HJ: In this article you will be given an understanding of the incredible power of rewiring your subconscious mind and five specific techniques to effectively begin doing it at your own convenience through simple, but powerful, self hypnosis techniques. Throughout our lives, especially when we are young, we pick up beliefs both consciously and unconsciously from society, our parents, our family, our friends and even our own personal perceptions and reactions. However, we are not typically aware of these inherited beliefs although they have a very large influence on our lives. In fact, more than any other force they shape our perception and hence our reality, so much so, that we often cannot perceive them. It is possible to change them and in doing so, we can completely alter our reality and our potential, allowing us to achieve just about anything we can imagine with the right beliefs.
This is why self hypnosis is so powerful — because it allows you to reshape our conscious in whichever way you desire, therefore allowing you to overcome any perceived mental block or tendency that limits you from achieving your full potential. You can rewire your subconscious mind relatively easily and these articles will show you how. First, you will be given a foundational understanding of how self-hypnosis works so that you can comprehend what you are doing and maximize your efforts. Then you will be given five incredibly powerful techniques to probe and reshape your subconscious mind in whatever direction you choose. We suggest picking those beliefs that are most expansive and unlimited, meaning that they allow for the greatest possibility and expression.
How Does Self Hypnosis Work?
There’s an old Chinese proverb that states: “One picture is worth a thousand words.” In conveying suggestions to the subconscious, we have found that picture images are more effective than the words that are implanted. For example, it isn’t sufficient to say, “I will be confident.” The words must be augmented by a picture of yourself as the confident person you want to be. If you say, “I can’t visualize myself as a confident person because I have never been that way,” you can “borrow” those personality traits that you want for yourself. Imagine yourself endowed with the characteristics of some confident person that you know. The qualities that you seek may even be borrowed from a famous person. If this isn’t possible, make up a personality which is a composite of all the things you want to be. See yourself walking, talking and carrying on activities. Keep fortifying this image with the mental suggestions that are needed. It won’t be long before these mental impressions give rise to the confident feelings that you seek. As you keep implanting these images, they will become a natural part of your conscious personality.
Many people expect immediate results when they begin to use self-hypnosis. If they don’t get the results they anticipated immediately, they want to know “what’s wrong?” My answer is usually that “nothing is wrong” and that they need only keep at it. Certainly, you don’t become a proficient musician, actor or athlete because you have mastered the basic techniques. It takes time to acquire proficiency and results.
Let me assure you that anyone using and applying this technique can benefit from it. One of the troubles in dealing with any problem is getting past resistance. You can incorporate posthypnotic corrective measures in the suggestions that you give yourself. However, I believe that they must be dealt with on a conscious level as well. You must believe that you can conquer your difficulties no matter how long you have had them. If you are prepared to work with self-hypnosis in a consistent manner, you will achieve the self-help that you seek. Now and then, you can anticipate a setback in your progress, but this should not discourage you from your overall task. Resistance is an indication that you are growing and reaching outside your comfort zone. Recognize this and you will begin to greet resistance positively, as an indication that your therapy is working. Then you can simply release it with love and continue on your progress. Recognize and be grateful for the progress you have already made. If you have a “let-down” because you expected quicker and more dramatic results, remember that this is a common feeling. Remember, also, how long you have had the problem.
No doubt, you have tried other methods and became discouraged because you weren’t making the progress you had anticipated. You dropped the idea and landed back where you started. Make up your mind, consciously, that you will work with untiring sincerity and perseverance. I know of no therapy that leads straight to positive results without obstacles and intermittent setbacks. Success comes in spite of intervening failures because the ultimate direction has been clearly thought out and charted. Self-hypnosis will finally work because you are constantly conditioning your subconscious to react in a positive, constructive manner. The program must, of necessity, become automatic in nature. When it does, you will suddenly find yourself feeling the way you wanted to and doing the things that you set out to do with the aid of self-hypnosis. You actually cultivate those feelings that you want.
Self-hypnosis works because we are able to condition ourselves to various stimuli. We condition ourselves consciously and unconsciously to many activities. When we experience anxiety, it stems from a conditioning process which could have been conscious or unconscious. In self-hypnosis, the individual consciously works toward implementing and strengthening his own inherent strength and resources. These objectives, when attained, result in feelings of confidence, relaxation, self-mastery and well-being.
Furthermore, hypnosis utilizes a natural mental process. We all know that placebos work very well in numerous cases. The dictionary defines the word placebo as, “an inactive substance or preparation, administered to please or gratify a patient, also used in controlled studies to determine the efficiency of medicinal substances.” Many controlled experiments have shown that people achieve similar results whether they take a placebo (which they think is the real medication) or real medication that was prescribed. Many such tests have been carried out with antihistamines to prevent colds. The results were always the same.
We are interested in what makes the placebo act as effectively as the true medication. It stands to reason that a chain reaction is set up, actually causing a physiological result from a psychological reaction. The unsuspecting patient declares, “I’ve never felt so good in my life.” Yet, this would never have happened if he didn’t think he was taking the marvelous new medicine. A recent scientific study by one of the leading pharmaceutical houses concluded that one third of the effectiveness of any medication depends upon the faith and trust that the patient has in the prescribing physician.
I am sure that the placebo results and the patient’s faith in the physician as contributing factors to the effectiveness of medications do not come as a revelation. We are all aware of such information. Our problem is how to harness this unconscious process for constructive goals. The answer is through self-hypnosis.
Cindy Locher, C.Ht., is a Clinical Hypnotherapist living and working in Minnesota. Cindy’s passions are helping others find health through natural, holistic means. She specializes in hypnotherapy for such issues as insomnia, weight loss, smoking cessation, tinnitus, stage fright, and release of fears and phobias. Visit her on the web at www.mn-hypnosis.com
Techniques for Overcoming Limiting Beliefs
By Tania Kotsos | Mind Your Reality
Your limiting beliefs are those negative beliefs about yourself that stand in the way of your real success and weaken your self esteem. To overcome and transform your negative beliefs you must first acknowledge them and accept them for what they are. As is the case with all beliefs, whether positive or negative, a limiting belief started off as a single thought in your mind in reaction to a certain event, or to what you were told by your parents or society in general. This thought was repeated often enough until it was accepted as an unchecked “truth” by your subconscious mind. In other words, your limiting beliefs are a learned thought pattern and the good news is that they are up for re-programming.
Why Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs? If you are not where you want to be in your life, whether physically, emotionally, romantically or financially (and so on), the chances are that an underlying, deeply ingrained negative belief is limiting your progress. This does not mean that your physical appearance, romantic or financial status should define you or your worth. It simply means that you are free to also succeed in all these areas of your life if you so choose to, not because doing so will make you a better person compared to anyone else, but simply because you want the experience itself. Overcoming your limiting beliefs is the fundamental step in that direction.
The Power of Limiting Beliefs: While beliefs are really just beliefs, you should be careful not to underestimate their power. Since all beliefs belong to the realm of the subconscious mind, their mental influence may not be obvious at the conscious level, but their negative impact on the outcomes you want to achieve, most certainly is. All beliefs are executed on auto pilot by the subconscious mind – with no need for any conscious thought. This is both the strength and the Achilles heel of the subconscious mind, because while it is able to carry out the most complex of tasks automatically, it is not rational in nature and hence cannot distinguish between those beliefs that serve you and those that don’t. It is up to you to become conscious of your limiting beliefs and learn to overcome them while consciously reprogramming your mind at the subconscious level.
Identifying Your Personal Limiting Beliefs: Using the “Decoding Your Beliefs” exercise outlined in the preceding article about building self esteem, make a list of your personal negative beliefs. You can carry on adding any negative beliefs to your list as they come to you at a later stage. To see how those limiting beliefs have unnecessarily hampered your success, you could choose to write an example of when any such belief has prevented you from doing or achieving something you wanted. For example a belief like “I am bad with money” or “I am a spendthrift” is likely to have left you with a rather unhealthy bank balance.
Stocktaking Your Limiting Beliefs: While this article is focused on transforming those personal limiting beliefs that begin with the words “I am”, the techniques can be equally used for any negative belief. It takes time, effort and a healthy dose of introspection to uncover your limiting beliefs in all areas of your life, but doing so will go a long way in understanding and hence enabling you to transform your current circumstances across the board. Choose the areas of your life you wish to work on e.g. relationships, health, finances or your job, and then make a list of your beliefs pertaining to each area.
With regard relationships, your list can include phrases that begin with words such as “relationships are”, “women are”, “men are”, “love is”, “family is” and so on. Beliefs for health can include phrases such as “health is”, “my body is”, “exercise is”, “food is”; for finances an obvious example is “money is”; and for your job, “work is”, “bosses are”, “success is” and so on. Of course, your beliefs in each area will once again be a combination of positive and limiting beliefs. Remember to focus on the positive beliefs as a source of your natural strengths, and seek to transform the limiting beliefs with the five techniques outlined below and in the second part of this article. You may also find that some of your limiting beliefs from your “I am” list, affect a specific area of your life, in which case you can simply add them to the relevant list.
Understanding Causality: It is important to understand that your limiting beliefs are the cause of your unwanted circumstances, while the circumstances themselves are the effect – not the other way round. Using the example about money, it may appear that it is because you are struggling with your finances that you believe you are bad with money but the true causality runs in reverse i.e. it is your limiting beliefs about money that is creating and perpetuating your unwanted financial circumstances.
This should come as very good news because it means that instead of believing you are a victim of your circumstances, you can change your unwanted circumstances by changing your limiting beliefs. The five techniques outlined in this two-part article, when understood and effectively applied, are the most effective steps you can take in that direction. The first four techniques are aimed at consciously re-programming your subconscious mind while the fifth technique is aimed at raising your level of consciousness. While all the techniques can be used simultaneously, the fifth is by far the superior.
Technique 1 – Positive Affirmations: The first technique for overcoming limiting beliefs is positive affirmations. A positive affirmation is simply a positive statement specifically targeted at re-programming an existing negative belief. Remember, that any thought you repeat often enough will in time be passed down to your subconscious mind to create a belief. If the new, positive statement is repeated enough times, it will in time be strong enough to over-ride the existing negative one.
An example of a positive affirmation for health for instance is “My body heals itself efforlessly and quickly”, or for relationships is “I respect and uphold healthy boundaries in all my relationships”. There are some fantastic programmes available commercially which use targeted recorded affirmations to re-programme your mind. If such programmes are not within your current budget, you can always make your own recording of positive affirmations that are tailor-made for you. It is most effective to use an even, deliberate tone of voice with as little background noise as possible. Mental repetition, without the help of a recording, is of course also effective as long as you do it systematically and persistently.
A World Famous Positive Affirmation: Emile Coue gave us one of the most beneficial positive affirmations that was made famous by the Silva Method and that instantaneously covers every aspect of your life. “Every day in every way, I am getting better and better”. Mentally repeat this to yourself throughout the day irrespective of what other programmes you are using. Learn to become more aware of your thoughts. When you catch yourself having negative thoughts calmly and deliberately say to yourself “cancel, cancel, cancel”, then take a deep breath and mentally say “every day in every way, I am getting better and better”. Notice how “better and better” is not the same as the false target of “I am perfect” – it is simply better and better.
Technique 2 – Act As If: The second method for building self esteem is to act “as if”. This is similar to positive affirmations but rather than using your thoughts and words, you are using your actions. It means to act as if you do not have your negative beliefs or, even better, as if you have their positive equivalents. You may have heard it said like this – “fake it, until you make it”. If for instance you lack confidence, notice how it feels to walk around with your head held up high and your shoulders back. When you do so often, your mind will “forget” your lack of confidence because your new bodily stance sends a very strong, over-riding message of confidence.
Your Mind Does Not Know You are Acting: Since the subconscious mind is not rational in nature and hence does not judge, it can not tell the difference between when you are pretending and when you are acting on a “real” belief. Have fun acting “as if” and sense how differently you feel inside just by acting out a positive role. This is not about tricking your mind. It is about knowing how the mind works and that we are all already just “acting out” our lives based on a script that is stored by our subconscious mind and that we did not consciously choose in the first instance. Persistently acting “as if” changes the script over time, and when the script changes for the better, then so does the movie.
Technique 3 – Creative Visualization: Creative visualization is one of the most effective methods for programming and re-programming your subconscious mind when overcoming limiting beliefs. It is really a method of self-hypnosis or alpha levelmeditation, as used in the world-famous Silva Method. Its power lies in directly accessing the subconscious mind by deliberately slowing down your brain waves through relaxation techniques. Creative visualization is essentially the process where by in a relaxed state of mind and with you eyes closed, you imagine your intended outcome with feeling while believing that you already have that which you want in the present moment, and then finally letting it go by detaching from the outcome.
In the case of overcoming limiting beliefs, you can imagine yourself acting as if you have the equivalent positive belief of the belief you intend to overcome. Visualize how you would think, talk, act and feel if you had a specific positive belief about yourself. When combined with the first two techniques of positive affirmations and acting “as if” in your waking world, you will quickly experience beneficial, life-changing results. For a full explanation read: Creative Visualization Explained and the associated articles.
A Warning About Your Negative Beliefs and the Laws of Polarity & Attraction: If you use creative visualisation to visualize an intended outcome without transforming the underlying negative belief first, then you may find that your subconscious mind fights and sabotages your attempts. Most people attempt to simply focus on what they want while ignoring any underlying contradictory negative belief. These unchecked negative beliefs, by the Laws of Attraction and Polarity, inadvertently attract more of what they do not want. You can use a simple technique to by-pass such limiting beliefs called the Mental Focus By-Product Method. The aim is to place your mental focus on something that is a by-product of what you want but not specifically what you want. In other words, mentally focus on something that you do not have a specific negative belief about but, that in order to experience it you must also have that which you actually want. For a full explanation read: Effective Mental Focus – When Not to Focus on What You Want.
Mental Time Travel Meditation: In a relaxed state and with your eyes closed, mentally create a horizontal time line of your life where the furthest point to your right is your present moment. Include a point for your negative experience somewhere on the left of the current moment as well as a length of time before that experience. Imagine yourself traveling backwards in time along your time-line until you come to that experience, then mentally freeze the experience in its place and continue to travel back in time to a point when the associated negative belief(s) did not exist. This could be just before the experience or all the way back into your childhood.
Feel how confident, strong and carefree you felt at that point of time when you did not have that negative belief. Now step into and internalise those positive feelings before returning to the present moment back along your imaginary time line, giving no notice to that negative experience, other than to see how it is frozen in time. This is a very powerful meditation exercise that will enable you to release yourself from the grip of the perceived negativity of your experiences and their associated negative beliefs. For a full explanation read: Mental Time Travel to Change the Past.
The 21-Day Rule to Create a New Habit: It is widely suggested that overcoming limiting beliefs or creating a new habit, takes on average 21 consecutive days of repetition. This may sound like a little (and really it is) but most people struggle to get past day 3 because we live in a world of instant gratification in which we expect and demand instantaneous results. In contrast, however, the conscious creation process, whereby energy in its potential form is transmuted into matter in its material form through the power of thought, requires time in the physical world. Understanding the necessity of time will grant you the patience and persistence you require for overcoming limiting beliefs. Having said this, there is one more technique that does not require any time for its manifestation because it is based on an eternal truth – the truth about your true nature.
Technique 5 – Know Thyself: The final, and by far the most effective technique for overcoming limiting beliefs, is also one of the maxims inscribed on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: “know thyself”. To know yourself is not just about knowing what your beliefs are or knowing your strengths and weaknesses. These aspects of your character are the tip of the iceberg and in fact have little to do with the real you. To know yourself is to know your true nature. Your true nature goes beyond the confines of the physical world, your physical body and your five physical senses. Your true nature belongs to the spiritual realm.
Your True Nature is Divine: The real you is your Higher Self, the eternal observer. The real you has no limiting beliefs for it knows that your consciousness is one with the One Universal Mind, All Powerful, All Present and All Knowing; the only difference being one of degree. No limiting belief, no matter how deeply ingrained or how powerful, stands any chance in the face of Omnipotence, of which you are a part. Any need to compare yourself, compete with or depend on the opinion of others as a measure of your worthiness, becomes redundant when your self worth and self esteem have there basis in knowing your true nature. Knowing who you really are is the only authentic source of inner strength when overcoming limiting beliefs because it can never be disturbed by outside appearances. When you know yourself, you can rip up your list of both positive and negative “I am” beliefs and replace it with these words alone: “I am”. No qualifications, nothing more, nothing less. “I am”.
A Warning Against Arrogance: Knowing your true nature is not about feeling that you are now above or better than others because you have “figured it all out” and they havent. It is not about arrogantly believing or proclaiming that you are God or thinking that you are invincible and that nothing can touch you or get in your way. This attitude is an extreme that is best to be avoided and can in fact be more self-destructive than not knowing your true nature at all. In contrast, knowing yourself is accompanied by a deep sense of inner peace and balance with reverence for the One Universal Mind, of which everyone, everything and you yourself, are a part. There is no place for conceit, self-righteousness or arrogance in knowing yourself.
In a nutshell, developing an overall positive mind set is fundamental to overcoming limiting beliefs and creating the life you intend for yourself. There are several techniques that you can use for overcoming limiting beliefs and replacing them with positive equivalents that serve you and your success. Most of these techniques are aimed at re-programming the mind at the subconscious level. These include positive affirmations, acting as if, creative visualization and mental time travel. All these techniques are effective whether used individually or together but the superior of all is a fifth technique, which is to know your true nature. When you know yourself, then your self worth and self esteem are built on the unshakeable foundation of Omnipotence, of which you are a part. Know yourself with a reverence for the majesty of God, of which you are a part, and you will find all your limiting beliefs disappearing as if by magic.
Tania Kotso is the author and creator of Mind Your Reality, which is a product of my ongoing studies and understanding of mind power, the Universe and the nature of reality. She has written multiple books which can help anyone rapidly and profoundly improve their lives through understanding how their mind, body and spirit work. See her various works on her website here: Mind Your Reality