Self help books

One of the many reasons why self help books don't work is that they are telling people what they should be doing... We humans resent being told what to do!
But when we worked it out for ourselves then we have ownership and follow through. 
So my job often times is, to help people in a way that allows them to work it out for themselves in a way that works for them... Even if I had a fair assumption of what might be the answer for them I certainly wouldn't say, because it just doesn't have the same impact. I might give you a nudge in the right direction and guide you there but you will always be the one who has done the work. So you get to feel good and resourceful and accomplished about it. Plus you really own your solution, because it was your idea... Yay! 
It's like when someone comes to you with that what they believe is a totally genius idea and you go "hang on, didn't I suggest that the other day and you weren't having a bar of it...? And now that you believe you came up with it? Ans now you think it's genius...???"
Yep, that's the one.
Just smile and congratulate them on the genius idea (and yourself for planting that seed and watering it at the right time) 

Whatever the mind can conceive...

One of Napoleon Hill's more famous quotes is this one: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

The problem starts when your mind can't even conceive that things could be different... Too often I meet people, talk to people and they have just accepted that this is "just the way they are"  and then they also find a lot of explanations and reasons for it. 

Even though a certain behaviour, or a way you feel or what you say or believe or think, and no matter how much you feel it has been engrained in you, you can change it. 

Yes, you may have tried other ways before and it hasn't worked. That is because it is all happening at the level of your unconscious. Plus you have explored ways that didn't work and once you have explored all the ways that didn't work you will find the way that does work. Keep searching or start working with your unconscious now... 

Struggle & Progress

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. - Frederick Douglass

Mr Douglas, I disagree. It may have very much seemed so in the specific situation and in the times your quote comes from. But is it far to take it out of context and make it a universal truth? 

Action, yes action is needed for progress. But struggle...?
See struggle is a subjective label, isn't it? 

Have you ever met two people who go through a similar experience and one is upbeat, radiant and has a zest for life despite all that and the other one (who might objectively even be in the better position) is morose, desperate and glum? 

An athlete training for a dream... A mother... An Executive dashing in and out of meetings and planes... A landscape gardener... A fisherman... A surgeon in theatre for 9 hours straight... 
They all seem to have very different ideas what they consider routine, fun or a struggle... 

Occasionally things that used to be fun and exciting have turned into a struggle. Beware... Pay attention... 

The secret lies in the state of mind, the perception, the beliefs, values and in the resources the person can bring to the situation. 

How you perceive taking action, the breakthroughs and set backs is up to you. Let it be easy or let it be hard. That is just a state of mind and states of mind can change. Easily.
In actual fact easier and faster than you may have thought or given yourself credit for.

Sometimes you can even change your mind yourself. And if not, then it might just be a signal to let you know it's time to ask for assistance, so you can move forward with ease again. 

Oh, it's just like riding a bike

That's what people say when they refer to something they have learned and will now endeavour to do again. Maybe after a long time. Usually without thinking about it. It implies just hopping on and it will be okay. 

But what this expression doesn't relate is how 'riding a bike' was learned. You didn't learn it by reading about it, you didn't learn it by doing more research, you didn't learn it by watching yet another video about it. You learned it, by doing it. 

Actually, you learned by not doing it. You learned by falling off, by being wobbly, by falling off again and again and again. You may have learned with trainer wheels. And when you took those off, you had to learn again. You kept falling off, you kept getting up. You learned by persevering. The same with eating with a spoon. Or driving a car. Or cooking.
Or learning to walk. Just ask how long that took you... Did you ever sit down and say to yourself: "This walking business, just isn't for me...? I suck and I'll never be any good at it..." No. You didn't! You just got up again. And you learned from every single time you fell over.

It turns out changing any form of behaviour is much the same. You do it again and again and again. And eventually the new thing starts to stick more and more. But it doesn't happen over night. It would be lovely but it's not reality. 
Hence creating any kind of new neurological pathways in your brain starts with being willing to fall off a few times first. The key word is: being willing to fall off... 
Then you can start learning from every single time it didn't work. Well it did work, just not the way you expected it to. Or exactly the way you planned it. But it worked regardless.  

It seems this strategy for learning is true for most things in life.
So, go on, do it again. You'll get there. 

Team work...

Sometimes people ask me what I do or how I do what I do. And whether I can do hypnosis or NLP on them or if I cam do hypnosis on they friend. My answer always is the same: No. 
Not because I can't, but because with that mindset, they can't...

This unconscious work is simply impossible without the client being curious, wanting to find out what is going on at the level of their own unconscious. 

I do not have a crystal ball. I have no idea what is going on on the inside of the other persons head, of course from years of experience there are many clues that give me a good idea about what's happening but it only works when the client becomes curious and is willing to explore...  

Imagine a dance: It won't be much of a dance if one person stands there with their arms folded, then the other one can lead as much as they want... In order for it to actually be a dance there needs to be a lot of interaction between the two dancers, often a lot of unconscious interaction...  The one leading needs to be acutely aware of the pace the other dancer is comfortable with and both need to be responsive to each others cues... 

Change...

Change.... Some people say that change is hard or difficult... Others don't want change, prefer things to stay the same... Then they stay in the comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable that may be and just complain a little or a little more...
Okay, let's  think about this. If you knew that things were at least going to be okay and potentially a lot better than just okay once you've made the change, would you be willing to give it a go...? 
Of course you would... After all the worst that could happen would be that nothing happens and you stay in your comfort zone... But hey, there is the potential of 'things could be a hell of a lot better...!'
So of course you would be willing to give it a go once you know that things are going to be okay or a lot better than okay. And if the answer is anything other than 'hell yeah' or 'of course' than I'd be interested to read about it, because in mu world that would be curiously odd.... 

So in all honesty it's more that people fear the unknown, they fear what's on the other side of the change they wish to make and then they stay stuck. 

Hence before we do anything we need to get clear about how things are going to be better once you have the change you want. A goal... A vision... And it doesn't have to be the great vision board, it can just be as simple and as specific as 'I want to be calm when xyz' or 'I want to be able to xyz', anything, something to move towards...

Procrastination or what stops you from taking action...?

There actually are only three (3!) things which stop people from taking action towards their goals. Yes, only three.... And guess...? I'll even tell you what those three things are. 

Identifying which of those three is the one that keeps you from taking action is important. Once you know which one it is, you also know what you need to do to move forward or take action again. 

  1. Not knowing what to do or how to do it

  2. The reasons for doing what you need to do are simply not important enough. Also know as there simply is not enough motivation, yet... 

  3. Fear of making a mistake or a 'wrong decision' or rejection or or or...Simply put it's: fear

Let's check everyone of these out in a bit more detail:


1. What to do or how to do it

I know this sound pretty obvious. Still not knowing what specifically we need to do, is one of the key reasons why we don't take action.
It can be due to being unsure what to do (next or first or now) or not knowing the exact steps we need to follow to get the job done. I know it sounds ridiculous but skill and knowledge are important factors in order to achieve anything.
It's difficult to drive when you get in a car and don't know how to release the brakes.... Or how to and what fuel to put in the tank, you'll only get that far before you  run out... You need knowledge and skill to release the brakes and put fuel in the tank...
It can be incredibly useful to ask yourself: "Do I actually know what specifically I need to do and how to do every step of this process?" I simply assume, all my readers are wiling to admit it to themselves should that be the case and are willing to find someone who has experience and competence in that area... 
Time to upgrade the data or software...

2. It's not important enough:

In order to produce any action we need motivation. Without motivation there is nothing...
Often it's obvious in the language we use: "I should do that..." or "I really should...". 
No movement, no action, no reason to release the brakes or put fuel in the tank... The easiest way to motivate ourselves is by one of two things: Pain or pleasure... Stick or carrot... Loaded gun to the head or millions of $$$... You name it, whatever motivates you... 
Depending on how you motivate yourself, you either take action when the possible pain of not doing it becomes too much... Which means the stick of not taking action has become big and real enough to really hurt...
Or you launch into action when the golden carrot associated with the results from your actions becomes golden and big enough.
If you find yourself not taking action towards your goal it can help to ask yourself:
"What will happen if I don't do this...?", "What will be the negative consequences of not taking action...?" => Find the stick!
"What will be the benefit from taking action?", "What am I most likely to get out of having done it...?", "How will getting this done get me closer to my goal, closer to what I actually want?" => Make the carrot golden and big... 
By doing this you find out one of two things. 
a) Is doing this really worth your time, money and/or energy...? Is there really any intrinsic motivation? 
If it still is just a "should" your best bet is to let it go / forget about it and come back to it when you "really want to", "have to"... When you worked out why and how doing this is important...
b) What type of carrot and stick do you personally need to propel you into action? Then you can use these for leverage and do what it takes.

3. Fear:

Fear is a natural, non-personal response of the brain to a real or perceived threat.
Given the distinct lack of sable tooth tigers these days, most situations we find ourselves in are actually not a life or death situation anymore.....perceived.... I know...! 
Fear mostly is a misuse of our creativity and imagination.... That probably means that you have more creativity and better imagination then you ever gave yourself credit for! No, no, no... Seriously... In my world that's a result Maybe not the one you were after but still it's a result!
With our creative minds we are very good at imagining worst case scenarios or terrible outcomes when in reality, those things would actually be very unlikely. One way to counteract that type of "catastrophic" thinking is by using realistic and common sense thinking. You have two options to deal with this:

A) Ask yourself three simple questions, or write these down: 

  • "Am I creating possibilities that are actually highly unrealistic and probably (a bit) too dramatic...?"
  • "Am I creating consequences  that are actually highly unrealistic and probably (a bit) too dramatic...?"
  • "What would someone who is absolutely logical and realistic say when asked: What is actually most likely to happen when I take this action...?"  

B) Create three columns. I prefer putting pen to paper for this but you might prefer electronics. Either way is fine.

  • First column: make a list of all the things that could potentially go wrong by doing what you want to do. Feel free to let your imagination run, if that makes you feel good... 
  • Second column: Come up with equally creative steps to take to mitigate the possibility of each of those possibilities or consequences from happening
  • Third column: Think forward till you have found the resolution, till you reached the point where you look back and realise: "yep, that wasn't great but hey, I survived". That may be 2 days or 5 years down the track, it doesn't matter. Then write down what steps you'd take to recover from each of the scenarios you imagined in the first column.

There you go. When you find yourself not taking action, find out which one of the three it is and you'll soon get yourself taking action again! 
Stay tuned for more....

'You’re Back In The Room' vs clinical work

Many people contacted me with regards to the TV show 'You're back in the room'... 

Here is the short version:

The question is not about what you saw on TV... The far more interesting question is what you didn’t see on TV...!

The application process people went through to become one of the lucky contestants, the auditions, the selection of the final candidates, the vast amount of applicants who didn’t get to perform on TV, the hypnotic inductions, the setting of post-hypnotic suggestions, the seven hours of recording it took to create approximately 45 minutes of net viewing time (translates to the six and half hours you didn’t see) and much more... 

Here is the longer version:

In order to become a contestant people needed to apply and audition. As with all auditions and applications there is a screening process in place to find the most suitable candidates.   Once a person has applied, they have given consent, once they are chosen they will have signed a model release form and an agreement has been reached. An agreement is not mind control... 

I don’t know how channel 9 selected their candidates but here is what I would do: 

Before I even get the applicants in the room I’d check for their motivation and I’d only invite the ones who really really really want to be on TV... 

Then I’d have the applicants in the room and I’d run them through a few tests, how well are they using their imagination, who is already very good at going into hypnosis since only a small percentage are naturally very good at it. Everybody else can learn how to go into hypnosis... In the same way that some people are naturally very athletic, others are naturally academic and yet others are naturally good at something else... That’s normal. 

I’d then select the best candidates and have them go in and out of hypnosis a few times, give them suggestions and see how they do. If they are having a great time and they are loving it, they’re a one step closer to getting on camera. Then I’d also give them the suggestion that every time I say ‘sleep’ they go into a deep hypnotic trance and make it look like they are falling off their chair in a spectacular but safe way... Because after all we’d be doing it for TV so it needs to look spectacular. Who’d want to watch people just sitting there going into a trance...? Boring! 

After a few people were selected out of all the applicants we’re good to go into the recording studio. Daryl Somers said it took 7 hours to record the show... I don’t know about you but maybe there is a reason why this show wasn’t live?

So, here is the drift: 

“You’re Back In The Room” has one purpose and that is TV entertainment. As such it may or may not have anything to do with reality. It certainly doesn’t have much in common with clinical work.

Even if you are not one of the absolute naturals you can learn how to go into hypnosis, also you don’t need to go that deeply to make changes and you too can learn how to engage your unconscious processes in a way that works for you. 

Also keep in mind in every session you will learn how to use your brain for yourself, you will learn Mind Training tools and go into naturally occurring hypnotic states whether that iswith NLP or hypnotic processes...

If you are after a quick fix or some form of TV magic, this is not for you. If you are interested in learning how to make your brain and mind work for yourself and are committed to making lasting changes then please call 5471 2201 to book your first appointment. 

Forgiveness

Recently I have seen many clients who had a very hard time letting go of things from the past. They could remember every single negative detail and ever injustice they ever experienced. Words along the lines of "I never forget" and "I never forgive" or "I tried but I just couldn't do it" where said... 

When someone hasn't truly forgiven there is so much energy and emotion attached to it... It's just exhausting. How bad do you have to feel for you to know the other person has been adequately punished through your feeling bad...???? 

It just doesn't work that way, does it? But still people try and try and try in vain.... 
You have a different option! Once you have truly forgiven you're actually free from it. No, you will not do a happy dance with the person you have forgiven... Because it has nothing to to with the other person! 
Some people believe that when they forgive that would result in almost agreeing with what the other person did... But that's not the case at all. When you forgive, you're the one who becomes free. It has nothing at all to do with the other person! 
You forgive not because they deserve your forgiveness. You forgive because you deserve peace and because you deserve to be from it and from them...

And yes, true forgiveness is a lot easier than you may have thought. Let me show you how to do that for yourself. 

The answer you get depends on the question you ask

I know, it's pretty obvious isn't it...? 

So, different questions...?

Just compare the following questions:

a) This isn't working, so what's wrong with me?
* The reason it's not working is because there is something wrong with me and all I can do is find out what that is that is wrong with me... 

b) This isn't working yet, so how can I adjust what I'm doing to make it work?
* I'm already doing something and I need to find what to adjust and how to adjust it...

c) This isn't working, so what steps do I need to take to make it work?
* I'm already doing something which isn't quite getting the results, so what are other steps I could take to make it work...?

Spot the difference? 

Or how is this example, especially for people who talk to themselves in a nasty voice:

a) How come you never finish anything...? What's wrong with you?
* Again the answer can only be along the lines of what's wrong.

b) You haven't finished this thing yet, do you actually know how to finish it?
* Asks for skill / knowledge or lack thereof... You might surprised how often so called procrastination in reality is a complete lack of 'how to'... Which can be sometimes be quickly fixed: thank you internet, google and youtube

c) You haven't finished this thing yet, what needs to happen for you to finish it?
* Allows real exploration: It could be knowledge or a belief (e.g. I need to belief I can finish it), value, it's actually not important enough, I don't have the capabilities, I don't know where to start or whatever else...

Hence the answers you get depend on the questions you ask!

Have a fabulicious week with great questions and even better answers!
Silke 

Ready, Set, Go

So here we go, the first blog entry of the new site... 
When I build this new, mobile friendly site for some odd reason the blog entries from the old site didn't import. All this reminded me of two things A) I Realised just how old the old website was since when the old one was build nobody even thought of mobile friendly since mobile phones were big things that were capable of doing 2 things: phone calls and text messages.... 
B) In order to achieve anything in life we need 5 ingredients. 

1. A goal. 
If you don't have a target, it's pretty darn hard to hit it... 

2. Belief
Without believing that you will eventually hit your target,  what's the point of even shooting the first arrow...? 
But always remember that beliefs change and you simply haven't managed to hit your target just YET. Every time you aimed for it and didn't get it, you have learned something from that attempt.

3. Strategy & Action
You do need a strategy about the actual 'how to' to hit that target. 

4. Determination
 Lots of it.... Tenacity, resolution, resolve, passion. Call it what you want but you didn't learn to walk in a day nor did you get to the next level of any computer game the first or second time you tried either...

5. Feedback mechanisms
It's important to pay attention to feedback, to learn from it and to adjust the strategy and your actions accordingly. By doing that you get closer to your target next time you aim and shoot. 

My goal was to have a new mobile friendly website up by a certain date and then to add more bits and pieces to it later. The first part was great, the second was destined for a not so great result from the start as it had no time frame on it. When exactly is later...? 

At first I didn't quite have the belief that I could get it done in the short time I had set nor did I belief I could work out the technicalities but with every problem that came up and got solved my belief increased. 

Yes I did have a strategy including a fall back plan and of course bucket loads of determination. I responded to feedback real quick, actively checked out what was working and what wasn't...

So there you go.