Growing Self-Confidence Through Hypnotherapy
One of the most important determinants for success is self-confidence: believing in your ability to achieve that to which you aspire. No matter how hard you work, or how much intelligence, talent, knowledge, and experience you possess, if you don’t believe in yourself, if your mind is filled with self-doubt, you struggle unhappily and seldom reach your goals.
A self-confident person expects success, believing in their ability to accomplish whatever they set out to do. They face life’s challenges with determination and commitment, drive and enthusiasm. When knocked down or set back, they may suffer a temporary blow to their self-confidence, but they pick themselves up, reassess the situation, make any necessary adjustments, and continue on in pursuit of their dreams.
Rather than worry about problems that might possibly arise, a confident person assumes they could find a solution, and chooses instead to stay in the moment, taking the actions necessary to reach their target objectives. They listen to constructive criticism and incorporate what they think is reasonable into their way of proceeding.
The lack of self-confidence leaves you vulnerable to negative emotions such as fear which can retard or otherwise undermine your motivation and progress. Fearing failure, you may obsess on negative thoughts such as “What if I can’t pass the bar exam the third time?” and then procrastinate on taking constructive action, such as registering and studying for the exam. Fearing success, you might worry whether you will have enough time and energy for your spouse and children if your business really takes off, so you scale down your business plan, delay the launch, and take your family on a vacation.
Inadequate self-confidence can be chronic or occasional. It can pervade all areas of your life, or just a few, or one. It can be experienced as mild anxiety or nervousness, or paralyzing panic, or somewhere in between. To whatever extent, and however often, the lack of faith in oneself undermines one’s ability to living life fully and happily.
Causes of Inadequate Self-Confidence
The general lack of self-confidence is a form of spiritual impoverishment a child may begin to suffer early on, growing up in dysfunctional families where the abusive or neglectful actions of parents or guardians harm their development of self-esteem.
When children are repeatedly told that they are hateful, ugly, stupid, and the like, these messages are stored in the subconscious mind causing negative attitudes and beliefs about
themselves to form. If they are beaten or molested, ignored or abandoned, they interpret this behavior as punishment for their being bad or wrong in some way.
Lacking the love, guidance, and encouragement necessary to build healthy self-esteem, they learn to regard themselves in these negative ways. A negative self-concept forms and gets reinforced with every abusive action or instance of neglect. In an attempt to cope, they develop strategies, such as staying out of the way, being quiet, becoming a caregiver, retreating into a fantasy world, etc. Since these coping strategies fail to prevent the irrational and abusive treatment they repeatedly endure, along with the pain, disappointment, and rage they feel about this unjust treatment, their belief in their abilities to be effective in the world suffer. This is the basis for inadequate self-confidence.
This is not to say, however, that such children are condemned to a life of inadequate self-confidence. They can acquire healthy self-confidence provided they learn to understand it, become aware of what damages it, and then take constructive action to develop it. This typically requires therapeutic assistance. Hypnotherapy provides effective tools and procedures to develop and instill self-confidence.
Not every person lacking adequate self-confidence grew up in abusive or neglectful families. Your self-confidence can erode long after you leave a family nest where you were nurtured and encouraged, supported and recognized.
Traumatic life experiences can erode self-confidence. Consider the soldier who serves the country, fighting on the front lines in a war he may not really believe in, and then returns as an injured vet to face inadequate financial support, minimal health care provisions, and no job. Or a struggling single mom of a special needs child whose spouse left her shortly before she lost their job. Overwhelmed and confused by their situations, they probably suffer from bouts of intense fear about their future.
Trauma aside, at any age, minor setbacks in career, finances, health, or relationships can adversely impact your belief in yourself, causing you to question your abilities and second-guess your choices. By allowing yourself to dwell upon these setbacks obsessively, in a harsh, self-critical way, stirring up negative thoughts and feelings, you cause your self-confidence to plummet and your resistance to moving forward intensifies.
Symptoms of Inadequate Self-Confidence
Most people experience a drop in self-confidence at some point in their lives. Going through a divorce, missing out on a big promotion at work, and causing a serious automobile accident are a few examples of situations where diminished self-confidence may result temporarily.
For some, inadequate self-confidence is an ongoing problem, and not the temporary result of a specific loss or failure. Chronic sufferers tend to muddle through their lives unfulfilled and disheartened.
The following list includes behaviors that are symptomatic of inadequate self-confidence. If you exhibit some, many, or all of these, you would likely benefit from hypnotherapy to instill your self-confidence.
- Underestimating your abilities
- Selling yourself short
- Putting yourself down
- Avoiding decision making
- Rethinking your decisions
- Changing your mind at the last minute
- Failing to follow through
- Avoiding, breaking, or forgetting commitments
- Fearing failure
- Fearing success
- Avoiding competition
- Worrying excessively
- Expecting the worst
- Withdrawing from social interaction
- Feelings of nervousness, anxiety or panic attacks
- Chronic dissatisfaction with your appearance
- Comparing yourself unfavorably to others
- Obsessive self-criticism
Negative Effects of Inadequate Self-Confidence
The following list includes behaviors and disorders that can result from the lack of self-confidence. If you exhibit some, many, or all of these, you may suffer from diminished self-confidence.
- Staying stuck in jobs, relationships, living situations, etc. that no longer serve you
- Settling for less than you deserve
- Failure to attain goals and set new ones
- Poor self image
- Low self-esteem
- Physical illness
- Substantial weight gain or loss
- Loss of purpose
- Substance abuse
- Harmful addictive behaviors
- Loss of sexual desire and function
- Harmful addictions
- Damaged personal relationships
- Financial problems
- Feelings of failure
- Self-sabotaging behaviors
- Isolation and loneliness
- Performance anxiety
- Guilt or shame
Building Self-Confidence with Hypnotherapy
It is never too late to make positive changes in yourself. The subconscious mind, where positive changes in self-confidence originate, is highly suggestible. When you gain an understanding of how it works and what it takes to make the appropriate changes, you can create more self-confidence. Hypnotherapy provides tools and techniques that specifically target, access, and nurture the subconscious mind with specific suggestions that support healthy self-confidence.
Hypnotherapy is a relaxing, natural, and safe, brief-term form of therapy that involves an interactive process to redirect the attention of both the conscious and subconscious mind where inadequate self-confidence develops and festers. Hypnotherapy to develop and instill self-assurance can create positive changes in your beliefs about your abilities to achieve your goals and enjoy your life, provided you are open to using the tools and techniques.
The first step in my hypnotherapy process for building self-confidence is to gain understanding of the client’s problems and goals through conscious cognitive inquiry and to determine whether they have the appropriate motivation and acceptance. Next I induce in the client deep relaxation and inward focus. This calms their emotions and allows access to their subconscious mind. Then I present a variety of hypnotic suggestions, visualizations, and other techniques that nourish and support development of the positive attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and actions necessary for empowering self-confidence.
From a digital recording of the hypnosis portion of each session, I provide the client with hypnotic reinforcement in the form of either an audio MP3 file or CD for use in between sessions. The clients who get the quickest and best results are those who use these reinforcements.
Hypnotherapeutic Treatment Plan for Instilling Self-Confidence
The treatment plan for instilling self-confidence must be customized to each individual client’s particular case. There is no “one plan fits all.” The general approach I take to each case, however, is outlined below.
- Identify components of inadequate self-confidence
- Negative effects
- Set initial goals
- Develop a hypnotherapeutic strategy with specific tools and techniques
- Provide self-confidence hypnosis
- Track progress
- Make appropriate adjustments
- Set new goals
- Revise strategy
- Implement revised strategy
- Repeat steps 5 through 9 as needed
Self-Confidence Hypnosis Tools and Techniques
The following list includes some of the hypnotic tools and techniques I use to instill self-confidence:
- Hypnotic inductions
- Trance deepening
- Deep Diaphragmatic Focused Breathing
- Progressive Relaxation
- Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
- Self-Confidence Visualization
- Interactive Self-Confidence Building
- Guided Imagery
- Inner Child Work
- Resource State Creation
- Negative Trigger Desensitization
- Positive Memory Revival
- Positive Trigger Association
- Negative Self-Talk Redirection
- Positive Suggestions for Self-Empowerment
- Emotional Freedom Technique
- Future Pacing
- Ego Strengthening
- Circle Therapy
- Hypnotic Rehearsal