Updated: May 7, 2021
The truth about your mind and why hypnosis is the fastest way to make change that sticks
This month I’m busting some of the myths around hypnotherapy and answering the most common things I get asked by clients. I’m also sharing with you some fascinating case studies of real client results and the surprising causes of their issues.
You see, often the real cause of your struggle is not what you think.
We go through life making meanings of our experiences and these create the lens through which we look at ourselves, relationships, and life in general. Our own individual map of the world. This means we don’t experience reality the same way as someone else.
This map is buried deep in your subconscious and unless you take it out, dust it off and have a good look at it you’re pretty much trying to navigate the world without any directions.
Your map translates into patterns or programmes, which run silently on auto-pilot. These too are buried deep in your subconscious. These hidden programmes are the directions that tell your mind and body how to think, feel and act.
The problem is these programmes were created by the younger you and as you get older you start noticing some of them aren’t that effective anymore. Rather than sort it out, most people will put up with unwanted habits and behaviours and get used to feeling down or stressed or whatever their go to emotion is.
But you don’t have to put up with it.
Your programmes can be upgraded and your issues resolved. You just need someone who can help you interpret the map, because otherwise you’ll end up very confused and lost. And you need someone to install better programmes. And that’s what a good NLP coach and Hypnotherapist will do (like me obviously!)
It’s just that most people wait until they are in crisis to do anything about it. A lot of my clients come to me at the end of a very long tether suffering with extreme versions of everything from anxiety, depression, phobias and irrational behaviours or just generally feeling like crap.
Crisis shows up as burnout, a full on breakdown or just some really poor decision making that can lead to people chucking their whole life in because they think a change of scene is what they need.
But here’s the thing. The change needs to happen in you. Because otherwise you’ll just repeat the same pattern.
It’s like I always say. You can’t run from your own mind. It catches up with you eventually.
It’s harder to get out of rock bottom (but not impossible, I’ve been there and done it) so I encourage you to notice the warning signs and start the inner work sooner rather than later.
Here’s the most common things people ask me about hypnotherapy.
What do you mean by programming?
You’re born in a hypnotic trance – a brainwave state called Theta. Your minds are sponges just soaking up the vast amount of information hitting our senses. In this state you just observe and take in what’s around you. Your upbringing and culture will dictate what you believe, how you think and how you act.
The experiences you have shape your view of the world and your place in it. Your map of the world.
This is your base program for the rest of our life unless you change it.
Most of your base programming is complete by age 7, because that’s when you start becoming conscious.
If you’re happy with life and the way you are, great. You’re lucky you had good programming!
But if you’re walking around with irrational fears and anxiety and feel in a permanent state of stress. Compulsively eating, drinking, or shopping. Over reacting or irrational. Lacking confidence and have low self-esteem. Trying to be perfect and scared of failure. Terrified to speak out or have an opinion. (The list goes on…) You are running a childhood programme.
A coping strategy designed by a 7 year old.
Finding and changing these patterns and beliefs are essential to creating a life you want. Because otherwise you are just living in the past.
If you don’t you’re just bringing your 7-year-old self to the table.
And 7-year-old adults are not very good at coping with life.
How does my childhood affect me as an adult?
I give a common example in my blog “Why you shouldn’t own your anxiety”.
Let’s say as a child you learned that every time there was conflict in the house the only way to stop the shouting and feel safe was to hide under the table with your hands over your ears. Now that was very effective when you were 4 or 6, but now you’re 46 and dealing with conflict at work you have to go and hide in the stationery cupboard to avoid having a panic attack that’s not a useful behaviour.
Yes it does the job, but you definitely have more resources as an adult to choose another option.
Dr Benjamin Hardy, PHD and the author of my new favourite book "Personality Isn't Permanent" has a brilliant way of explaining how we create meaning from our experiences:
"First, we define the cause of the event or experience. (what just happened?) Second, we link that cause with our own identity. (What does this experience say about me?) Finally, we link that cause and our identity with the bigger picture of how the world and the universe work (What does this experience and who I am say about the world?)"
How do you re-programme my mind?
The same was you got programmed in the first place. The natural way of accessing the subconscious mind. Hypnosis.
Hypnosis works directly with the subconscious mind and is the most powerful effective way of uninstalling and re-installing your programmes.
It sounds like brainwashing, I’m scared!
Here’s the truth. You are already being brainwashed.
Yep every minute of every day until you go to sleep (unless you live in a cave with no wi-fi… )
When you’re watching TV, your brainwave state shifts and you effectively go unconscious and are now highly receptive to suggestion.
Here’s what’s more scary. In the 70's it was estimated that the average person was exposed to between 500 to 1600 ads per day. In 2020 that estimate is closer to between 5000 and 10,000 per day.
So you’re getting up to 10,000 hypnotic suggestions per day. From people you don’t know, let alone trust!
Remember they are designed to make us feel inadequate, not good enough and to believe we can only be truly happy if we buy all these wondrous items. They are reprogramming your mind.
Can you make me do things I don’t want?
No. And I don't turn you into a chicken under hypnosis. Or a frog. Or make you do a funny dance. Or rob a bank for me. (Otherwise I'd be living the high life in Monaco).
Stage hypnotists are trained to spot highly suggestible people in the audience. The ones that volunteer are often keen to put on a show, so already in their minds they are willing to accept the silly suggestions that are made.
Hypnosis is just using our minds natural process of going into a trance state to learn and re-program.
Except you’re creating the program, you’re choosing how you want to be. Not strangers through the TV or internet who want you to buy all their stuff. It’s also a very relaxing experience and the times passes really quickly.
You’re in control the whole time and can speak and move freely. I’ve even had a client get up and have a conversation with someone and still be in trance!
I spend a lot of time with clients up front working out what they want and how they imagine their life would be without the problem. So whether that’s being more confident, losing weight, feeling good enough, being able to speak in public, being anxiety free… we create a powerful vision for your mind to lock on to.
I had a happy childhood. Surely I don’t need therapy?
Often people think therapy is only for people who have suffered severe trauma or have gone a bit crazy. And of course, it is very much for people in those circumstances.
But all of us at some point in our life have had an experience or repeated experiences that cause us to form a belief about ourselves and our capabilities.
A common example of this is when someone was left alone a lot as a child because their parents were working. As an adult, they now know that their parents were working two jobs to put food on the table because they cared so much. As a child, they felt alone and abandoned, and formed a belief that they were a bad person.
This belief stays with us, hidden deep in our subconscious, but may show up as people pleasing behaviours or a lack of confidence, or a fear of not being good enough.
I call these mini traumas.
So how does hypnotherapy help?
Because we work directly with the subconscious mind, we are able to work with the feelings that lie behind the issue, getting underneath the story your conscious mind has created to justify why you are like you are.
We find the belief, the meaning we mistakenly made as a child, and correct it at source. I then install new positive beliefs that support you in your goals.
“Insightful. Cathartic. Eye opening. Relaxing. Beautiful. Calming. Surprising. Mind blowing”
Just some of the words my clients use to explain the experience.
They tell me that just the relief of discovering the root of a problem they’ve been carrying for so many years is enough to make them feel better about themselves. Years of misplaced guilt and shame can be released in just one session.
My clients have achieved amazing breakthroughs in hypnosis that years of other talk therapies could not achieve
Like Catherine, who never experienced love as a child, so was unable to recognise it or let it in as an adult. She discovered a belief that she felt unwanted as a baby and that if she hadn’t been born everyone’s life would be better so she carried years of blame just for existing! Finally letting love in saved her marriage and relieved years of stress and anxiety.
Ellie who discovered her life long phobia of being around people who were ill came from being left alone in the dark as a child. She can now pick her sick daughter up from school and no longer needs to move out of the house when a family member is ill.
James who had such bad anxiety he was helplessly counting his breaths all day just to check he was alive learned the sudden death of a boy in his school caused him to form a belief “I can die at any moment”. He’s now anxiety free, confident and his business is booming.
Estelle who suffered horrendous IBS for years and thought it was because of her "sugar addiction" and had spent a fortune on diets and therapists found it was repressed anger from childhood. Once she vented everything she couldn't say as a child, the anger was released and from that day, the IBS had gone.
Lara who had unexplained stones in her body and Raynaud’s disease (restricted blood flow) who discovered that in order to emotionally survive her abusive mother she had decided “turn hard like a stone” as then nothing could get in and hurt her. After years of failed marriages and hiding away she feels free, flowing and has found her voice.
In all of these cases there’s an underlying belief that they are somehow bad or flawed. A feeling of not being enough or worthy.
Often people who don’t feel good enough will people please to gain positive attention and affection. Working longer and harder, endlessly doing things for other people, and not setting boundaries are common coping strategies.
This is compounded when the person feels they somehow don’t deserve to have love or get their needs met. They blame themselves for not being good enough and can spend their lifetime unconsciously punishing themselves by staying stuck and unhappy.
Stress and anxiety is rife in people who don’t believe the things they want in life are available to them and they suffer with helplessness, lack of purpose and struggle to cope with learning or doing new things.
Children who felt different never quite feel they fit in as an adult so struggle with low self-esteem, being themselves, and having close relationships.
If you're fed up of living with limitations and want some help re-programming your mind with beliefs you actually want, get in touch with me now - firstname.lastname@example.org
*clients provided testimonials with permission to share and names changed for confidentiality