Updated: Jun 9, 2021
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right" - Henry Ford
If I had all the time in the world, I could write pages on this but since I'm sure you don't have all the time in the world or the inclination to read realms on this subject, I'll keep it to the recommended time of 2-3 minute read....
Confidence is something we all want, we all lack (to varying degrees) and we all think others have more than us. When I get down to the nitty gritty of why someone has come for hypnotherapy I would say 80% of the time, confidence or self esteem is at the root of the issue. Strip that down even more and we usually find the same old culprit..thoughts or more precisely, self limiting beliefs and negative thoughts!!!
The feelings of low self esteem, feelings that others are better than us at everything, wanting everything to be perfect, feeling rejected all bear down to the negative thoughts we have running through our minds. It is the thoughts that create the feelings. Our feelings create our actions and affect our behaviours. You cannot have happy thoughts and feel sad! So, it isn't rocket science to conclude, that to feel more positive, less anxious and more calm, we need to change our thoughts to more positive, uplifting and joyous ones. Thoughts that move us forward towards a goal rather than stalling us or worst that keep us locked in the past.
So, how do we do this? Our beliefs, habits and actions are learnt over a lifetime. We aren't born being self conscious. These beliefs positive or negative are stored in the subconscious mind so while we are conscious of them in that our actions show us exactly how we are feeling, to change them effectively we need to access the subconscious. And this is where hypnotherapy comes into its own!
When I take someone into hypnosis, all I am doing is guiding them into a deeply relaxed state where we can open the door to the subconscious mind and link this to the conscious (which is just having a little rest while you are in hypnosis) mind. It's like opening a door way for the two parts of the mind to speak to one another. When you are deeply relaxed, your subconscious is very receptive and open to suggestions and ideas because it doesn't have the conscious mind questioning and analysing. From here we can start the re-wiring, updating and installing new positive beliefs of confidence, self esteem, being more relaxed, more calm, assertive or what ever you want. Your subconscious will not accept anything that will harm you so you are quite safe.
So is that all there is to it I hear you ask? Not quite. The subconscious loves pictures and this is where the power of visualisation comes into play. The client is always in control in hypnosis. It isn't just the good old therapist sprouting positive affirmations at you. You have to start using your imagination and visualise yourself being more positive in various scenarios. Repetition is key. Every action you make create a neural pathway to your brain which is then strengthened with each repetition. And this is where self-hypnosis and work outside of the session can really help you towards a more confident you.
Once you are aware of your pattern of thoughts you can begin to take action. This may be as simple as noting down each negative self limiting belief and changing it into a more positive statement for example; "I could never do that!" into "I can do that!" You can then use these positive affirmations in self-hypnosis. Remember, your beliefs are stored in that sub conscious computer and it is most easily accessible when you are in a deep state of relaxation. Repetition is key to success so practise self-hypnosis daily and give your subconscious mind the positive affirmations and statements and soon you will begin to see a shift in your perspective.
And lastly, rather than questioning WHY, ask HOW? This was a game changer for me. Often we go over and over "Why can't I do this?", "Why am I so afraid?" Instead turn it into "How can I best achieve this goal?" and "How can I get over my fear?" By using HOW, you start the process of solving the problem. You become part of the solution instead of the problem.