Archives for subconscious mind

The Low Down on Willpower: Why It’s Often Not Enough and How to Compensate

BEAT THE DIETER S DILEMMA WHAT TO DO WHEN WILLPOWER FAILS TEXT WORD CLOUD CONCEPT by aihumnoi on Shutterstock

Here’s what we know about it: It’s limited, but with the right motivation and the right conditions, it can be THE thing that helps you create the change you want in your life.

But what if… you didn’t get enough sleep one day? What if something stressful happens in your life? (That’s inevitable.) What if your blood sugar is low one day?

The right conditions for willpower can be very tricky to control all the time.

Gretchen Rubin, aficionado of good habits and author of several great books on forming habits, has pointed out that forming one good habit tends to eventually create a ripple effect of other good habits. One of the reasons is because willpower is like a muscle, and if you exercise it regularly, it gets stronger over time. Another reason is because our brains release dopamine when things feel good. When change feels good, we crave more of it.

However, using willpower can consume so much mental energy that we become less effective at work, in our workouts, or at solving problems. Have you ever noticed when starting a new diet that you feel more exhausted or less competent? As I already stated, you can gradually build up a larger and larger reserve of willpower, but you have to overcome those conditions on a very regular basis.

Another great point by Gretchen Rubin is that forming a new habit is so consuming because you have to constantly consciously make the decision to NOT engage in the bad habit and TO engage in the good habit until the new habit becomes automatic and you no longer have to even think about it.

My biggest frustrations as a coach were when my clients simply would not do what I was advising them to do. In my early years, this took a toll on my relationship with them, as I would grow very frustrated. By digging deep into the everyday individual challenges of engaging in a new activity with integrity from my own perspective and getting some coaching in emotional intelligence, I developed a greater sense of empathy and compassion. As much as my clients appreciated my patience, compassion, and validation of their feelings, it kept them comfortable in their challenges instead of moving them past them.

In my quest to be the most effective force for personal transformation I can be, I was left with a couple of nagging questions:

  • If our conscious efforts can so easily be sabotaged and have such a cost, what can we do to get our subconscious to be on board quicker so that new habits become automatic?
  • If being tough and no-nonsense doesn’t inspire change in my clients, and being too compassionate doesn’t inspire my clients to change, and I know that they want change, what is the right balance to use and the right tools to use that will help them love themselves through the change and create a safe space for them to transform?

As a leader, have you ever asked yourself these questions? The drive of a leader is to oversee the development and transformation of others into leaders. I have to imagine that all leaders have discovered the same strengths and shortcomings of tough love and compassion. Finding the balance takes trial and error and experience. Even with the wisdom of experience, we have to be able to apply that wisdom when conditions, like lack of sleep, low blood sugar, stress, are present.

For the answers, I turned to science: neuroscience and psychology. What they have discovered in the past 10 years negates much of what we knew prior and a lot of what I learned in college, but some fundamentals remain. Planting roots for good habits is still very much based on the cognitive learning methods of positive and negative conditioning, but we are finding that negative conditioning has some detrimental side effects that contribute to mental health declines, even though it appears to be more effective in the short-term. This is why positive psychology branched out as a practice in 1998. Public perception of this practice has held it back, as people believe that positive psychology is merely about “thinking positive,” which many struggles to do with much regularity. Much the same way, the media/Hollywood and a few mal-intended practitioners of NLP (like hypnosis, but using regular conversation to induce trance) have given hypnosis a very bad reputation.

Take the highly-nominated Academy Award film Get Out. Ugh. It’s a shame that people will not seek out a solution with such potential to change their lives for the better because they believe this portrayal of hypnosis as some malevolent form of mind control. I have already had people claim that hypnosis is “too invasive.” If you watched this film, I couldn’t blame you for getting that impression, but you must realize that this was a movie created by the imagination of Jordan Peele. You might also get the impression from watching this film that white people are wackos, or that Peel thinks so. You might not know that Peele is half white himself.

The truth is that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, it’s a way to get you into rapport with your subconscious mind, and if I were to give you suggestion under trance that was out of alignment with your values and morals, you would come out of trance. The other truth is that I am not using hypnosis to impose my will on you. I was trained to make sure that the ecology and well-being of the client come first, and your words are the most effective words I can use, so before a session, I am capturing how you feel, words you use and what you want most for your life post-session.

I had to clear up my kids’ perception of hypnosis, as they have seen cartoons where characters bark like a dog. I did see a hypnosis show in which fellow college classmates did some crazy things, but those were the same people who would be seen doing crazy things without the influence of hypnosis, and perhaps under the influence of something else that would lower inhibitions. I noticed that the hypnotist sent some people back to their seats. These were the people who would not have wanted to do something crazy.

Psychology was my career of choice as a high school Junior. But someone had said to me that people become psychologists because they’re crazy themselves. This turned me off to that career path. I don’t regret my communications concentration – it had a lot of cross-over and I certainly use it heavily as a coach. However, I know enough now to feel certain about the contribution that I can make with hypnosis, and I’m not going to let the perceptions of a practice discourage me from promoting it and using it.

You may decide that it’s still too mysterious, or that you want to build up your own willpower muscle. I believe that it’s an admirable endeavor, especially if you can afford the time it takes to do that.

If, however, you can’t afford to take a lot of time, or the pace at which you need change has to keep up with the pace of business, technology, life, etc. consider hypnosis as a safe, natural alternative to a fallible, limited reserve of willpower.

 

Schedule your individual session here: https://calendly.com/epiccareering

For corporate change initiatives, including leadership transformations, e-mail Karen@epiccareering.com to schedule a consultation.

Ben Harper – The Will to Live

The Will to Live (1997)

Why Hypnosis? Answer: Disruption – For Real

Meditation by Johan Bergs on Flickr

Eight years ago I watched a video during my pregnancy called The Business Of Being Born. Learning about the cascade of interventions and how they can lead to further complications was frightening. I vowed to give birth under as many natural conditions as possible, avoiding all potential UNNECESSARY medical interventions, including, but not limited to an induction, epidural, vacuum, episiotomy, and C-section. I was already seeing midwives at a birth center. A client who was a midwife convinced me of its safety and the dedication of the staff at this particular birth center, which was right across the street from a hospital. I decided I needed some help keeping my body AND mind working in my favor, to control my environment internally and externally as much as possible, so I invested in a $500 5-month course called Hypnobabies.

It worked, not just once, but twice. I might not have been too good at staying calm and relaxed the first time, stretching labor with Daisy to 5.5 days with back labor. Even so, I delivered naturally, without drugs (not without pain; I was just able to manage it,) and without any other interventions. I’m certain that had my plan been to deliver at a hospital, they would have induced me when I showed up the day after my due date and labor slowed down rather than send me home, even though it was perfectly safe to labor at home as long as it took, since my water had not broken. The midwives, however, sent me home, advised me to get sleep if I could, and I came back two days later with much better progress. Daisy was born 5 hours later perfectly healthy.

During the second time, I was more effective at USING the contractions (reframed as “pressure waves” during the program but I reframed them again to “progress waves” for the 2nd birth) to accelerate labor to active labor; I delivered Adelaide within hours at the birth center, without drugs and interventions.
The course was actually training me in self-hypnosis so that I could induce hypnosis with the drop of a finger. This turned off my conscious mind where all my fears are to allow my subconscious to be a better partner to my body and allow things to happen naturally.

So, I already had a great confidence in hypnosis and had invested in courses and CDs for other things after that, such as increased focus and intuition. I have been studying related topics, such as neuroscience, guided imagery, creative visualization, meditation, etc., focusing on scientific evidence of efficacy in much more depth since then.

It’s not what you see on TV or at shows. It’s not mind control; it’s natural.

Ultimately, here is why I finally became a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist:

As my clients have grown more willing to allow me to talk about other areas of their lives, I have grown ever more acutely aware of how intertwined our career is to other realms of our lives and vice versa. If a client was not able to land a job using the best practices, it was often because of an issue in another area of life.

During this epiphany, I realized that I need to be MORE than just a career coach if I want people to get where they want to go. I saw this in my own life too: A breakthrough in one area will start a cascade of positive impacts. Conversely, a limit or problem in one area can bleed into other areas of my life, holding me (and you) back from having what we really want in life, and wasting days of our lives that we could be happy, but instead we feel miserable and powerless.

The good news: Our mind is immensely powerful, and there is a lot that can be done to leverage the mind to create the change that leads to happiness. However, out of all the modalities I studied and tried over the years, hypnosis is the fastest way to access and leverage the mind’s power.

Why? Because hypnosis works with the subconscious mind, where we learn, store memories, operate automated body functions, and program habits.

Too many coaches focus on motivation and willpower. Some people are naturally inclined to be willful, but too many more have to fight the brain’s natural inclination to resist change. Without hypnosis, achieving change for the majority is a struggle. It’s an unnecessary struggle. Hypnosis makes change easier, meaning you have to rely less on willpower to overcome the mind’s resistance. Instead, the mind is working in your favor!

My sense of urgency to help MORE people create meaningful change NOW has continued to grow, as has my desire to impact more realms of life than just career. AND, if I can help you become your best self (which I can,) you can then also bring the best out in others, and then there are optimally creative and powerful minds working on the big issues together.

Also, the more I learned about the applications of hypnotherapy, the more I thought about current epidemics that it can help tackle, besides career disengagement, like:

>> Mental health issues, since most of the mass shooters and suicide victims were found to be on psychotic drugs for conditions that can be relieved by hypnosis (in conjunction with proper Psychological treatment)

>> The opioid crisis, since hypnotherapy has proven successful in alleviating chronic pain

>> Obesity-related disease, since forming better eating and exercise habits is integral to proper weight management

>> Stress-related diseases, which may as well be all of them since stress decreases your body’s own ability to heal itself

I really could go on and on….

What Science Supports This?

Besides what I mentioned above, a lot!

In the 1800s, before chloroform and other anesthesia, the surgery mortality rate was 80%, and patients died most frequently from infection, shock and/or fear. Hypnosis was attributed to lowering the fatality rate for surgeries by 10%. (10 years later ether was found to be 90% effective and hypnosis was abandoned.)

The American Dental Association includes hypnosis among methods dentists and dental students can use for pain control and sedation for patients undergoing dental procedures.

Freud, before he founded psychoanalysis and created a branch between psychology and hypnosis, studied at an elite school for hypnosis.

Hypnosis was accepted by the British Medical Association in 1892. In 1958, hypnosis was accepted by the American Medical Association as an ORTHODOX medical treatment. In fact, medical doctors and psychologists committed to helping patients find relief from a variety of conditions and chronic pain refer patients to hypnotherapists. It works in complement to boost the efficacy of standard medical or holistic treatments.

American Psychology Association has endorsed hypnotherapy as an effective method for pain relief, treating anxiety, forming good habits, and breaking bad ones, such as smoking. The British Psychology Society published a paper as recent as 2001 citing “convincing evidence” that hypnosis is effective for the same.

Other scientifically proven applications for hypnotherapy:

  • Improves memory – This is why meditation and hypnotherapy is now sometimes taught to post-graduate students
  • Dizziness in advanced cancer patients – Of the many symptoms that decrease quality of life, dizziness is one of the biggest, and it can put the patient at risk of injury, leading to further decreases in quality of life
  • Palliative care (end-of-life care) – Reducing anxiety can prolong life while also making the last days more comfortable and enjoyable

Why now?

Have you ever lost a loved one to an untimely death? I have. Two years apart my sister-in-law died at 51 and then my nephew died on his 28th birthday. We don’t know how much time we have. I see the pace of change accelerating, and I want to do everything I can while I’m on this earth to keep the trajectory going in a positive direction. That’s my calling; it’s my mission. It compels me.

Have I Changed Careers or Turned Against Coaching?

Absolutely not! I still believe fully in coaching and the advantage of having an objective guide to help identify blind spots so that you know for what to receive hypnotherapy. Plus, hypnosis is just one of many tools now in my tool belt, and it is not a cure-all (or a cure.) It still has to be applied responsibly and appropriately! There are things from my coaching experience that have taught me that what appears on the surface can be very different than what lies beneath. Some hypnotherapists without this experience may take things at face value, and treat only what appears on the surface, when what lies beneath is at cause and, potentially, in need of greater medical, psychological or specialist expertise. I will continue to qualify my clients as good or bad candidates for my solutions, because it is of utmost importance to me that they get what they came to me for: meaningful change.

Ready for change NOW? Schedule a session!

Corporate leaders: How many employees do you think are putting off doctor’s appointments, leading them to miss more work days in the long run, or failing to adopt healthful or successful habits? Invite me in for a workshop for dramatic improvements in collaboration, creativity, performance, and productivity.

Ella Fitzgerald / You Do Something To Me

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