Are you interested in changing your circumstances?
Are you interested in changing yourself?
Are you intrigued that there might be an easy way to achieve the self-improvement you desire?
Self-Hypnosis is a wonderful technique for assisting you in bringing about the changes you desire, but that isn't what I'm going to be writing about here. Here I'm going to introduce you to The Other Sort of Self-Hypnosis (TOSSH). TOSSH is a much more powerful vehicle for change than traditional Self-Hypnosis. The only problem with it is that it tends to be used self-destructively. Consequently if you intend to use Self-Hypnosis to bring about desirable change then you need, at the very least, an awareness of TOSSH and how it can undo what you are trying to achieve.
TOSSH is the reason why Self-Hypnosis might appear to be not working.
I'll give you an example of TOSSH from my own life.
I'm not as fit as I used to be. I'm not as fit as I need to be. I spend far too much time sitting down writing, making hypnosis CDs, and helping people find a way out of the particular Hell they've found themselves in. All of these activities I find very enjoyable, but I gave myself a few days off and on one of those days I visited a place called Llanberis in North Wales, which is conveniently placed next to a small mountain called Snowdon. There is a path to the top of the mountain from here. This path is not difficult for a fit individual to make it all the way to the top. For someone less fit it's a bit, or a lot, of a struggle, especially the very bottom part of the path. I'd walked along this path a few years ago and found it an easy walk. On my most recent visit I struggled. Now there was a small lake (a corrie or cwm) that I'd seen on the map and I wanted to get at least that far. This was the point at which the gradient of the path increased quite considerably as the summit was approached along the edge of the back wall of the cwm, and I knew I wasn't fit enough to do that bit so my intention was to get as far as the lake. When I set off, in high spirits, sun blazing, warm enough to walk in a shirt, and plenty of water with me I anticipated an enjoyable stroll. But it was a struggle from the word go. I remembered that the beginning was difficult and then got much easier, but this time I couldn't find the easy bit. I kept looking for it but it wasn't there. Nor was I helped by the gale force wind that was blowing in my face down the mountain. My heart rate was rapid. My rest stops got closer and closer, and it wasn't long before I decided that I'd had enough and that I was going to fail in my attempt to reach the lake. I was also going to fail even to get as far along the path as I'd done on my last visit.
That was when I realised what was going on.
That was when I realised I'd been engaging in TOSSH from even before I left home.
I'd been telling myself I wasn't fit enough before I set foot on the mountain. It was true, I wasn't as fit as the last time, but it was also true that I didn't know how fit I wasn't, so I didn't know how well I would be able to perform or not. I just didn't know, but I kept telling myself I did – TOSSH.
I started to back track my thinking. All the way up the mountain I'd been listening to this voice in my mind (TOSSH) that was telling me that this was too difficult, I was going to kill myself, I was going to precipitate a heart attack alone on a mountain miles from any medical help; my legs would seize up; if I went too far up I might not be able to get back down under my own steam because my legs would be too tired to carry me (my legs were talking to me and took three days for the stiffness to ease). All of these thoughts seemed wonderfully reasonable, sensible, logical, and most importantly, caring – but not one of these thoughts was interested in helping me to achieve what I wanted to achieve. And what I wanted to achieve was to see the lake, take some photographs, and feel that wonderful sense of achievement that is experienced when one attains a difficult goal.
So I looked at this negative, caring sounding TOSSH, and decided that what I really wanted was to get back to my car feeling that I'd achieved what I wanted to achieve not that I'd failed. I put myself (in my mind) back at my car getting ready to drive home, and I imagined how I would feel if I'd got to the lake; and then I imagined how I would feel if I hadn't got to the lake (this is using TOSSH in a beneficial way). There was no comparison to the two feelings. I knew what I wanted to feel – but the lake was a long way up and I was already struggling. Now anyone who has walked in hill country knows that wonderful horizon effect where you head for the top and when you get there there's another top just beyond and so it goes on. Snowdon is like that. So I TOSSH'd myself into believing that I'd just go that hundred, two hundred yards to the next high point and see how I felt. And I just kept doing that. I kept reminding myself how I wanted to feel when I got back down again. Eventually I ended up where I wanted to go. I felt as good as I wanted to feel. I came home with a sense of achievement, rather than a sense of failure – even though I didn't get to the top of the mountain. But what amazed me, on the way back down, was how far I'd walked and how much higher I'd climbed since the point at which I realised that instead of an enjoyable day in wonderful scenery I was spending the whole of my time TOSSHing myself.
Now the important lesson here for you is to start to notice TOSSH that you carry out on a day to day basis – from moment to moment. Notice the negative self-defeating self-talk that goes on in your mind. And when you've noticed it decide what you'd really like and then see if you can change that self-talk, modify it in some small way, so that you can use it to assist you to get just as far as the next horizon.
If you practise self-hypnosis for ten minutes a day, and you practise TOSSH for ten hours a day, which do you think is going to have the bigger impact on your life?
If you TOSSH for ten minutes and Self-hypnosis for ten minutes about the same thing - the net effect will be zero change.
Your subconscious mind is listening to the messages you send to it twenty-four hours a day. It doesn't only listen when you are engaged in a self-induced trance activity. It listens constantly. It is most impacted by focused thought. TOSSHing about a constantly changing variety of subjects will have less impact than a focused Self-Hypnosis session. But TOSSHing about one thing will defeat any Self-Hypnosis practise you are engaging in.
Use TOSSH to build yourself up. Tell yourself how good you are - frequently. Tell yourself how you don't know how well you can do, so you'll just wait and see - frequently. Tell yourself that you can achieve anything you set your mind to - frequently. And tell yourself that challenges are not here to break you, they are here so that you can find out about yourself and the unique way that you, with your wonderfully magical mind, can discover amazing facts about how you create and contribute to the world you experience.
Michael J. Hadfield MBSCH is a registered clinical hypnotherapist. You can experience his unique style on a popular range of hypnosis CD's and tapes at http://www.hypnosisiseasy.com Here you can also obtain treatment for a variety of problems and explore his approach to health, healing, and hypnosis.