Since I have re-entered the networking circuit I’ve been surprised at how many people have asked what motivated me to become a hypnotherapist. As you know, we all prepare our elevator pitch and mentally rehearse our answers to the most likely questions we’ll be asked, but for some reason I just wasn’t expecting this one. Luckily I know the answer!
I was a particularly fortunate teenager on many counts, not least of which was the fact that my Father was a hypnotherapist. Earlier in life he had been a bit of a performer - an accomplished pianist who performed a memory act and stage hypnotism and when I was in my early teens he retrained as a clinical hypnotherapist. When I was about 16 he gave me the gift of self-hypnosis.
Like so many things you learn in your youth, I always took the gift for granted. The fact that I could do something as remarkable as choose to engage my unconscious when I needed to was something I assumed everyone could do. I could close my eyes, walk down a few steps and be relaxing in the sun on a beach in less than a minute. I could convince myself that my shoes weren’t crippling me for that last 5 minutes of the walk home. Really important stuff for a teenage girl! However, the real power of self-hypnosis was far more important to me. In exam situations, I would take a moment at the start to take myself into a relaxed state, reminding myself that I could only do what I was doing at any moment. I would be totally focussed on the question I was answering at any given moment; not worrying whether my response to the previous question was good enough; not considering whether I would be able to answer the next question; simply focussed on the now. I’d like to be able to say that as a result of this I did dazzlingly well, but actually you need to work and revise as well.... I can honestly say however, that I was never stressed out by exams at school.
Entering the workplace can also be so stressful, and once again for me self-hypnosis was amazing. I went through a number of career options, many of which involved formal examinations (as was the way in those days!) I never stressed and consistently scored well. Interviews again, stress-free due to the relaxed state I was able to invoke through self-hypnosis. With hindsight I realise just how fortunate I was to be equipped with such an amazing tool.
Like any skill, it may be used on many levels. Teach a child to ride a bike and he may wobble around for a few days and then not ride again for years; he may practice every day and become an Olympic racer; he may ride gently around the countryside for his whole life. Whatever happens, he will always remember how to do it. For me self-hypnosis is just like that. Once you’ve mastered it, you can keep it in your life-skills tool-kit and use it as and when you need to.
So, what’s my motivation? Partly I want to share a gift of empowerment and self-mastery, and also to use the tool I have benefitted from for a large part of my life to free clients from fear.