What You and I Need to Know About Hypnosis
(And how a hypnotist really uses trance in his daily life)
by Richard Haggerty - Call now on: 07771 554782
You’re curious about hypnosis, and you’re wondering if it could help you. You’ve started looking into it but you have some questions.
You want to know what 'hypnosis' is and isn’t and how it might help you with your problem or outcome.
You want to know the answer to this important question:
“Does it work?” Watch this video, then read this surprising article.
Please note our phone number has changed:
I wouldn’t give you a simple answer and say “it works” and tell you to consider booking hypnotherapy before your next birthday. What I thought you might like to know how a hypnotist actually uses hypnosis in his own day to day life.
Does a hypnotherapist still experience the same problems you do and can hypnosis be used to solve problems by itself?
You don’t have to decide to book hypnotherapy sessions as you read this, but I’d like to answer some of the questions you may have and give you the facts - as frankly as possible.
Hypnotherapy is a proven way to help a person focus more of their mind on noticing opportunities and developing behaviours that will allow them to ove in the direction of a desirable or useful goal.
Hypnosis involves trance, which, defined, is simply “the fixation of attention”. Any time you have been watching TV and the rest of the world has disappeared into the background, you are in trance.
This happens to you every single day and in many different situations.
You go into trance when:
You are watching a film
You are engrossed in a book
You are lost in thought
You are captivated by a song
You are admiring a beautiful baby (or sunset)
You are browsing an internet website
You are completely absorbed in any task
Here’s the first thing you need to know about “trance”: it is a naturally occurring process that happens to you many times every single day.
As a professional master hypnotherapist, I use trance to help me achieve several important things:
Remember to do key tasks
Let go of stress
Have a break
Develop greater confidence
Learn new skills
The most important application of hypnosis for my day-to-day life though is to enable me to be prepared to deal with frustration and disappointment.
What? That doesn’t sound sexy does it?
Here’s what I mean: you and I know that most books we buy that tell us to “Go do x and y will happen” simply don’t work. We also know that the nice man on the telly with the new program that costs just £129 probably won’t do much for us, although it will make him very rich. That’s just a fact. People waste a shockingly large sum of money on such programs, snake oil seminars and the like. I can say from direct experience that the “quick fix” generally does not work (although in the right context and with enough motivation, it is true that change can happen quickly).
However, you and I both know that there are things we really want to achieve. We want to get there as quickly as we can. Let’s be honest. I guarantee you want at least one of these:
Make more money
Feel more confident
Get a new job
Have enough money for a great holiday
Be more relaxed
Stop feeling anxious
Find a partner who is right for you
Have a closer connection to your partner
See your kids happy and stay as calms and resourceful as you can around them
Overcome a fear or phobia
Be more confident socially
Change a habit
However, each day you run into barriers and hurdles:
You turn up at work and a superior considers herself, well, "superior," lives in the darks ages and is rude, unhelpful and gives you more tasks to do. You have extra work on your plate and that is frustrating because they have no idea of all the stuff you already do.
You have a client or customer whom you have done your best to help and they are rude, unappreciative and condescending.
You want to lose weight, but you are hungry, feel down in yourself and the doughnuts that a colleague has brought in are calling your name...
You want a partner, but you feel scared and confused. What about my freedom? What about my time and independence?
You want to get fit and go for a run, but you are tired and it’s raining outside and it’s almost impossible to get out ...
Let me tell you a true story.
This past year, I’ve had to negotiate ongoing services I provide for a large institution. The benefit to me is an increase in financial remuneration. The downside is that the process has taken months and so far and been prone to a string of unnecessary delays: e-mails not replied to; telephones unanswered; curt replies; a huge amount of uncertainty about whether anyone is in fact doing anything at all. It’s been incredibly frustrating and I have at times felt distinctly like I lacked any power to influence the process.
Has that ever happened to you?
Hypnosis has been incredibly valuable to me throughout this past year. No, I can’t make anyone do anything I want, although I can be a good listener and ask questions. In particular, I make time to go into trance each day, and visualise the problems that I expect to encounter; I try to anticipate a range of hurdles and how I might deal with them:
I see myself being triggered into anger and then being relaxed
I imagine being told “no,” and being able to ask for some clarification, so I can understand why
I look for ways I can develop rapport with people who are not especially customer-friendly. I imagine how I might stay centred
I look at days when I am tired or hungry, and see how I might still follow through to get done what I need to
I use hypnosis to plan some of the less pleasant tasks I have to do (i.e. where I don’t feel motivated) and I imagine myself breaking them down into small enough steps and doing them anyway
I anticipate extra delays and hurdles, and see myself treating it as feedback and using the time to learn extra skills that might come in handy in the future
Crucially, I do not spend time patting myself on the back for an (imagined) job well done. I do not imagine going over the winning line; rather, I imagine what I need to do to get there and break that down into component steps.
I then take time in trance to focus my mind on what I need to do to get from one step to the next. I ask myself questions, as I do self-hypnosis. For example:
What is that helps you to choose this approach or that one?
I am always amazed that people don’t jump right into hypnosis and that is because of three main reasons:
1) They have seen the old school stage hypnotists
These slick showsters revel in getting people to do ridiculous things in “stage shows” (like the old circus freakshows). There is still a market for this, and it is shoddy, inpoor taste and very unhelpful. It’s like a dodgy sales person giving a poor reflection of the genuine well-trained customer service rep, who can advise and help you make the right decision for you
2) People have read books that tell you “I can make you rich”
This includes recordings and seminars that imply that all you need to do is listen to hear some secret commands - that somehow your life will magically change and you wake up slim or a millionaire without having to take action or experience the same challenges and difficulties that everyone does on the road to “success”. Worse, people are taken off course by books and gurus that tell them that if they see it in their mind, then it will happen (because of a ‘secret,’ magic or some allusion to the quantum physical universe). None of these is helpful in you or I achieving what we want. Getting different results is hard work and will take effort. Hypnosis simply stacks the odds in your favour.
3) People know that life is hard and that they will run into difficulties
You know you will be tempted to eat junk food if you book hypnosis for weight loss. So why bother, right? It is simply not believable to most people that they can overcome a fear or stop smoking in a single session. (It is possible, though we need to do the groundwork, and a person needs to commit to however long it takes.)
So, the core thing to realise is this: hypnosis is about trance and that time when you are focused on one thing to the exclusion of all else. In that state, your unconscious mind is very amenable of using imagery, suggestion and helping you reconnect with resourceful ideas and behaviours that you had forgotten or not accessed in a while.
However, hypnosis becomes most beneficial to you when:
You are already taking actions towards your goal and are motivated to continue doing so
Your goal is a high enough priority that you will do something to move towards it every single day
You really want the goal personally (ie you are not doing it because someone close to you ‘told you to’)
You use hypnosis regularly (whether in one to one sessions, or with a professionally recorded CD like I provide or though self-hypnosis which I teach)
You persist in taking action each day
You use your imagination to be honest about the obstacles you face, and start to prepare for them
Each day, you review what worked, where you had a wobble, and adjust course. (Typically, I do this each day by writing in a diary, and doing a “hypnotic review” of the day, where I run back scenarios as if watching them on a video)
You start to plan what will lead to success, and the sequences of situations that will support you getting the outcomes you want
You identify contexts where you will probably have challenges and where people might derail you
So how, specifically does a professional hypnotherapist use hypnosis in his daily life?
Each day, I take 20 to 30 minutes and, using special breathing techniques, I go inside, close my eyes and get into a relaxed place. I like to imagine a garden or a meadow, somewhere in nature. I then think of the hurdles to overcome and the mountain that I have to climb.
I use my imagination to powerfully imagine overcoming these. I compound this with powerful uniquely crafted hypnotic language and suggestions. Sometimes I listen to hypnotherapy recordings I created that have stories that contain powerful metaphors for change.
I do this virtually every single day (OK, my birthday and Christmas day and wedding anniversary I take off). But I consistently use hypnosis, I take action each day and I track my progress. I review what’s working, where I need to change and what keeps me on course.
Now that might not sound like the quick fix and 'magic bullet' that other people will tell you exists. You and I know where that road of pie in the sky promises leads... The truth is that hypnosis is not a substitute for your own determination and willingness to take action, but, rather, compliments it.
I have seen hundreds of people make profound changes thanks to hypnosis. But a person does need to act differently to get different results. And, depending on your makeup and personal history, it might take some time. Sometimes with the hypnotherapy and coaching sessions that I offer, I see clients weekly over a period of time. Sometimes we do an initial breakthrough session. And I make sure they are equipped over the long haul - with a hypnotherapy recording they can take away, and cutting-edge self-hypnosis skills that they have learned.
Would you like to experience change?
Some people are keen to make progress towards their most important goal and they are excited about what hypnosis can do for them. If you could have a way that worked with your mind and was tailored for you, wouldn’t you want to know about it?
If you could choose something that could prepare you for future disappointments, so you could bounce back, recover and stick with it, wouldn’t that be of enormous help?
Would you be surprised to know that I use hypnosis myself every single day, and continue to be amazed at its power?
Imagine what would happen if you could be more mentally tough and better prepared for tricky negotiations, awkward customers and those days when life seems to be putting up blocks.
Hypnosis is like having a dishwasher. You can survive without it, but you are making hard work for yourself. A dishwasher still means you need to buy food, and have crockery. You still need to plan a menu and have people who want to eat the food. Once you’ve had your meal, you still have to load the dishwasher and you have to add dishwasher tablets, press “on” and use some energy. And yes you have to empty it.
Some people say, “Why bother? It’s work.”
And it is.
But it depends on how much you cook and how many people you are cooking for. For our family, it probably saves us 45 minutes an evening (easily). I used to slave over the dishes, and the dishwasher was one gift I shall always be grateful for.
Hypnosis similarly does not mean you don’t need to play your part. On the contrary, you need to want your outcome enough. You must be ready to do whatever you need to every single day. And you need to start thinking about the problems that will come up (both on the outside and your internal responses to those things). You need to use your imagination to anticipate situations where you know you are likely to run into difficulties or get off track.
A skilled hypnotist can shoulder the work of planning all these component parts for you. You still have to load the dishwasher (go see a hypnotist, shut your eyes, sit down and listen), and you still need to unload it (take action afterwards) and put the dishes away (persist till you get what you want). But it can happen. I’ve seen it with hundreds and hundreds of clients. I use hypnosis each day. And it has helped me become much more confident in my abilities to make change happen. But there is a price: sincere commitment and dedication to your goal. Some people might call this drive and that’s a good description.
I can’t give you that, but I can promise you one thing:
If you are committed, then hypnosis can help you make a change. If will help you deal with the problems that are likely to derail you and help you build confidence in yourself and your own inner resourcefulness. It can also help you sustain motivation. It won’t be substitute for action, but it will help you move forward in your most resourceful frame of mind.
Hypnosis ultimately holds this promise:
You are capable of far more than you ever imagined and, as long as you have the right tool for the job and persist, you will surprise yourself and everyone around you.
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"Wow Richard! I didn't expect to feel so good so quickly! I got deeper each time I went in. I'm actually looking forward to obstacles and saying 'No, I CAN do this.'"
- Emma, Real Radio Feature on Weight Loss with Richard Haggerty (Pictured below).