“Look into my eyes. Your fear of spiders is fading away, fading away. You now like spiders.”
That’s what we in the hypnosis biz call direct suggestion. It’s what most people think of when they think of hypnosis. Direct suggestion can be very weak or very powerful, depending on context.
On the whole, telling people to change doesn’t work very well unless you also show them how to change. If you tell someone who has never used a manual transmission, “Just get into this 5-speed car and drive to Miami,” they’re likely to refuse. If you give them a lesson, it’s a lot different. Even if you ask them, hypothetically, how they’d go about learning to drive a stick shift so they can drive to Miami, it might turn out well. As soon as someone has serious thought to overcoming an obstacle, it’s hard to fall back into the previous state of, “I just can’t.” The more vividly you image the process of achieving success, the more energized you are to take the plunge and see it through.