?” Ask yourself it, muse on it awhile, and then get on with the tasks at hand today. And don’t look back.

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