Conscious & Unconscious processes

When you are aware of what you're doing... That's your conscious processes at work. Like logic and rational thinking

Your unconscious processes are the things that mostly happen outside your conscious awareness, you know the stuff that happens automatically whether you think about it or not. Like when you let go of a hot frying pan. Or your head just moved out of the way of a ball flying past. You didn't decide that, it just happened. Well it didn't just happen, your unconscious processes, who's job is to keep you safe, made you move. You just weren't consciously aware of it...

Your unconscious is always at work in the best way it has learned up till now... Which is not necessarily the very best way, it’s just the best way it has learned. So it might simply be time to upgrade your software…
Your unconscious loves learning, especially in a fun and memorable way. Which is why hypnosis works so well!

Water-jugs, stress, overwhelm..

Overwhelm, anxiety, stress are all in the same ballpark and one of the main issues I help clients with on a daily basis.

When stressed the body is tipping out way too much adrenaline and cortisol. That was really useful when we were running away from a saber-toothed tiger. Back then we really wanted our brains to direct all our energy into running and through running we used up all the stress hormones.

These days we just end up with a lot of useless hormones running around in our body creating havoc… Plus many people engage in overeating, smoking, drinking and other not so resourceful habits in an attempt to cope with stress. Needless to say that prolonged stress can have serious implications for our health.

So learning to deal with it can only be useful. 

People often say: “But you can’t change my situation!” That’s right. I can’t! However there is a lot I can help you with… So read on.

So what is stress?

It’s like when you have a jug of water and a number of glasses you need to fill. This water jug represents all your coping mechanisms, understanding, skills and resources… 

Normally you are filling the glasses just fine. Let’s say the glasses represent job, finances, health, fitness, kids, partner, family etc… 

And then more and more glasses keep popping up. These glasses could be things like low self esteem, lack of confidence, a promotion with new responsibilities or a sick loved one, loss of a job or a loved one, an unforeseen big bill, an injury or illness, grief etc… 

And all of a sudden you just have nothing left in the jug. No matter how much you shake the jug, it’s simply just empty. 

You really only have three options: 

  1. Check if you may be able to get rid of some of the glasses ( => Values) 

  2. Determine which glasses are actually your job to fill, often some glasses can be handed over ( => Boundaries)

  3. Get a bigger jug (Hence more resources, skills and coping mechanisms => Resilience) 

Values, boundaries and resilience are all unconscious behaviours which can be learned. Experience shows that learning happens easily when done subconsciously. 

More on self-worth

Thanks to everyone who sent in some questions, feedback or shared their own struggles with self worth. Let me answer it in the best way I know how.

Some feedback / questions from you:
1) But doesn’t our self-worth go up when we get a promotion at work? Earn more money? Win a race? Our kids do well at school? We are liked? 

2) I really don’t feel that I have any worth when I stuff up at work, my kids go off the rails, lose my job or health, don’t qualify in a race I was expected to win, (the list goes on)… 

3) But we have been taught form early age that your better when you win the race / coming 2nd is the first loser, have to be in the top x% of the class, get the “with honours”, the ‘better’ title on the business card… (again, the list goes on) 

Okay, here is my first question: if your best friend lost her job would she be worthless to you? What if she had no money? What if his kids went of the rails? What if your best friend never graduated from anything other than Kindy? Worthless, right? 

No! of course not! Your friend still has worth… 

Second question: Ready?
How come those same rules don’t apply to you…? 

Ponder that…

Yes, I agree, those things above, it’s what we grew up with, it’s what we learned, which is why we believe it… Repeat: “we believe it”… 

More often than not people attach their sense of self worth to how well they are doing in life… 

In that model of thinking: When we are doing well our self-worth goes up and when we are not doing well our self-worth goes down.
Wow, what a constant rollercoaster… 

Okay, first of all: “doing well”… According to whom…? Compared to what? 

I’m sure we all have a different definition of what “doing well’ means: Earning X dollars, being liked, having a certain title on the business card, having a book published, being a good mum (good luck measuring that or waiting for your kids to thank you), behaving to a certain standard, being healthy or fit, the kids doing well… And on and on the list goes…

You do not have any control over many of the contributing factors, which make it possible for to reach your goal or not. 

You can’t control who the kids meet, what other people think, whether the supplier delivers on time, whether the boss has already decided on someone else, nor a global financial crisis, the weather and most certainly not what other people think… 

Of course, there is a lot you can do, to stack the cards in your favour. You help the kids learn great values, you do great work, you apply yourself, you put good systems in place, install the firewall, use common sense, you eat healthy and work out, you take time out for yourself and still… 

No matter how much you try to control life there will always be things you have no influence over whatsoever. Sorry to be so blunt.

The only thing you can control is how you respond to whatever life throws at you. (Which is a learned skill and we can get better at it.)

So would you agree that it’s not a great idea to attach your self worth to something that is largely outside of their own control…? 

Would you want your kids to live like that? Can you imagine how much pressure that would put on them? 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about being under achievers… Not at all! Quite the contrary.

Of course you want to do well! Of course you want your kids to do well! Heck yeah! 

But do it for no other reason than because you want to! You want to see just how fast you can run… How far you can push the envelope… How well you can treat people… How you get to the point where your kids thank you for being a great parent once they’re in the thirties… See if you can get that promotion because it’ll make you grow and learn and contribute… If you can win that gold medal… 

Yessss! And yes!! Go for all of that!!! And more!
And do it because you want to! 

Can you imagine what a relief it is to go for it just because you want to? Knowing your self worth is a given no matter what. How much more fun it’ll be going for it only because you want to?

Don’t ever fall into the trap of believing, your self-worth depends on reaching that goal. It doesn’t!

Never hang your self-worth on that hook. It’s a trap. 

Of course I want you to read my emails and think about them, talk to friends about the ideas I put out in this world. And I am stoked when you forward one of my emails to someone you care about! Or hit reply and share your thoughts on the matter with me. Of course I am!

But do I attach my self worth to that? 

I make sure I don’t (and when I catch myself doing it, I have a stern talking to myself.) 

Then I use any and all feedback I get, to learn and improve. Which is why your feedback is so valuable to me! It’s the fastest way to improve. 

So, if you have any comments or questions, just let me know! 

Today I am grateful for every single person reading this. And for everyone who has given me feedback. Any feedback. 

And I am eternally grateful for my old girl sleeping under my table, making sure she’ll wake up should I move… So contented, so in the moment… I bet she doesn’t apply her self-worth to anything. She just knows she’s got it!
And now I’m off to take her for a swim…

Yours in happiness and wellbeing

Silke

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The often elusive Self-worth

Are you ready for this?

Your worth is a given! 

You can’t earn your worth and you can’t lose your worth.

That’s all! Your worth is a given. 

Thank you for reading. 

Write it on a card and carry it with you everywhere. Write it on your mirror.

Your worth is a given, you can’t earn any. And you can’t lose any!

Today I am grateful for constantly being reminded of this, often times through the work I do with my clients. It’s the single most simple lesson to understand and one of the more complicated lessons to feel, live and breathe. Do it anyway!

I am grateful for being me, warts and all…

Stage hypnosis vs professional hypnotherapy

Often people contact me after they have seen some stage hypnosis or hypnosis performed on TV.
Some years ago lots of had seen the TV show 'You're back in the room'... So let’s clear up the great misconceptions of stage hypnosis vs professional hypnotherapy.

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 professional client focussed and solution based 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 is with 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. 

What do you want?

Have you ever thought that sometimes your mind plays tricks on you?

You know when you tell yourself to not think of something… Or you’re trying hard not to be nervous? Then you find you can’t stop thinking about it or you get even more nervous…? Even though you really, really, really don’t want to…?

Don’t think about a cute little squirrel, now… Please, no matter what, just don’t think about a squirrel with its button eyes and bushy tail!

Well, you can’t do it, can you? It’s actually called the 'Law of Reversed Effect'. Which means that whenever you use the word “Don’t” you get the exact opposite of what you wanted.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s useful!

Understanding the ‘Law of Reversed Effect’ is your first step to running your own mind more successfully.

So, bear with me. This is why it is not easy to not think of cute squirrels (especially while I keep reminding you, what they look like with their sweet eyes and bushy tails… Bahahaha).

This applies to different contexts too: The more you tell yourself “Don’t be nervous”, the more you automatically think about being nervous. You can’t help it. It’s the way your mind works…

Aaaand before you know it, you start to remember the last time you were nervous…

And if that wasn’t enough, you then proceed to tell yourself “Oh I don’t want that to happen again!” … And because your mind still can’t process the negation, you imagine exactly the same thing happening again… and you really don’t want that.

Whether you are consciously aware of all these unconscious processes or not, the effect is the same!

The first step to running your own mind even more successfully is understanding it. And now you are one step closer to that goal! The second step is using this for your own good!

So here is your 5-step mission, should you choose to accept it:

1) Stand guard at the gates of your own mind

2) Every time you notice thinking "don’t" instantly think about what the opposite of that for you is.

3) Always think about what you DO want! Start every day by writing down how you DO WANT yourself to be in certain situations. The more specific you are, the better!

4) Pay attention to how you are communicating with others. Make a habit of describing what you do want them to do, instead of what you don’t want them to do.

5) Have fun with it all!

Failure

Fear of failure is one of the big things I keep working with. Whether that is with a professional preparing for a speech or presentation, an athlete preparing for a race or game, someone training there dog or a mum raising a child. Heck, I even had people who so far didn’t quit smoking for the fear they might fail at it…

Fear of failure can paralyse you, throw you into overwhelm and stop you from doing anything. So let’s take it apart a little:

And then you had to learn to walk on different surfaces… Soft sand, phew!

And then you had to learn to walk on different surfaces… Soft sand, phew!

Failure is natural. It is the way we learn. Did you tell your child the first few times it couldn’t say mum or dad properly to stop trying cause it rather obviously failed? What about when after three weeks of trying it still couldn’t walk by itself?
Obvious failure that kid! Probably something wrong with it! Maybe not good enough…

No of course not!! You encourage. You celebrate every little win. You have a party with every progress. You know your child is learning. And you want your child to keep trying and falling over so that it keeps learning.

What would happen if for the next three days you stood guard at the gates of your own mind? And you reframed every ‘failure thought' into feedback. That’s all it is, just feedback. You always win either way. You win by learning and upgrading your software and you win by getting closer to your goal.

It’s just feedback!

Today I am grateful for all the feedback life has given me so far. It’s not always comfortable, it’s not always the feedback I want, but that’s the whole point! There is no growth in the comfort zone and as a life long learner I will continue to fall over and learn. I am grateful for getting up and doing it again! And this incredibly cute picture of my amazing big sister.

Confidence

People often say to me that they want to be more confident... But technically I know that it is to entirely true. It is a good thing not to be confident about certain things. I prefer not to be confident about flying a plane. I simply don't have the skill, the knowledge and the training for it. 

FOund this little guy hiding in my basil many years ago...

FOund this little guy hiding in my basil many years ago...

So what people actually mean is that they are not confident in a situation were they would like to be confident. 
Of course everybody has confidence. You might be very confident talking to the kids or doing a sport you love. Or you are very confident talking to a friend about something you know well or very confidently using public transport or driving a car.  

So you actually know how to do this thing called confidence. And this now becomes a resource. Because if you copied exactly the mindsets, behaviours, attitude, beliefs and so on from how you do this thing called "confidence" and applied it to another area of your life... Well, wouldn't that be awesome? 

Of course you can't do that consciously and by thinking about it! You need to do this unconsciously and if you could have worked it out by think about if, I bet you would have done that by now. Hand it over to your unconscious and become naturally confident!  

Yours in happiness, confidence and wellbeing

There is always more to learn

It is what you learn after you know it all, that counts - Coach John Wooden

I remember that crystal clear sunny morning, about 10 years ago, as if it was yesterday. I hopped on my Vespa to attend my first ever Master course in Hypnosis and NLP. I was so excited because 'I knew' over the next days and weeks I was finally going to get the keys, the last missing pieces of the puzzle, and then I'd be ready.
Funny enough I never asked myself what I'd be ready for... Or what ready meant...

There were some new and some familiar faces amongst the intentionally small group. The room was buzzing with a cocktail of ten mental states, ranging from 'almost well hidden slightly terrified' to 'slightly over the top excited'. 

Without any introduction we were told a story:  
A few weeks after the young apprentice received his certificate he started pestering his Master to start his own Master training. "You're not ready yet, go back to work"
Over the following months the former apprentice applied himself to his work, observed and learned. The next year he asked his Master again, only to receive the same response: "You're not ready yet, go back to work" 
Again the former apprentice did as he was told and a year later he realised how much he yet again had learned. He had learned so much and now he knew he was ready. Surely the Master would now agree to start his training! 
This time he received a different answer: "You're not ready. Take your tools, travel, go and offer your services to the world." 

Begrudgingly the former apprentice did as he was told. He travelled. He met people. He used his tools and trade in unforeseen circumstances and often he didn't have what he needed so he improvised. When got stuck he though of his old master and wondered "what would the Master do now...?" Often he found an answer that way and sometimes it even worked. When it didn't, he asked the question again and did it in a different way.

After many years on the road he returned to his village to celebrate his sister wedding.
There he apologised to his old Master: "I am sorry for all the times I asked you to start making me a Master, for pestering you and thinking I knew it all. I now know that I have so much more to learn, there will always be more to learn for me and I don't think I will ever be ready to become a true Master"
The Master smiled and said: "That's right. True Mastery is knowing that there is always more to learn. Welcome to the start of your Mastery training."

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. 

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.