The goal of hypnosis is to tap into the extraordinary power of the subconscious mind, which- according to the latest research- governs approximately 95% of our behaviors. It’s quite fortunate that we are set up this way; imagine having to yell at your finger to stop bleeding every time you get a paper cut, re-learn to use the break petal each time you drive, or command your eyes to blink each and every time. A primary function of the subconscious mind is to learn activities and make them automatic.
The subconscious mind also stores countless beliefs about ourselves and the world. This explains why many of our bad habits and negative emotions can be so difficult to release through the conscious mind alone. Our negative behaviors often develop as a result of our subconscious mind linking unwanted patterns with a positive underlying intentions. For example, despite you insisting with every bit of your conscious mind that you will no longer reach for that cigarette, devour that box of cookies or react to something with undue anger, your subconscious belief that cigarettes, sugar and screaming furiously offer comfort, love, control or another positive resource, will usually win out. Even though you may consciously “know better”, the unsupportive subconscious program you have running underneath the surface often overrides your willpower.
The question then becomes how do we effectively let go of subconscious patterns that do not serve us? There are many techniques we use in hypnosis to rewire the subconscious mind and overcome limiting beliefs that hold you back from living your best life. Here is an easy two step self hypnosis method you can use to shed unwanted subconscious beliefs and imprint new and empowering ways of thinking:
1. Spend some time right after you awaken or before you go to sleep (when the subconscious mind is most active) identifying the subconscious belief or behavior you seek to overcome as specifically as possible. You may already know what underlying belief you are holding. If not, spend a few minutes in a meditative state with your eyes closed and simply ask your subconscious mind to reveal the unsupportive belief that drives your tendency to overeat, become angry, lack confidence, etc. After a few minutes focusing on this, you should receive insight, in the form of a visual image, a small voice or a feeling. Beliefs such as “I’m not worthy enough” or “I’m not smart enough,” are common but the possibilities are endless; trust whatever comes and don’t judge it.
2. Once you have an idea of what belief you are holding subconsciously, imagine several counterexamples that show that belief to be untrue. For example, if you are looking to break through your belief that you are not smart enough to make a lot of money, think about all those less-than-brilliant reality TV starts who became rich even though they aren’t card-carrying members of Mensa. If you believe that “All the good men/women are taken,” consider how many thousands of people are signing up on dating websites each day and that there are undoubtedly hundreds of great potential partners out there for you.
Feel the truth of the counterexamples you come up with and see it all play out vividly. Affirm that you actually are worthy enough and/or that the world is kind enough for the opposite of your old limiting belief to be true. Spend at least ten minutes visualizing and affirming.
The reason this exercise works well is because the subconscious mind loves to generalize out ideas and concepts. This is why after a person is bitten by a dog, they may begin to see every dog as a potential threat. In the same way, when you imprint positive counterexamples of what is possible in a certain area of your life at a subconscious level, you will much more easily shed old unwanted beliefs and replace them with empowering ones that propel you toward your goals. With regular practice I’ve seen people make tremendous progress using this simple and pleasant technique.
Getting in touch with your subconscious mind isn’t as mysterious or complicated a process as many people make it out to be. Using self hypnosis, you have the power release old subconscious patterns and start living better today.
Jeremy Stillman is a certified hypnotist and life coach with a passion for supporting others to reach their fullest potential. Jeremy’s integrative approach incorporates Ericksonian hypnosis, Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), energy medicine, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the latest advances in neuroscience to lay the internal groundwork for success. Connect with Jeremy on Facebook or visit JeremyStillman.com for more insightful articles and videos, hypnosis track downloads or to schedule a Skype or face-to-face session.