How hypnosis can build self confidence
Over the last decade we have found that one of the most common uses for self hypnosis is confidence building, so we thought that it would be a good idea to explain just how you might build self confidence using hypnosis.
As our starting point, let's take a look at how you build self confidence in the real world. How do you get to the point where doing something scary just isn't scary any more?
Well basically, you do it and do it until it just isn't scary any more! Hardly a deeply insightful answer, but true. Think of anything you have mastered that was difficult at first, and you'll see that's what happened.
Fear, or lack of confidence, is all about uncertainty, and once you have done something enough for the uncertainty to mostly disappear, the fear disappears too.
But that leaves a big problem. What if you're so scared to do something you can't even get started? Or what if it's not the sort of thing you can practise?
This is where hypnosis comes in. Hypnosis builds a 'bridge' from where you are just now to your destination - doing what you want to do comfortably.
Time for an example I think...
Jane, a client of mine, was terrified of driving her car. She had been driving home from work one day when an angry driver had started harassing her by driving right up behind, swerving in front of her and shouting out of the window. She was very stressed at the time as her mother had just died, and she had a panic attack behind the wheel. When she got back in the car the following day she had another panic attack and was unable to drive. Now she had bravely got herself to the stage where she could ride in one if someone she trusted was driving, but she couldn't drive herself.
Now, she could go no further in her career without a driving licence and so was in a very difficult situation.
So what to do? Jane has to drive, but is terrified of it. It's the sort of situation that can make you feel pretty hopeless. But not if you know hypnosis.
Firstly, we used hypnosis to get Jane to feel differently about the road rage incident - so that she could remember it without panicking and - more importantly - so she didn't experience panic when she got behind the wheel.
Then we had her rehearse driving over and over in hypnosis so she could 'experience' doing it while relaxed.
After the hypnosis, Jane said she felt more relaxed about driving, but how could she be sure it would be OK?
I told her she couldn't be sure. You can never be sure until you do it. You can fool yourself into thinking it will definitely be OK, develop some powerful optimism, but you can never be 100% sure. Used in the right way, hypnosis reduces the feeling of uncertainty to tolerable levels, so you can go and do that thing that used to terrify you.
But when it comes down to it - it's down to you to make the final leap. (It's just that it feels more like a hop! :-)
Jane made that final leap and things got easier and easier from then on. She didn't do it because I 'told' her to - she did it because I helped her reduce the unpleasant emotions to a level where she could do what she needed to solve the problem.
Hypnosis builds a bridge over the chasm you have to leap.
If you read the Master Series essay on What is Hypnosis? you will remember how Mark Tyrrell described how hypnosis accesses the REM state to create a new blueprint for the instincts. These sessions create a more confident emotional blueprint for specific events.
And here are some more great reasons why you can be more confident...
As I said above, you can never be sure before you do something that 'everything is going to be OK'.
But you can trust yourself that you'll do your best.
And you can accept the possibility that you'll surprise yourself.
And you can concentrate on relaxing so that your unconscious mind can help you.
And you can form a clear picture of your desired outcome so your unconscious knows what to aim for.
So to sum up, hypnosis works by re-educating the unconscious mind, giving you control over responses that you can't control consciously, or by trying harder.
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