On July 17, 2020, BusinessTalkRadio1.com’s Christopher Roberts hosted the first of four radio interviews I will be giving to discuss my role as a certified clinical hypnotherapist and self-help coach who empowers teens and adults worldwide to stop sabotaging their goals and start achieving them. (Three other interviews are to be scheduled for September or October, 2020; announcements will be posted in this blog.) To listen now, click here: https://businesstalkradio1.com/ellen-r-coleman-07-17-20-hypnotherapist/
Self-sabotage is any behavior, conscious or not, that hinders rather than promotes goals. For example, if Susan parties excessively the night before she takes the Law School Admission and gets a low score, she sabotages her chances of getting into law school.
As I know all too well, not just from my research and my practice seeing clients, but from my own experience, self-sabotage comes in many forms, such as procrastination, perfectionism, pessimism, substance abuse, people pleasing, second-guessing, playing small, and negative self-talk. For many, these self-defeating behavior patterns develop in childhood as coping strategies for the trauma, crises, abandonment, neglect or abuse they endured, and persist into adulthood if ignored. (As a teased overweight child, I used food to self-soothe, and I did it furtively, because my mom micromanaged my eating and forbade me to eat fatty foods containing simple carbs and sugar. If I got caught, there was her anger, harsh looks, and belittling remarks which made me feel awful about myself. I carried that self-defeating habit with me into adulthood, and to this day sometimes use food as a palliative, I must admit. But I have worked on my relationship with my body and food over the years, and we are pretty good friends now.)
For both hypnotherapy and self-help coaching, you and I would work together as a team, either in my office in Los Angeles (when it’s safe to do so), or remotely via phone, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. I relish helping my clients to identify the ways they self-sabotage, to develop greater awareness of themselves doing it (catching themselves in the act), and to apply a wide variety of tools and techniques, to stop it.
How successful you will be in overcoming your self-defeating behavior patterns depends upon a number of factors, including your readiness to change, belief in the process, commitment, openness, and consistent use of the tools and techniques. Your mind is like a fertile garden that must be properly tended with adequate nourishment (e.g. positive affirmations, new learnings, supportive ideas, powerful suggestions) and periodic “weeding” (uprooting negative thoughts and emotions, limiting beliefs, destruction behavior patterns) in order to flourish.
Never, ever procrastinating again would be great, but for many clients, catching themselves in the act and stopping it much of the time is a celebrated improvement that makes them feel better about themselves and feel more in control. Moving the needle closer to their goal motivates them to continue to use the tools for more frequent, positive and extended results. It’s an evolutionary process.
Other emotional and psychological challenges I can help you with include chronic anxiety, fear of failure, low self-esteem, poor self-image, and loss of self-confidence. These problems are very often tied to self-sabotage, sometimes as causes. For example, fearing failure can cause you to delay working on your goal: If you believe deep down that you’re likely to fail, and you believe that failing would be unbearably humiliating or disappointing, you might subconsciously opt to forego taking action to achieve the goal in order to avoid the pain of failing.
And sometimes these problems are themselves caused by self-sabotage. For example, being a perfectionist can cause chronic anxiety, since the perfectionist is intolerance of ever making a mistake. She compares the mind to a garden that must be properly tended with adequate nourishment (e.g. positive affirmations, new learnings, supportive ideas) and periodic “weeding” (uprooting negative thoughts and limiting beliefs) in order to flourish.
My fascination with the mind began long before her training at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI), the first nationally accredited college of hypnotherapy, in Tarzana, CA. At the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor I earned a B.A.with honors in philosophy and wrote an honors thesis “On Wants” as mental events that motivate human behavior. After receiving an M.A. in philosophy from Cornell University, I taught there (and other universities, including Stanford, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and San Francisco State) while working on my Ph.D. dissertation “Mental Causation and the Explanation of Human Action” which, to be honest, I never finished, in part due to my own self-sabotage (e.g. procrastination, smoking pot to self-soothe, lack of self-confidence, and self-deception).
Finally seeing the writing on the wall, I left academia and capitalized on my skills in analysis and writing to become a computer software documentation consultant in Silicon Valley. It was there I witnessed and experienced first-hand the effects of extreme pressure and stress which developers and other IT professionals suffer facing unrelenting demands and aggressive deadlines. Fear of failure, performance anxiety, perfectionism, procrastination, self-doubt and diminished self-confidence were just a few of those adverse effects which are highly treatable with clinical hypnosis, as I came to learn some years later.
My Inspiration To Pursue Hypnotherapy
When I moved to Los Angeles, I was ready and eager to make a career change and wanted to support myself again by pursuing my interest in the mind and its role in shaping human behavior.
People always told me I would make a great therapist because it was obvious that I enjoy helping people, listen attentively, asking probing questions, using my logical mind, expressing ideas clearly, sharing relevant insights, and offering good suggestions. The obvious choice was to become a clinical psychologist. Over the years, starting back when I didn’t finish my Ph.D. dissertation, I tried various forms of psychological counseling to deal with my problems, but found it inadequate. While talking to someone who was professionally trained was helpful, to a point, I wanted and needed more–techniques and tools I could learn, practice, and use when my issues were triggered.
That’s when I experienced synchronicity. I just happened to be reading a local newspaper which mentioned an open house at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in Tarzana, CA to introduce its yearlong intensive certification training program. It stressed how effective hypnosis can be in resolving many common, everyday problems that included all the issues I had struggled with during my life. So I went, loved what I heard, and signed up for the program. After getting my certification a year later, I launched Mindworks Hypnotherapy and a few years after that I incorporated self-help coaching into my practice, now celebrating its 20th year. Helping clients achieve their goals makes my heart sing and my spirit soar.
For a free phone consultation with me, email: [email protected] or call me at (310) 422-9913. To check out some of the free or low-cost hypnosis audios I offer on my website, go to: mindworkshypnotherapy.com, and then click on “Products” in the main menu at the top of the Home Page. You are sure to find a hypnotic boost that speaks to one or more of your issues.