What if I Don't "Believe" in Hypnosis?
Many people form their beliefs about hypnosis from what they have seen by attending stage hypnosis shows, in the movies and on television. A friend of mine is a comedy hypnotist and gets his participants to sing like Madonna and dance like a prima ballerina. After the show there is always skepticism about the authenticity of the acting and a feeling by the audience that, "I could never do those things because I can't be hypnotized." The truth is that all of those on stage volunteered and passed some simple tests to see if they were good candidates, because not everyone can be hypnotized for stage purposes. And, yes, the acts are authentic! My friend always ends his shows by saying, "If you can do those things in hypnosis for fun, imagine how therapeutic hypnosis can help you."
Many people have told me they don't believe in hypnosis or they don't believe they can be hypnotized. My response is always, "Aren't you lucky hypnosis is not a religion! You don't have to believe in it, you just have to be willing to follow simple instructions and willing to make changes in your life." There are very few people who cannot be hypnotized. In 10 years, I have met fewer than 5.
A belief is just a thought that gets repeated over and over. It isn't necessarily true but it becomes your truth. The unconscious mind doesn't know the difference between reality and fantasy, whatever you tell yourself becomes the truth.
The book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, is an excellent example of this. One of the agreements is "Don't take anything personally." This means what others say or do has nothing to do with anything but themselves. Sometimes we believe that a certain behavior is because someone doesn't like or respect us, when it could be just they are angry at something or they're having a bad day. Another of the agreements is "Don't make assumptions." When we believe something about ourselves that's negative, we often assume others believe or think the same thing. We can change our beliefs simply by changing our thoughts.
Hypnosis uses the science of the mind, and it is that science that has made hypnosis recognized by the medical community as an effective modality to help reduce stress, and eliminate all the problems that excessive stress promotes, including but not limited to improve self esteem, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and pain and take back control of your life in ways you couldn't even imagine. You don't need to believe in hypnosis but you must be willing to use it and not resist in order for it to be effective. The hypnotist has no power but only acts as a guide and a coach.
Hypnosis works, but only if you use it! All hypnosis is self hypnosis. What are you telling yourself?