How You Allow Yourself To Be Hypnotized Every Day (and what to do about it)
The most common thing I hear from people when they learn I am a hypnotherapist is, “I don’t think I can be hypnotized.”
Rather than coming from a place of informed awareness, this statement tends to come from a place of either fear and misunderstanding (I don’t want to be out of control) or boastful pride (No one can take control of me).
When I ask them if they’ve ever been hypnotized, they of course say, “No.”
Then I’ll ask, “Have you ever been driving either to work or back home and suddenly find yourself at your destination with no memory of the drive, wondering, ‘How did I get here already?”
They tend to say, “Yeah, sure. Happens all the time.”
Surprise, you’ve experienced a type of hypnosis.
Then I have to explain to them that hypnosis is a natural state of mind. That they are fully in control and aware while they’re relaxed and focused.
There’s another form of hypnosis that is far more insidious in our culture. One that we give ourselves to willingly ever day and reinforce limiting beliefs about the state of the world and our safety in it.
Before I tell you what it is, let’s look at how limiting beliefs can be impressed into the subconscious.
There are two main ways that beliefs are embedded: 1) a moment of shock, 2) repetition.
Moments of shock tend to be traumatic incidences, moments where we felt alone, severely judged, or possibly highly ridiculed or embarrassed. These intense emotions imprint into our subconscious around the events in question and we decide, “I won’t do that ever again.”
This could be as innocent as publicly asking someone to the prom, getting rejected in front of all of your ‘friends’ who then ridicule and laugh at you. Lesson learned: ‘I’m not good enough to go out with the person I am interested in.’
Repetition is a far more subtle and insidious method of impressing limiting beliefs.
Maybe you grow up in a household where you see emotionally immature parents acting out, yelling at each other, taking their frustrations out on the rest of the family, feeling that they are victims of life. They’re trapped in this miserable existence and by God everyone’s going to know it, just so they can try to feel better. (But they never do.)
Experiencing this type of an environment, children can take away a variety of limiting beliefs. Maybe they hear messages that they are at fault, or maybe that the immaturity they are seeing is in some way normal, and this is what relationships are like (afterall, they have no other template for healthy comparison, and they are seeing this negative behavior every day), or maybe they hear messages that they don’t deserve to be happy, that it is impossible – life is nothing but struggle.
Or, they take on limiting beliefs about others, hearing messages of bigotry and hatred, over and over and over.
Once these beliefs are embedded, we tend to act them out in our lives. Attracting people who meet the template of what we believe we deserve in life, seeing our beliefs about groups of people played out and confirmed (even though there are just as many stories available to affirm the opposite) …all unconsciously.
Our bias toward negativity is powerful.
Ask yourself these questions:
What’s deadlier, a shark or a selfie?
Selfie deaths: 259 in a six year period - Average of 43/year
Shark deaths: Six per year.
How safe is flying?
Planes in the air at any time: More than 5,000
Crashes per year: Fewer than 100
For our safety, our sheer survival, we focus on the negative outcomes. Even though they are statistically irrelevant.
But the state of the world is not as bad as we, in our narrow-cast minds, think it is.
For our ego, we hold onto limiting beliefs about ourselves, because in a weird way, if our beliefs in who we are die, then we die.
How many times have you heard or said this: “It’s WHO I AM, I CAN’T CHANGE” when confronted with a negative behavior?
Reality check: It’s not who you are. It’s who you THINK you are.
So, what’s the one way that you are hypnotizing yourself into reinforcing negative beliefs every day?
It’s the time you spend in front of the TV watching narrow-cast ‘news’ reports.
Doesn’t matter if it’s MSNBC or FoxNews…exposure to only one side of an idea, reinforcing your own limiting ideas as the other side is ridiculed as ‘totally’ wrong on all things, seeing cleverly edited videos that make those who the channel supports look good or bad does nothing to empower your mindset.
And besides, no one and no thing can be "totally" wrong at any time. It's a logical fallacy...but it makes for engaging talk radio.
Sadly, while watching these reports, as you lower your resistance and accept these stories as truth (because they support your beliefs), you are being manipulated with edited information.
This exposure to repetitious messages that are so one-sided creates a cult of A vs B with no middle ground for conversation to occur for growth.
This also can lead to a herd mentality – as social animals, we want to belong, we want to feel connected to others for our safety and survival.
When we begin to live our lives based on narrow belief systems, we run the risk of going “all-in” with the herd that possibly doesn’t fully represent our views.
Rather than living and expressing ourselves authentically, we give away parts of our identity to the beliefs of others on how we should behave, so that we can be part of the group.
Our identities and senses-of-self become defined by that which is outside of us, rather than on our inner strength and personal truths.
The paradox is that once we’ve defined ourselves by external forces, we begin to act on these false beliefs at though they were our authentic identity.
You’ll find yourself surrounding yourself with friends who believe the same things that you now do, further reinforcing your limiting beliefs, possibly ignoring old friends who no longer think the same way.
The most dangerous aspect of our cult of personality is that it is now self-centered. Once driven by a focus on celebrities, the drive for importance is now in the palms of our hands and it’s all about us.
Think you can’t be hypnotized? Think again. You do it to yourself every day. You allow it.
You are in control. You are making the choice of what you permit into your mind, body, and spirit.
If you find that these influences are making you stressed and frustrated, it’s not the world that needs to change, it’s you and your perspective. Understand, I’m not saying that all of your beliefs are wrong, maybe some do serve you, however those that are leading to negative emotions and poor physical health are not serving you.
It’s time to take your control back and stop hypnotizing yourself with negativity and limitation. The world and the Universe are full of possibilities.
I bet there are some out there that can help you to find happiness and fulfillment.
Turn off the TV for a couple of days. Step away from the information feeds that you surround yourself with. Find some quiet.
If you need to reprogram that faulty subconscious programming that’s come from exposure to limiting beliefs, consider hypnotherapy.
You’ve already proven that you can be hypnotized. It’s time to use it to your advantage.