You are not your behaviours

One of the most important principles I work with is: “A person is not their behaviours”

What do I mean with that?

You know, how I always break everything down into a behaviour? You don’t have anxiety. Instead we agree that sometimes you are doing anxiety…
And there are certain circumstances, situations that trigger that software program to start running. Hence anxiety (or whatever else) is not something that you have but something you do.

The value of a person

In my line of work we hold the value of a person constant. We don’t judge. We accept that everybody makes mistakes. 

Which means that we are not our mistakes…  You are you! And your mistake, are your mistakes. Likewise you are not your faults. And you are not faulty.

When you associate yourself too closely with the negative stuff it’s easy to get stuck with it. When you realise you are not your mistakes or faults or dodgy behaviours, then it is so much easier to take responsibility and do whatever it takes to rectify the behaviour. 

The hardware is fine. The software is dodgy…

That’s the analogy I often use.

It’s important to keep in mind that this is not an excuse. Neither is it a reason to play the blame game. Of course we could blame our circumstances, the upbringing, other people, our health, our living conditions, the boss or whatever else but that has never changed anything. 

Taking responsibility changes everything.  

Boundaries and worth

Now, let’s not confuse all the above with weak boundaries. With always being forgiving and allowing our integrity, our values, what is dear to us and our boundaries to be trampled on. No. Not at all!

Boundaries are super important. 

(More about boundaries another time) So what do we do when we are faced with people, who’s behaviours go against our values? 

You hold the worth of the person constant. You seperate the behaviour from the person. But do you necessarily let the person stick around or do you spend time with them? Well, that’s up to you to make that decision…

Think about this way: They don’t respect your boundaries. It’s okay to make your boundaries clear. If they receptively overstep your boundaries they clearly don’t respect your boundaries or share the same values. And relationships work to the degree that the values are aligned. (More about that another time)

Now it’s your turn to to forgive the person and separate their actions from them. And still choose to make sure that behaviour is never repeated around you. 

As a very wise client of mine once said: “I still love the person. I will just need to love from afar…”

So here is the deal: People are not their behaviours AND you don’t need to have the behaviour following you around.

Identity vs Behaviour

Here is a further distinction

When you don’t achieve something you set out to do there is huge difference between “I failed” and “I am a failure”. Or between “That was a bit of a useless move” or “I am useless”. 

With the first you are giving yourself the opportunity to check it out and go “Okay I failed at that / it was not a great move, so what do I need to learn? what do I need to change? What do I need to get better at? How am I going to make it happen next time…?” You’d know you still have worth. Worth doesn’t even enter the equation. Hence there really is no room for shame or self-loathing. Winning! 

I always have huge respect for anyone coming to see me. Because a lot of people don’t know any of the above until they come to see me. Sometimes they even think they are broken and need to be fixed. Which couldn’t be any further from the truth! You are not broken. You just need to get rid of old buggy programs. 

The simple fact that people are not their behaviours means you can change your behaviour. It also means you can be the person you want to be! (How exciting is that…?) So you can empower yourself by breaking free from the chains that bound you to your previous behaviour and be the person you want to be. 

We are all so much more than our current behaviours. We are capable of so much more if we choose to be.

The choice is yours!

Totally I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have in my life. I am truly blessed.

Yours in happiness and wellbeing


"What if - thinking " or "The nature of anxiety"

Do you ever find yourself thinking “what if…?”

It can either be future orientated “what if X happens…” or “what if I don’t pass the test / get the promotion / deliver that speech calmly, etc…”. It can also take the form of “I must pass that test / deliver that speech perfectly” (Because what would happen if you didn’t…?). 

And this kind of thinking can also be past - orientated “what if things had been different…” or “He / She / I should’ve…” (I’ll get into that in a bit more detail another time)

If you were to be totally honest with yourself, you’d probably admit to yourself that you do “what ifs” in one form or another. It’s normal. It’s part of what the brain wants to do. 

Future orientated “What ifs…” 

The idea behind all “What if” thinking is that it is trying to help. The key word here is “trying”.  It wants to think about all possible scenarios and tick off all the possible “what ifs…”.  “What if that happens….???” “Oh, okay, got it, then I can do that.” 

But what happens when you tick off one “what if”…? Do you have peace and quiet in your head as soon as you tick that one “what if” off your list?  

Nooooo, it’s not because as soon as you tick off one “what if…” your creative brain instantly comes up with the next one. And when you’re having a really good day you get three or five new ones for every single one you tick off. 

Very quickly your brain realises that there is an infinite amount of possible “what ifs”. You can’t possibly tick them all off your list. Because there is no end to that list. There will always be another “what if” around the corner. Your creative brain is designed to be a problem solving mechanism. So that’s what it does… 

But tell me, Firstname, what would you rather be thinking about…? What could you be doing with all that valuable time and energy? 

The secret to dealing wth anxiety

The reality is: you are reading this today because no matter what happened in your life, you have come out the other end. So obviously you have all the resources you need to deal with whatever may come your way. 

Your mind has been led to think you could prevent certain things from happening by worrying about them. But of course that is not true at all!  

Plus you are always evolving, learning and growing. Should that imagined thing happen, by then you will have different resources to the ones you have now anyway. 

And the truth is that (like it or not) you will work it out. So you might as well not spend your days worrying about it. And instead relax into that deep inner knowing that you have all the resources you need. Even if that is the resource to find the resources you need at that moment in time. 

You can’t control life. You can only ever control your response to life!


One degree of change

Years and years ago I had it my head that I wanted to sail a passage…
Not that I could sail, but I was determined not to let that get in my way… Anyhow, long story short I ended up being ‘the crew’ on a 39 foot yacht and sailed from Tonga to Fiji.
I’ll always remember those endless night watches, staring at the amazing starlit sky and the dark ocean, fighting off sleep… Being more exhausted than I ever was… Watching for ships or drifting containers and making sure we stayed on course.
I aways remembered the “just one degree - rule”: “When you set out from a harbour and you change course by just one degree it is barely noticeable at first. But in the long run it makes a HUGE difference of where you end up…” One night I woke up the skipper because I noticed some strange lights… Needless to say it was the shoreline and clearly not were we wanted to be. Even though according to the compass I kept us spot on, Iad not factored in the ocean currents. Sigh.

The one degree rule is true for any change and also for bad habits. If you change by just one degree, it’ll make a huge difference to where you end up. Change habits by one degree. For example: I help a lot of people lose weight or quit smoking. People don’t need to be Non Smokers by the time they leave my office. They can reduce, regard that as a success, then reduce again give oneself credit and reduce again and before they know it, they’ve done it… Same with weight loss. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be sustainable! No perfect diets… Just fix one meal… Or get rid of dead carbs or…. Just one degree at a time. And next week another degree, and the week after another degree…

Learning something new is the same thing. It is so easy to get overwhelmed because there is so much to learn. And then people want to learn it all at the same time. But what ends up happening is that they stall. So they end up not doing anything. Not moving forward at all. A lot of my Supervisees do that, they stall. Because there is so much to learn: all the different language patterns, the questions, picking up on all the different subconscious patterns, just to mention a very few… And I get it, they love it and they just want to be good at it. So my recommendation always is: Pick one category. And then out of that pick one subcategory and out of that: pick one thing and focus on that for a week. Next week pick a new one… Before you know it, you’ll be outstanding at 52 different things that are all part of the whole… Follow this and you will get pretty good, pretty quickly.

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!

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



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!