Tag Archives: fear

5 ways to make a positive introduction

energy

We’ve all been there. We need to introduce ourselves and we want to make a good impression, but how do we do that?

It starts before you even open your mouth.

Decide what comfortable looks like

Firstly, you need to get your energy right. Don’t get weirded out by the idea of personal energy – it’s not some strange construct about chi or laylines, it’s just the ‘vibes’ we give out. I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking ‘what utter nonsense’, but think about this for a second…have you ever walked into a room where nobody has said a word, but you can tell that there is tension – that things aren’t right…that’s the energy I’m talking about. In reality it’s probably a combination of body language and our subconscious minds. We pick up on all sorts of small signals and they give us a feeling of right or wrong, good or bad, safe or dangerous, comfortable or nervous.

When we meet people, we want them to think certain things of us and feel a certain way about us. Unless we have ulterior motives we probably want them to like us – to feel comfortable and at ease. So how do we achieve this? Let’s start by thinking about the sort of people we feel comfortable with…are they nervous or self assured? Are they  relaxed or uptight? Are they highly strung or laid back? Are they vigilant or unaware? Generally people feel comfortable with people who seem comfortable themselves. They seen confident, self assured, relaxed and happy.

I you don’t feel it- fake it

So we want to appear to be confident, self assured, relaxed and happy. If you feel that way then you are already most of the way there, but what if you don’t. The easy answer is fake it. Most people aren’t very good at telling if someone is genuinely confident, or just pretending to be, so fake it ’til you make it. Think about your body language. Imagine someone who feels the way you want to feel and think about how they look. What is their posture like? How about their eye contact? Are they fidgeting? Do they have a prop? What are their hands doing? If you can picture it, then you can copy it. Maybe you could even imagine floating into their body and assuming their mannerisms…

What if it all went perfectly?

Sometimes the reasons we feel anxious or nervous are because we have thought about all the things that could possibly go wrong. We go over and over the situation, thinking about what mistakes we might make or all the negative things people may think about us. Unfortunately, rather than helping us to prepare, this just makes us fearful. This in turn affects the energy. How comfortable do feel around people that are scared? I know it can be easy to think about all the worst possible outcomes, but with practice you can start to think about all the things that could go well. What if they really like us? What if it goes perfectly? These thoughts lead to confidence and a positive feeling.

Be realistic

When we meet people, what ever the situation, we have some hopes about how it’s going to go. If it’s a job interview, we want them to give us the job. If it’s a date, we want them to want to see us again. If it’s a new job we want to fit in with the new team and become liked and valuable. As much as we hope it will go perfectly – what if it doesn’t? Is it life or death? Will we have another chance to change things? Being confident is not about believing that everyone will like you, it’s about knowing that you will be OK even if they don’t. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself and relax!

Enjoy it

The nicest people to be around tend to be those that just enjoy the company of others. So put your best foot forward, relax (or pretend to) and enjoy the opportunity. Who knows where it could take you?

If you struggle with social situations or have problems with confidence and self esteem there are many ways you can get help. Hypnotherapists like myself are ready and willing to help you to feel how you want to, either through hypnosis or through a myriad of other psychological tools and tricks. Don’t suffer unnecessarily –  make the change!

 

 

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Do your best

Have you ever done your best?

Have you ever tried as hard as you possibly can?

Have you done all of the preparation work that you possibly could?

Have you trained as hard as you could have?

Have you reread and rewritten your work enough?

Have you been focussed enough?

Have you tried every possible way to get it done?

Have you sought professional help or expertise?

Have you eliminated distractions?

Have you avoided all temptation?

Have you given it everything you’ve got?

Chances are that the answer is a big fat NO.

That’s OK.

(almost everyone else will say no to that too)

Stop beating yourself up. Accept that your not perfect and be a little nicer to yourself

There are, of course, exceptions – maybe you’re one of them – and if you are – Well Done.

I’m very impressed and all that but seriously – get a life!

Smile, relax, have fun, eat a cake, daydream, watch silly TV, make up stories in your head – it’s all really cool stuff 🙂

So maybe do your best, but then again, maybe don’t.

Try to be happy…

…but don’t try too hard!

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The power of belief

coventry hypnotherapy

Belief is a powerful thing.

We all believe in things.

Some people believe in God who has a hand in their life.

Some people believe that they are lucky.

Some people believe that everything happens for a reason.

Some people believe in fairies.

Some people believe that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Some people believe in themselves.

Sometimes the things we don’t believe in are just as powerful.

What if you don’t believe in yourself?

Do you try anyway?

What if you don’t think you can do it?

Do you give up at the first hurdle because it just proved to you that it was impossible?

What if you don’t believe you’re lucky?

Does every bad thing that happens confirm that you were right?

We all have something called confirmation bias.

That means that we give extra attention and credit to things that confirm what we already think.

For example have you ever noticed that if you don’t like someone, almost everything you do annoys you. yet if a person you really liked did exactly the same thing it probably wouldn’t bother you (well, not as much anyway).

So when we don’t believe in ourselves our confirmation bias just makes it even harder to believe.

As a hypnotherapist, I often work with people who don’t believe that they can do the things they want. Maybe it’s lose weight, maybe give up smoking, maybe be confident in public, maybe its to be unafraid around spiders. Whatever it is, the more they believe that they cannot do it, the more likely it is that they won’t.

Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

The first thing I have to do is to change their belief set.

Today I was working with a lovely lady who wants to lose weight. She said that she had been overweight since she was a small child. When we first started the session I asked her if she believed she could lose weight and she said ‘no’. When I asked her why she said that, she had never been a healthy weight, so didn’t see how she could be in the future. So, after finding out about her eating habits, how she felt about food and eating, going through her routines and requirements we started with the hypnosis. The first twenty minutes were all about changing her belief patterns – nothing whatsoever about eating, appetite or food. After we had worked on this I asked where she was now – how much did she believe that she could lose weight? She replied ‘90% sure’

So we went from 0 to 90% in 20 minutes.

We then went on to work on changing eating habits and food types and put in place all the things she needed in order to be able to lose weight easily.

The real work was done in the first 20 minutes. She now believes that she CAN lose weight. Her confirmation bias will prove to her every day that it’s possible and if she wants it, she WILL be able to do it. The other stuff was just making it easier for her.

Think about what you believe in and maybe more importantly, what you don’t.

It could change your life!

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Magical Metaphor

I’m over the moon to be writing about metaphors. You know – metaphorically speaking.

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Metaphors are also described as figures of speech, allegories, parables, analogies, word pictures and symbols.

They creep into our everyday life without most of us even noticing.

Have you ever really been as sick as a parrot? (I didn’t even know parrots were particularly prone to sickness).

Do you ever get run off your feet?

Have you ever actually been on cloud 9? (or clouds 1-8 for that matter)

Does your head get foggy? (or rainy, snowy or windy?)

When was the last time you said something was amazing or awesome? When was the last time you were genuinely amazed or in awe?

Is the world a stage?

Have you ever drowned in debt?

Metaphors are everywhere.

Personally I rather like looking out for them? When you start to spot them you can start to notice the language people are using with regards to their metaphors – it can be quite revealing.

As a hypnotherapist I deal a lot with metaphors and symbolism. The subconscious mind is much better at changing things if you give it symbols to work with.

You might want to give this little exercise a go.

Let’s imagine you have something coming up that you feel uncomfortable with. Maybe it’s a test or exam, maybe it’s a meeting that you are worried about, maybe it’s a conversation you are not looking forward to having. What ever it is try to think of a symbol that represents how you feel about it at the moment. The symbol can be a shape, a colour, a character, an object – whatever works for you. Now think about a symbol that represents how you would LIKE to feel about it – easy, relaxed, confident – whatever is best for you.

Once you’ve got the new improved symbol in your mind, make it destroy the other, less useful symbol. It can squash it, rub it out, fade it away, blow it up, burn it down, screw it up and throw it away – what ever suits you – just make your new improved symbol the only one that left afterwards.

Now – ask yourself how you feel about the thing that you were concerned about….

…better?

Using this technique along with hypnosis can and does make powerful changes for people – you should give it a try – it could leave you feeling on top of the world!

(metaphorically speaking of course)

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The Harry Potter approach to fear

spider phobia

I’m guessing most of you have seen at least some of the Harry Potter films.

If you haven’t, go and check them out immediately – they’re ace!

In one of the films the students are asked to use a spell to defeat a monster that manifests itself as the young wizard’s greatest fear. For one of them, the greatest fear they had was that of spiders.

Arachnophobia.

It’s pretty common.

The way that the creature is dealt with is by using the ‘Riddikulus’ spell. You imagine it being as ridiculous as you can.

I think they’re onto something here.

Can you honestly be scared of something that you find funny?

If you’re scared of spiders, try giving it a silly name, with a funny voice. Hear it talking to you asking to be your friend. Put it in some strange outfit or think about it being drunk or scared. Play with the ideas in your imagination.

The weird thing about your subconscious (well, one of the weird things) is that it has trouble distinguishing real memories from imagined ones. If you play around with this concept often enough it starts to remember spiders as silly and funny rather than scary.

Now, isn’t that ridiculous!

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You can’t win them all

I hate to break it to you but you’re not perfect.

Sometimes things will go wrong.

Sometimes things won’t work.

Sometimes people won’t like you.

Sometimes people will disagree with you.

The thing about not being perfect is it can be tough to accept.

People can be very hard on themselves.

This can lead to self hatred and depression.

Accept you’re not perfect.

Accept the fact that things aren’t always going to go the way you want.

Then forgive yourself for that.

If you can forgive yourself and accept your own flaws – yes you have those too – then you are more likely to be a tolerant and understanding person to others.

Be nice – to you and to them.

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Food Phobia – Fussy Eating and it’s causes

Most of the people I see as a Hypnotherapist come to me for something to do with food.

For the vast majority of those people it’s that they would like to not eat so much of it. They want to change their relationship with food so that they are in charge and so that they can easily say no to junk food and eat in a more healthy way.

For some people it’s that they would like to eat more. They either have some obsessive compulsive behaviour around food (separating foods out, liquidising food, not allowing foods to touch, feeling sick at the thought of eating certain foods etc. etc.) Anorexic and bulimic behaviours also fall into this category but are often more complicated and have underlying emotional issues that need to be resolved alongside them.

A lot of people that fall into the ‘eat more’ group have had a negative experience when eating food. Quite often that was a choking incident and it has left them with a fear of eating. Almost all phobias are learned responses. We can learn them from the people around us (you tend to find that kids who have parents who are scared of spiders will continue that phobia themselves), or we can learn them through experience (something scared us, hurt us or upset us in some way). The initial scary event is often referred to as the sensitizing event of the phobia. Normally this is followed up some time later by a confirming event. Let’s say for instance you choked on a piece of steak. That initial choking is the sensitizing event. The next time you go to eat steak, you remember that you choked last time and are a little apprehensive. This causes your mouth to dry up, your throat to tighten slightly and your heart rate to increase. You notice this and it causes increased anxiety which in turn causes the anxiety to kick up a notch. The increase in adrenaline in your system makes you feel a bit queasy – like that sick feeling you get before you go on stage – but you link that churning stomach to the steak.  Now you have a phobia.

One of the common mistakes parents make when they have a child who is a fussy eater is to accept this behaviour. They can start to accommodate the child’s preference for this or that or their dislike of certain foods. By changing the foods that they give the child, they are confirming that they had a reason to refuse it in the first place. This in effect becomes confirming behaviour and leads to food issues. The other common mistake is to fight with the child and attempt to make them eat it. Now the confirming event is that every time the food that they don’t like is put in front of them, there will be stress and confrontation.

So what do you do?

Current thinking is that the best way to deal with a child who is a fussy eater is to continue to give them the foods they dislike if you are having them as part of a family meal. If they choose to leave them, don’t make a big deal of it. They just get less food. If they see their parents and siblings enjoying that food they are much more likely to give it a try and they have no negative associations with it.

If you are an adult who has developed food phobias in the past – get help! The world of food is an enjoyable one. As with any other phobia Hypnotherapy offers great success in getting rid of it for ever – what are you waiting for?

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Know yourself

Hi, my name is Sue.

I’m good at some things and not so good at others.

I am easily distracted – I think I may have been a magpie in a former incarnation. Shiny things (shiny ideas, toys, time wasters) can grab my attention.

I am good at finding creative solutions to problems.

For instance I get very excited at the start of a project – I come up with lots of ideas and think of imaginative and creative ways to do things. As time goes by I can become bored with my ideas and / or lose confidence in them and some of my plans and ideas fall by the wayside – my long term consistency can be lacking.

Other people can struggle with coming up with a plan, but once it’s made they will see it through to the finish, no matter what.

We are all different.

Now, of course, you can try to mould yourself into the person you want to be, but if you are fighting against your nature, then you are going to find it a difficult task to achieve.

The trick to achieving want you want is to understand yourself and try to work with your strengths.

Whenever I see a client who wants to change their life in some way, I ask them what they are good at, and what they are not so good at.

It constantly surprises me how difficult people find these questions to answer.

So – What are you good at?

– What are you not so good at?

Now think about a goal or plan that you have for yourself – maybe it’s to lose weight, get fitter, get a promotion, start your own business, grow your blog, change your relationship – whatever it is, think about how you can use your strengths to help you to achieve it. When you’ve worked out how you can get things changed, think about what might go wrong. Go back and look at the things you don’t do so well, and try to use your strengths to find solutions to overcome these potential obstacles.

This achieves two things.

Firstly you are working to your strengths – even when dealing with the things you don’t do so well. This means you are far more likely to succeed than if you are trying to change the things you struggle with.

Secondly – you have a plan. I know it’s a cheesy old saying but ‘Fail to plan and you plan to fail’. We are all at risk of forgetting what our goal is for thinking about what we want/don’t want right now. By having a plan – and writing it down – you achieve a different mindset. You keep your eyes on the prize and don’t forget about the overall aim so easily. If you set yourself mini goals within your overall goal it also helps to keep you focussed and motivated as you tick off the things that you have achieved.

Anyone can do anything the set their mind to – it takes work and dedication, but it can be done. I just think knowing yourself and acting accordingly makes it so much easier.

Good Luck with your goals 🙂

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What causes Stress? – Environment or how we handle it?

hypnotherapy for stress coventry

Have you ever noticed that some people can get stressed out over the slightest thing, whilst other people can seem to thrive in really high pressure environments?

Yet we still hear people say that they were in a stressful job, or a stressful situation.

Now don’t get me wrong, certain circumstances and issues can be difficult to deal with, but it’s how we deal with them that either gives us stress or doesn’t.

One of the common causes of stress is around control issues.

If you are trying to manage and control every aspect of a situation, and feel responsible for all the outcomes and how it will effect all parties involved you will undoubtedly be feeling the stress. One of the biggest lessons we all have to learn if we want to eliminate stress from our lives, is that we have little, if any, control over what happens.

Let me say that again – we have little, if any, control over what happens.

A lot of people are going to disagree with that statement. so let me add a little more to it.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t prepare/train/practice – of course you should, that’s how you get good at things.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to avoid dangerous risks – of course you should, if you want to live a long and healthy life.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan – of course you should, otherwise you will be met by unexpected problems at every turn.

What I’m saying is, after you’ve practised, planned and assessed your risks, you have to let go.

There is always a certain amount of rolling with the punches, things will go wrong and people will be unpredictable – and that’s OK.

If you’re someone who feels a lot of stress – here are a couple of tips which may help you to manage it better.

1. Plan, prepare, practice.

Get yourself ready for what ever the situation is that you are stressed about.

2. Breathe

Being stressed and uptight will not help you to make good decisions. Take a minute or two to breathe – slowly and steadily, making sure your out breath is always longer than your in breath. Some people like to count to 7 on each in breath and count to 11 on each out breath – personally I prefer to breathe in as normal and then blow the air out slowly through pursed lips to control my breathing. This simple act changes your body chemistry and allows you to feel calmer and more relaxed.

3. Ask yourself – What is the worst that could happen?

Unless you are in very unusual circumstances the situation you are in will not be life and death. If something goes wrong – so what? It may not be ideal, but it’s probably not worth giving yourself a heart attack over! You know what -even if it is life and death, you can still remind yourself that you are doing the best you can – and nobody can ask more of you than that.

4. Imagine it’s a year from now – do you still care about whatever it is you are stressing over?

If the answer is no, it’s probably not worth worrying about now either.

Stress is a killer – avoid it where you can. If you struggle with this on your own, consider seeking some help – it’s definitely worth it!

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More on the power of words

I love the idea of being subject to one another, but even more than that, I love the idea that words, when spoken out loud become more than just their meaning.

In my job I use words in powerful ways. The words themselves are incredibly important, but sometimes, even more importantly is the way that we say them.

You can lift someone with your voice, or you can relax them to the point of sleep. You can energise and invigorate or you can make them so sad they are brought to tears.

More times than not, it is not what we say, but how we say it.

Try to think about how you want your words to come across and make an effort to ensure that’s what you send out into the world.

Written words can be difficult to interpret sometimes because they don’t come with the other persons voice. Whenever you read something, try to hear it in a kind voice – one that cares about you. You’ll be surprised what sort of a difference that can make.

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