“If You Can See It, You Can Be It!” What exactly does that saying mean? Well, it means that you can achieve anything you believe you can. How? By programming your subconscious with self-hypnosis.
Dr. Bruce Goldberg, who wrote “Self-hypnosis: Easy Ways to Hypnotize Your Problems Away”, states that self-hypnosis is “a natural state of focused concentration and relaxation … a way of relaxing and setting aside the conscious mind (willpower), while at the same time activating the subconscious mind.” You wire your brain with positive suggestions (openly accepted ideas), enabling you to act on these suggestions more quickly and easier than any other method. I published this post, a summary of chapter 14 of my book, “Leadership Success in Spite of Stress”, because I see many people who cannot meet their goals until they “hypnotize their problems away”.
According to William Hewitt, author of “Self-hypnosis for a Better Life”, hypnosis involves “boring your conscious mind so that it relaxes and stops thinking… Your conscious mind becomes less active, but you remain awake. (It) is especially receptive to suggestions. It is your subconscious mind that responds to suggestions and causes those suggestions to manifest themselves in your life.”
Self-hypnosis reduces the functioning of the conscious mind by focusing on something like a visualization exercise. This distraction allows positive suggestions to be accepted into your subconscious without conscious resistance or logical reasoning. You enhance this suggestibility by repeating suggestions. You also increase suggestibility when you expect self-hypnosis to bring positive change and you are motivated to make those changes.
Goldberg states that “The subconscious mind is like an obedient servant—it just does what it’s told to do”. It doesn’t think, reason, or rationalize. It only adheres to instructions. But, your conscious mind does think, reason, and rationalize—and often resists what you want. This is why the conscious mind needs to be relaxed and quieted so it won’t fight what you’re asking your subconscious mind to do.
During self-hypnosis, you may be susceptible to suggestion. But don’t equate suggestibility with loss of control. Rather than losing control, you gain control of your mind after several sessions. Self-hypnosis, can help you re-program your mind. This “re-wiring” process can improve your thinking, beliefs, attitudes and your behavior, thus increasing your positive results. You present your goals to your subconscious mind with affirmations such as “I am becoming a better leader by improving my listening skills” and “I am learning to speak up, set limits, and say ‘no’ “. Your subconscious then materializes these images and suggestions into reality.
Self-hypnosis taps your subconscious mind through imagery or asks your subconscious for ideas. Once you’ve reached a relaxed, suggestible state of mind, you can consider a problem and create a solution. You do this by “daydreaming” about your future and making specific positive suggestions to yourself. For example, you improve your leadership by telling your subconscious mind what you want to achieve as a leader. But, because hypnotic suggestion usually fades within a couple of weeks, you must repeat and reinforce the suggestions you give your subconscious.
Goldberg lists several principles of self-hypnosis:
- Every thought or idea produces a similar positive or negative physical response. Ideas always precede physical objects or actual events. When you create something, you always create it first in thought. A thought or idea always precedes actions. For instance, before you ask for a promotion, you tell yourself, “I want more authority, more responsibility, and more income.” Before creating a blueprint, an architect must have a basic design. Before building a house, the builder must have a detailed blueprint.
- What is imagined or expected tends to be realized.When you expect good things, good things will happen. Unfortunately, the opposite is true as well.
- The harder you try to achieve a goal, the more difficult it becomes. When your conscious intentions conflict with your (subconscious) imagination, you tend to do nothing, or worse yet, do the opposite of what you want to do. Let’s say you think you want to do something but feel you can’t. The more you try, the less likely you are to accomplish it. For example, have you ever tried to remember a movie, book, or name, only to be frustrated in your conscious attempts? Once you stop trying and are engaged in some other task, you finally recall that movie, book, or name.
- New habit patterns can be formed with visualized images. Your nervous system can’t decipher between a real experience and an imagined one. So you can change habits just by rehearsing the new behavior in your imagination. This is how the Olympic athletes practice their sport and program their minds to succeed.
- When you attach strong emotion to each suggestion, you increase its power.
Most self-hypnosis sessions involve creative visualization. Creative visualization is a technique for tapping your imagination to create new experiences through images. It involves recalling or forming positive mental images of you achieving your goals. Creative visualization helps you eliminate unwanted habits because you imagine your desired habits as if they are already established.
Using the self-hypnosis and creative visualization described here, our Leadership Development audio-recordings address the blocks to your success. For example, thoughts/beliefs like, “I cant…” or “I’m too…”; attitudes/assumptions such as, “I’m not…” or “This is too hard,” or conclusions such as “I don’t know how to …” or “This will never work…” can sabotage even your best efforts.
Our book, “Ledership Success in Spite of Stress”, training sessions, and coaching programs are packed with information, tools, & techniques. But, techniques, alone, cannot transform you into a success. To unlock your full “potential”, you need to address the underlying thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, and conclusions that block your progress. If you want success in the outer world, you must look at your inner world! Just as a gardener must look at the quality of his seeds and the strength of his roots if he wants to produce an abundant harvest of fruits, you must examine your inner dialogue if you want to produce successful actions and positive results. The trick is not to fill your head with more information. Instead, re-program your mind so that what you want to do/be/have is no longer “difficult” … but interesting, fun, & easy.
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