William James and Albert Einstein, both argued that most of us are using only ten to fifteen percent of our natural ability 99% of the time. In other words, think of yourself as an automobile with ten cylinders. Only one is working.
The subconscious mind is ever vigilant and remembers things literally that were said to us especially when we were children and did not have the adult "defenses" that we develop as we get older. These messages become "imprinted" on the unconscious and affect us though we are usually unaware of them. The imprints can be positive or negative but most of a child's early programming is negative, hence the "negative imprints."
In Leslie LeCron's book, "The Complete Guide to Hypnosis(1971)", he gives an interesting example(page 16).
A physician who himself used hypnosis sent his nineteen- year-old daughter to LeCron because she was tested as having an IQ of approximately 135 and yet she was failing two courses and just barely passing others at an unidentified university in California. During her first two years in high school she was an A student, but the following year her grades tumbled and never recovered. When she was interviewed by LeCron she remarked, "I guess I'm just stupid. . . I must be a nitwit."
LeCron tells us that very frequently an "active" imprint will influence the very wording of our conversation. He suspected that her remark offered a clue. LeCron used what is called the "ideomotor finger technique," in which the client is put into a trance and told that each of four fingers (preferably on one hand) will indicate a different response depending upon which one rises in response to a question.
the forefinger might stand for "yes",
the middle finger for "no",
the ring finger for "I do not know", and
the little finger for "I do not wish to answer".
LeCron tells the reader that it is important for the unconscious to have the option of not revealing something for which the conscious mind is not ready to hear.
The first question that LeCron asked the young woman was whether there was something blocking her from studying and doing well in class, Sure enough the forefinger rose! Through a series of ingenious questions, LeCron was able to determine that indeed at the age of sixteen the young woman's father had said something to her in the living room. Then using age regression, the woman was regressed back to the time of the experience. She described seeing her father, scolding her and apparently quite angry. She had made a foolish mistake in carrying out a request of his. She felt embarrassed and upset. At which point her father said, "You're just stupid; you're a nitwit."
After this discovery, LeCron helped the young woman to understand the power of imprints and that her father had been speaking in anger. In addition, when the father was informed, he responded by telling his daughter that he was really quite proud of her and did not really believe that she was stupid but rather quite intelligent. This had the effect of replacing the negative imprint with more positive ones. LeCron informs us that "within a short time her grades soared."