Self-confidence problems? Self-image issues? Blushing or stammering in public? Fearing social occasions? Hypnosis Helps!
It always amazes me how many clients of mine who come for issues similar to those listed above answer in the negative when I ask them “can you look at yourself in the mirror?” and yet they are constantly checking yet never liking their appearance wherever they can get a peek: Shop windows, other people’s gaze, car mirrors…
Try it for yourself: stand silently in front of your mirror and observe what thoughts and images come to your mind; you’ll know by your ability to sustain your gaze and feel okay about what your mirror reflects back whether you are one of those people who is still waiting for others to tell you how good you look today!
Looking good and feeling good is one of the essentials to have in business or personal life. But looking good by whose standards? And trying to keep ahead or in line with the criteria of “looking good” factors that are widely advertised by the media: latest lip gloss, slimmer dress code or most aggressive perfume does not necessarily make us feel any better in the long run….
Our self image, the way we imagine ourselves and the way we talk about ourselves internally is our set of rules that we carry around and we confirm that set of beliefs by reading others’ minds and body language as confirmations. We create that mirror effect and we get back only what we are already expecting by our internal images of ourselves!
Imagine the scene: one person is wearing the latest bright dress and wishing to be noticed and liked; but before she leaves her house she looks into the mirror and says “oh my god, I still look fat!” Another person wears her favourite dress not necessarily acclaimed as the latest fashion and she looks at herself in the mirror and her internal voice goes: “I love this colour on me!”
When they reach that party the first lady is already wearing her internal lenses, poised to read “how fat she looks” in the eyes of people and thereby even when she is given a compliment instead of being able to rejoice at the efforts she made, her internal dialogue goes something like “yes but….I am still fat!” and soon she is miserable and feeling not good enough. When lady number two is told how good she looks that compliment just confirms what her internal lenses were saying earlier and it doubles her smile of satisfaction; she feels elated and even better because let’s face it we all like being liked and admired…
The first mirror of self-approval and self-affirmation comes from inside and whatever our self-image is in there that is what we project outside and awaits for confirmation via the words and expressions of others. If our self image is grotesque, ugly or even “I am not good enough!” we either fear social situations or escape from them and then our mind creates all kinds of symptoms to cope with our inner need to run away: blushing, stammering, blanked mind, tensions and nervousness, lack of confidence, panic in talking in public. Basically the mind is battling with the logic saying “you are not good enough to be here! Let’s go!”
As a Hypnotherapist the part of my work that I like best is witnessing those extra lines of tensions disappearing from the faces of my clients; years of battling with one’s own self-image when the logic and the promotions at work or the love of the partner is saying they are good enough puts a lot of strain in people’s body language and we can notice those extra tensions in our shoulders, neck and facial expressions. Over just a few sessions of hypnosis the body feels safer and good enough to smile without effort and extra use of the muscles to hold tension. As well as clients learn to let go of those old obsolete triggers of self-image absorbed from years of growing up in conditional and judgemental family or social atmospheres thus creating an inner self-image that is acceptable and “good enough”.
It is a pleasure for the therapist in me to observe how clients’ gaze grow steadier, how their language patterns change from “I should be more good looking, more smart, more tall.” To “I can be who I am and I am okay”
There is nothing magical in applying Hypnotherapy to a mind that is caught in self-defeating self-talk and self-image but it is magical to watch what changes people bring to their lifestyle and expectations from others as the simple process of changing their inner mirror help them to develop that internal locus of control rather than awaiting constant approval from external sources.
I’d like to end with what one client said about it all:
“ Before I did hypnotherapy my mind saw my boss as a tiger howling at me and whatever I did it was just not good enough because I felt like a child being reprimanded; through the process of hypnotherapy I understood it was because I developed a self-image of myself as a little girl of not being good enough, of failing my parents constantly and that feeling still got triggered every time I faced someone in authority! In only four sessions of intense Hypnosis techniques and practice I entered his room with the winning smile of a young capable woman and even now after a whole year of my last Hypnosis session on days when I am told what I did wrong I hear and see in my boss a man talking to the woman in me and not the tiger out to eat a little child!!”