Image (C)TomWang/bigstockphoto.com

Image (C)TomWang/bigstockphoto.com

It’s about six weeks into the new year, so how are those resolutions coming?  Great I hope.  Are you going strong with them?  Or has the energy and enthusiasm fizzled out?  For those sticking to them, congratulations!  But read on, as there may be something of value for you here too.  For those of you not doing so well with them, or are too cynical to try, here are some thoughts.

No matter what the motivation is for change or improvement, it can come down to a battle of willpower: What is, versus what you want to do differently.  Why should that be?  I mean shouldn’t change be simple?  You’re a creature of free will right?  You want to change, so you should be able to change.  Simple as that.

Except most of us who have gone through trial and error with regard to change appreciate that it is not always so simple.

So, what is that counteracting force that is more powerful than our desire to change?  Or even if we can change it is often with difficulty and a sense burden or denying ourselves.

It is the force of conditioning. You see free will isn’t free, it is earned.  Uh oh, what do I mean by that?

One thing is for sure; we are all born with a “will”.  But from the second the doctor slaps his or her hand on our behind that will is being shaped, influenced and affected by outside forces:

  • Parents
  • Family
  • Friends
  • The media
  • Advertisers
  • Religion
  • The Government

From birth through early childhood we have little in the way of mental defenses to resist or deny the information that is being presented to us.  True, our genetic blueprint and personality have a role, but thoughts, beliefs, fears, phobias, and patterns of behavior that make their way into our minds as a young child tend to stick.  Their roots get deeply embedded in our minds.  To uproot them is a task.  They tend to influence how we respond in future situations that on the surface are not connected.

Willpower is the predominant tool that many depend on for change and to deal with negative emotion or pain.  But is it the most effective?

Think of a baseball player stepping up to bat with a blindfold on and trying to get a hit.  He may really want to get a hit, and he may try as hard as he can, but without his sight he is at an obvious disadvantage.  This is one of the obstacles willpower faces if it doesn’t understand the deeply rooted cause of the behavior or lack of behavior…

When we are young children and people or life situations make a suggestion to us we tend to accept it.  There is another word for the process by which the acceptance of a suggestion occurs.  It is called hypnosis.

A behaviorist might talk about a conditioned stimulus bringing about a conditioned response.  Pavlov’s dog would be the most famous example of such.

So what is beyond willpower to help you change?  How do you earn your fee will?  We’re almost there.

Let me ask you a question.  If you couldn’t find your keys, and you were sure you left them in the living room, would you look for them in the bedroom?  Of course not.  It would not make sense.  Why?  Because you would be looking in the wrong place.  Looking to willpower to change, for many, is looking in the wrong place.  It doesn’t work.

Looking in the part of the mind that is responsible for the thought or behavior and addressing it there can be a much faster and more effective solution.

This brings us back to hypnosis.  Or, the intentional accessing of the part of the mind that houses and or controls desires, emotions, and responses.  You see if willpower resides in the conscious mind, than that counteracting force that we are not aware of, and can’t always put our finger on, must reside somewhere else.  And to defeat it, and to claim our free will, we have to find it and neutralize it.

Think of it as a computer virus or piece of software that either has to be removed or rewritten so that you can function in a way that is in accordance with your conscious wishes…

Despite what some in the mainstream would have you believe, hypnosis is a transparent process that can help you do that quickly and effectively.  It is not about relinquishing control.  It is about regaining it!

What is hypnosis is not:

  • It is NOT rooted in mysticism.
  • It does NOT require that you give up control.

What hypnosis is:

  • The intentional accessing of a different part of your mind.
  • A form of guided meditation (when done by someone else).
  • Something you can learn to do to yourself (self-hypnosis).

Under hypnosis you are:

  • Not in a comatose state.
  • Still aware of your surroundings.
  • Able to “come out of it” whenever you want.

A partial list of uses for hypnosis include:

  • Elimination of fears and phobias
  • Pain control
  • Maximizing performance
  • Reducing or eliminating unwanted habits
  • Increasing desired habits
  • Overcoming procrastination

FC-1A footnote about pain control. In the moment physical pain caused by an accident, or illness, or perhaps surgery, is generally not about emotional issues locked away in the subconscious.  However, reaction to pain, a person’s pain threshold, and their degree of focus on pain, to an extent, are matters of the mind and perception. Hypnosis can work and possibly help with this. (As well as the anxiety around pain.) It can be an effective non-medicinal form of pain control worth considering.

Further, for cancer patients or anyone dealing with loss of appetite due to illness, hypnosis may be worth a try.

I would encourage you to think about exploring hypnosis further to see if it is right for you.  Since it is not regulated or licensed in the United States, due diligence is especially important if and when selecting a hypnotherapist.

If you find this blog interesting you may also like my self-help book, The Authentic You: Finding Inner Peace In Your True Self.  You can read a blog about the book here.

**THE ABOVE REPRESENTS MY PERSONAL OPINION.  I AM NOT A LICENSED THERAPIST.  ANY WORDS IN THIS BLOG ARE NOT MEANT TO, NOR SHOULD THEY REPLACE THAT OF A DOCTOR OR LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.**

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