OK, so you learned how to do self-hypnosis (Self-Hypnosis is Easy and Fun!), you know about creating positive suggestions for yourself, but, do you know how to get the most out of self-hypnosis and really get to the bottom of what you want?
In my practice at Intuitive Hypnosis in Portland, Oregon, I use an approach with my clients based on a Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) outcome frame. It is an excellent tool that I use with almost every client to help us narrow down exactly what they want as a result of their hypnosis treatment.
The NLP outcome frame has a lot of questions, all of which I use with clients in my office. I have narrowed down the questions to the most important, in my opinion, to include when combining with self-hypnosis. By learning to use this NLP outcome frame to create your outcome statement, you can learn to expertly define exactly what you want as you practice self-hypnosis.
The outcome frame begins with a simple question. What exactly do you want? Stated in the positive, something YOU can control. Sounds easy enough, yes? You’d be surprised how many people answer this question by stating what they “don’t” want. We, as humans, seem to be predisposed to focusing on what we don’t like, what we don’t want, and what’s wrong with our situation.
Learning to clearly identify what you do want is key to succeeding with hypnosis. Your subconscious mind processes in terms of images, and you want your outcome statement, the answer to, “What exactly do you want?” to create the image of what you want, not what you don’t want.
So, let’s get started. You’ve learned how to do self-hypnosis, now, what do you want? Let’s use the following example: you want to exercise five times, or more, each week. Your outcome statement would be something like the following: “I want to incorporate regular exercise into my daily routine at least five days each week.” Or, “I find it easy and natural and motivating to exercise at least five days each week.”
Next question: What evidence will demonstrate to you that you have indeed accomplished this goal? What changes will you notice? Possible answers include: “I get up every morning and head right to the gym, it’s just part of my normal routine, like brushing my teeth.” Or perhaps, “I don’t even think about physical activity anymore, it’s just natural. I find myself focusing on other things.” Or, “I’m losing weight, my clothes are getting too big for me.” You get the idea. You’re identifying the natural consequences you can expect to experience as a result of accomplishing your goal.
Now think about how you would answer the following questions: What does it look like when you make this change? What do you see? You may say, “I see myself out riding bikes with the kids.” Or, “I see myself wearing all those skinny clothes in my closet!” Or maybe, “I see myself out socializing more often.”
Next, and this is kind of a strange question to ask yourself, but what does it sound like when you make this change? Keep in mind that the answers to these questions can be literal or figurative. You may say, “It sounds like peace of mind,” or, you may hear the sound of yourself panting as you are running on the treadmill or outside. You may hear compliments from others, or you may hear the absence of negative self-talk you once heard about NOT exercising. Maybe it sounds like rainbows and butterflies. There are no wrong answers!
What does it feel like to have this change in place? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself. Possible answers could be, “I feel proud of myself for finally getting my act together. I feel strong, more flexible, and lighter on my feet. I feel a huge sense of relief. I feel happy to know that I can control my life!”
What does having this (the achievement of your outcome statement) do for you? Hmm, maybe it gives you more confidence at work, or improves your sex life. Maybe it helps you lose weight, or finish a marathon. Perhaps it makes it easier to eat right because you spend that much time exercising.
And when you get what you want (the achievement of your outcome statement), what else in your life will improve? Maybe this accomplishment will help you at work, or give you the proof that you can accomplish other things. Perhaps it will improve your relationships across the board, and keep you from suffering any weight related illnesses. Perhaps your example will encourage your spouse to take better care of him/herself. Again, there are no wrong answers; you’re simply identifying all the details about this change you are making.
And the last question, which may be the most important of all: What, if any, benefits are you getting out of NOT accomplishing this goal? In this case, what benefit do you get from NOT exercising? In the world of NLP there is a presupposition that behind every behavior is a positive intention. What are you getting out of this behavior? Moreover, are you willing to give it up? Possible answers for this example include the following:
“I get to sleep in everyday. It’s just easier to hang out, and since I’m already over weight and not exercising, I can pretty much eat what I want because I’m already fat, and who cares anyway? I get to spend time on Facebook, or watching TV, and it just feels better to sit.”
The main question here is the following: Which do you dislike the most, changing your behavior, or living with yourself the way you are? Until the dislike for living with your current situation outweighs the effort needed for change, you will struggle unnecessarily.
When you recognize that your dislike for your current situation is greater than your dislike for change, using self- hypnosis, in conjunction with this NLP outcome frame, can tip the scales in your favor, literally!
To get full advantage out of self-hypnosis, ask yourself the following questions as you develop your suggestions:
- What exactly do I want?
- What evidence shows me that I have accomplished this goal?
- What does it look like?
- What does it sound like?
- What does it feel like?
- Am I willing to give up any perceived benefits of not making this change?
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Working with a qualified hypnotherapist is an effective way to learn about hypnosis and to get started on the changes you want to make. Learning how to effectively use self-hypnosis, along with the NLP outcome frame, increases your degree of success and teaches you how to harness the power of your own mind. Let self-hypnosis become a natural part of your daily life.