How to Increase Self Confidence Easily

Confidence is Key. Without confidence life is a struggle. Without confidence easy things become difficult or impossible. Without confidence life seems to pass you by while you sit on the sidelines and watch. If that was all, life would at least be tolerable and you could get by. The real problem comes when others make demands of you.

Bosses are very good at this. “I need you to do a presentation.” You can’t get out of it because your livelihood depends on it. But the very idea terrifies you, and so life becomes a waking nightmare until you have finally crashed and burned and it is not only in the past but you hope you made such a terrible job of it that you will never be asked again.

I had a patient who had a two-year old daughter and such was his terror of public speaking that he came to see me for help about the fear he was experiencing at the thought that in 18, or 20, or 30 years’ time he would have to stand up and give a speech at her wedding.

Another was the boss of his own company who dreaded management meetings because he found it difficult to stand up to the stronger wills of his subordinates. So this problem affects people at all levels on the success ladder.

Lack of confidence is not just about public speaking though. Other forms of public performance – like being watched while performing a task, interviews, tests and the like, all cause problems for you if your confidence is low.

But where this lack of belief in Self hurts the most is in your social interactions. Always the listener. Always the quiet one – at least until you get to know people and feel that you are safe with them. This sense of personal safety is important, because those who experience any sense of inadequacy are frequently sensitive souls who feel slights and digs much more deeply than those around them. They are usually much better at tuning in to the feelings of others and pick up very quickly, almost telepathically, on the genuineness, or otherwise, of those they encounter in their journey through life.

But at the heart of all this is the idea, the belief, that you are unworthy, or undeserving, or not good enough – and everyone else knows it, and talks about it. This is not a truth – it just feels like one. So at the heart of the problem is an idea about Self. This an idea that has been imposed, or learned simply from the way you have been treated in your younger years. Our school system is very good at making sure that everyone knows that only the most academically capable are worth anything. It is also very good at instilling a sense of failure in our hearts. What it fails, most spectacularly, to do is to teach us that we are wonderful, warm, deserving people who need to believe in, and follow, our dreams until our dreams change or we achieve our desires.

All of us are worthy. There are none who are better, or worse. Yes, of course, intelligence and ability have not been handed out equally, and some tasks are undoubtedly easier for some than they are for you. But skill and talent are not measures of worthiness. Understand this and you go a long way to undoing the subconscious programming that is holding you back behind the prison of your fears. A great way to begin to undo this subconscious programming is to use hypnosis.

I have created two tools to help you with this. The first is my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis. This devotes more space than this article to helping you understand the reasons for lack of self confidence and how to help change that. The other is my latest hypnosis recording Self Confidence that is available for immediate download either directly from my website or from Amazon. So grab your copy now – it even comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee if for any reason you aren’t happy with it. So there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. It could change your life, so take action now.


Are You Overweight and Addicted to Food?

Is food more powerful than your desire to lose weight?

Does food control your life?

Is it almost impossible for you to stop eating once you are full?

Being addicted to food is a strange idea. After all we can’t do without it, can we? So food addiction must be something different from just eating, or just eating a bit too much because that’s, well, that’s just normal.


If you:

  • Eat faster than normal
  • Eat well past the point of fullness
  • Eat frequently when not physically hungry
  • Eat alone or in secret
  • Feel bad or guilty after overeating
  • Feel that you must be different somehow

Then you may have a problem with food that is beyond what most people experience.

If this is you then recognise that losing weight is going to be much tougher for you than it is for others. However, you may like to know that you are not alone in this. There are 12 million people in the UK that suffer from a compulsive eating problem to some extent. Some scientists would like to point to the problem being a genetic disorder, but to my mind if one fifth of the population have the same thing then it’s not really a disorder – it’s normal.

So if it’s not genetic, what else could be causing it?

Genetic? Well sort of

Well it sort of is genetic, but not in a bad way. When you think about it these bodies we appear to inhabit were designed for a very different world from the one they live in now. They were designed as survival machines for life around 100,000 years ago when, if you wanted to eat, you had to go catch an antelope or dig up some roots, or spend all day picking tiny berries. Just finding something to eat used up a huge amount of calories and sometimes food was scarce.

That occasional scarcity of food was what allowed us to develop the ability to carry a surplus around with us in the form of fat deposits. Apart from anything else these helped to keep our bodies warm, and as I mentioned in my book How to Lose Weight Easily, fat burns less energy than muscle so the metabolic cost of carrying it is minimal.

The Sweet Stuff

Survival, back then, was all about the balance between calorie output and calorie input. Sugar is just dense calories; calories are energy; and energy is survival. So we developed a taste for sweet stuff. So much so that we would risk stings and death by climbing trees to raid hives for their honey.

Sweet also came in the form of fully ripened fruit.

There wasn’t a lot of sweet around in the world back then, so what there was, was highly prized and savoured when it was available. Because it was not readily available and life was very physical, a taste for sweet was never detrimental to our health and well-being.

Nowadays everything is sweet. Go to your kitchen cupboard and pick out half a dozen packaged foods. Check the nutrition label, or the ingredients list and I bet most of them will have sugar in some form. If it ends in ose it’s probably sugar e.g. Sucrose, Maltose, Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Galactose, Lactose, High fructose corn syrup (HFCS), Glucose solids. There’s a whole load of other stuff that’s also sugar but you probably got bored reading that list, so I’m not going to inflict an even longer one on you.

Fat too

Fats are another problem. Fats are compact calories just like sugar. When you mix fat and sugar together it’s heaven to a body that is, basically, an energy seeking device. The problem is the body has only one way of really letting you know that your calorie intake is less than your calorie expenditure and that’s hunger.

When you pay attention to your body’s messages and eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel full, then everything stays nicely balanced. But the body was never designed to work with sugar or fat in everything. The craving for sweet comes from sweet being in short supply – not available in your kitchen cupboard 24 hours a day. Consequently sweet bypasses the hunger control. Usually the warning for eating too much sugar is nausea or vomiting.

They deliberately trigger an addictive response

This sugar-fat thing is taken advantage of by food manufacturers and they carefully balance sugars, fats and chemical flavours to trigger the same brain receptors that are activated by substances like heroin or cocaine. And they do it quite deliberately to get you hooked and to trigger binge eating.

They do it so successfully that 12 million in the UK now have a serious problem and once they get a taste of sweetness, often mixed with fat, it bypasses conscious control and they just keep on eating.

What can you do?

There’s been a lot of research done around this problem, looking at ways to help people, so here are a few tips.

The first thing you need to do, assuming you’d really like things to change, is to stop beating yourself up when you fail to stick to limits you set yourself. 12 million others, in this country alone, are having the same problem. Manufacturers are working hard to ensure that you fail. So if you do fail, just acknowledge that you did your best, and that there is always next time. Failure is not the end of the world. It’s just a temporary setback on the road to being slimmer.

The next is the easiest, and this works with smokers too. Just don’t buy the unhealthy stuff. I know supermarkets are open 24 hours a day but quite often the effort of going out to buy something sweet and fatty is enough to let you off the hook. You may feel uncomfortable for a while but if you have a glass of water or cup of tea or coffee without sugar, then the urge will pass. Pretend that you have a bad habit that you want to get rid of. The way to remove habits is to engage in alternative behaviours and make it difficult to engage in the habit. Eat an apple, or a banana. I know it’s not what the craving is for, but part of the habit is wanting something sweet in your mouth. But fruit, although containing sugars, does not have them as freely available as in, say, a chocolate bar or biscuit. The body has to work harder to extract them and so fruit satisfies you for longer. Once you start to do that regularly you will find that the sweet things you used to enjoy are starting to taste a little too sweet and you don’t enjoy them as much.

One last tip for you. One of the triggers for compulsive eating is the taste in your mouth. You will find it is actually much easier not to start eating than to stop. This is a case where you can’t get away with just one. If you eat one you’ll eat the packet. It’s much easier to say no to the first than to the second, so don’t eat the first.

This is a complex problem and I’m not suggesting this article will solve it for you. But it will help you to make a start and enjoy a little success. If you would like some more help then check out my book How to Lose Weight Easily which has hints and tips on how to go about losing weight without dieting. Or for a more in depth look at how to take control of your mind-body check out Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis which includes a chapter on using self hypnosis to help you lose weight.


How Smokers Support Slavery

75% of commercially grown tobacco is now sourced in the third world. A canny move by the Tobacco Barons since it provides incredibly cheap labour and a distinct lack of the annoying bureaucracy that tends to look after things like Health & Safety. One third of tobacco is grown in China. Zimbabwe, Turkey, India & Brazil are also major producers though some tobacco is still grown in the US and Europe.

With tobacco cultivation there’s all the normal stuff that you get with any crop, ploughing, sowing, weeding… but growing tobacco from this point on takes on a slightly sinister appearance compared with most other crops.

Just as tobacco is a health hazard to those who smoke it, it is also a health hazard to those who grow the stuff. The most common problem experienced by tobacco farmers and their children is acute nicotine poisoning – otherwise known as Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS). Doesn’t Green Tobacco Sickness sound so much nicer than acute nicotine poisoning? GTS is an occupational hazard for tobacco growers and its symptoms are nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle weakness, and dizziness. This is because of the nicotine absorbed through the skin from the contact that field workers have with tobacco leaves – in much the same way as it is absorbed from the nicotine patches smokers use when they are trying to quit. And these field workers don’t have much choice about contact because tobacco plants need a lot of physical intervention – like the removal of side shoots and flowers – in order to force the leaves to reach the required sizes. The nicotine transfer from leaf to bloodstream is much more rapid when the leaves are wet.

Statistics on the prevalence of GTS are unreliable simply because most doctors – even in tobacco farming areas – do not recognise the symptoms for what they are. The only other area of agriculture where the crop itself is a serious biohazard is in the cultivation of illicit substances like coca and opium.

One researcher wrung the sweat from the shirts of tobacco field workers and found it contained almost 0.1mg of nicotine per millilitre. Rain or dew on the leaves of tobacco plants has been measured with a concentration of up to 9mg nicotine per 100mL of dew. The average field worker is exposed, through contact with moisture on the leaves, to 72mg of nicotine – about the same as a 40 a day smoker. So if you want the nicotine without the tar and additives go and get a job as a tobacco worker and get paid for giving up smoking. For the production of flue cured tobacco, leaves are harvested individually by hand – thus maximising contact with the toxin in the leaves.

Nicotine tolerance builds over long periods of exposure. Children don’t have this and tobacco farming makes use of large quantities of child labour so children are at much higher risk of developing GTS.

Be aware also that tobacco is one of the agricultural products most commonly farmed with child labour (Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) or forced labour (Malawi & Kazakhstan). On the cigarette manufacturing side of the process, forced and child labour is used in India where (according to WHO) 325,000 children work rolling tobacco and about half of those are bonded labourers (effectively slavery).

As an example 50,000 bonded labourers are engaged in cigarette production in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh. Only 5,000 of these are registered (and, therefore, protected by labour laws) the rest receive the equivalent of 50cents (US) per 1000 cigarettes they make. Employers make deductions from this at their own discretion. Among these employees a 9 year old boy and a 10 year old girl were found bound by iron chains because of their repeated escape attempts.

In Malawi children as young as three are being employed to produce tobacco. Here the going rate is $1.28 (US) for a day’s work for a family of four sorting tobacco leaves. One day, by the way, is dawn to dusk. A family of seven (in bonded labour) earn $29 a year as tobacco farmers. Here tobacco farms send recruiters to villagers for child labourers. The children report having food withheld and being beaten. Pay is promised to the parents at the end of the season.

Malawi obtains 65% of its foreign income from tobacco (probably the only country in the world economically dependent on tobacco – I have heard it said that the tobacco companies would like you to believe they are the saviours of the Third World, and without tobacco many countries would become bankrupt). Malawi’s produce is purchased by British American Tobacco  (Dunhill, Kent, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall) Imperial Tobacco (Lambert & Butler, John Player Special, Sonoma, USA Gold and Gauloise), and Philip Morris (Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield & Merit). Interestingly British American Tobacco founded the Eliminating Child Labour in Tobacco Growing Foundation.

Forced labour in Malawi takes place under the guise of tenant farming where an agreement is made with the landlord. The tenant is promised a share in the profit when the crop is sold. The tenant has to purchase seed, and anything else that is needed, from the landlord, but has no control over the sale of the crop and usually the landlord arranges things so there is no profit. Consequently the tenant sinks deeper and deeper into debt – often forcing young children into the fields because family is the only free labour available.

A life of slavery is the only possible outcome.

Ultimately the smoker is responsible.

Purchasing tobacco is in effect condoning every aspect of tobacco production.

So if you smoke, think about children being chained; children being poisoned; and families spending their entire lives getting deeper and deeper into debt.

Think about it every time you hand over your hard-earned cash for your next pack of twenty.

…and if you need a little help giving up then check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis, or my download page.




Beat Chronic Stress and Live Longer

Stress is a killer. There is no question about that. But stress is like a cigarette. The damage it does is slow and cumulative. You probably don’t realise the harm it’s doing until there is a health crisis and you find yourself asking “Why me?”

Don’t live with regret about the things you could have changed.

Stress, and the body’s response to it, is a natural and helpful process. It is a survival strategy. The problem is that it only evolved to deal with short-term stress, like escaping from a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, our bodies respond to our imaginary worlds as if they were real and so you can create a stress response just by thinking about something that scares you.

Most of us are incredibly skilled at imagining the worst outcomes for things that haven’t happened yet. We are also incredibly good at creating a whole host of troubling scenarios as we try to control a future problem. We have this crazy idea that if we worry about something enough then that will enable us to cope. It’s not true. We cope better when our reaction is spontaneous.

Because the body was never designed to deal with long-term stress, and because the body’s stress response was only ever for dealing with real, rather than imagined, threats, the body has no way of dealing with chronic stress.

Chronic stress creates negative health consequences. It has a negative impact on your immune system, it can indirectly affect your cardiovascular health, and there is now direct evidence that stress can shorten your life by around 8 years.

Stress & Immune System Responses

Stress wears away at your immune system. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, and Ronald Glaser, PhD, noticed that the immunity of medical students was lowered during their three day exam period each year. They had fewer natural killer cells, and produced less gamma-interferon – which boosts immunity. So if you suffer from frequent minor illnesses – like colds – then that’s a good sign that you are not dealing effectively with the stresses in your life.

Another study by Richard Davidson (University of Wisconsin) clearly linked negative thoughts to lowered antibody levels and positive thoughts to increased immune system activity. This is clear evidence that your mind, and what you think, has a direct impact on your health.

Stress & Heart Health

There is no direct link between stress and hypertension, or stress and heart health generally, but there is an indirect link. When we are stressed, we tend to overeat; we fail to exercise sufficiently – simply because there’s so much to do and so little time to do it; and we can find ourselves drinking more alcohol than we know is sensible. All of these things do push blood pressure up and they also have a negative impact on heart health.

If heart disease is already present, then sudden severe stress can trigger a heart attack. The associated sudden rise in blood pressure can also cause a stroke.

Stress & DNA

Another study by Janice Kiecolt-Glaser et al looked at the impact of stress on the ends of DNA strands. Chromosome ends are protected by telomeres. As we get older these protective covers wear and get shorter. The length of an individual’s telomeres are linked to how long they live. In this study it was discovered that chronic stress causes wear and tear on the telomeres – thus shortening life. Those who participated in the study were caregivers for parents with Alzheimer’s. An earlier study reported a similar life-shortening impact on mothers of chronically ill children.

It seems that chronic stress will knock 4-8 years off your life.

How to live longer

Stress is really about your mind and what you do with it. It might seem, at times, that it’s all about the pressures of earning a living and paying bills; or about the pressure that other people – like managers and family members – place on you. It might even seem to be about you never being quite good enough and spending your life trying to prove that you are. So you push yourself constantly to do better, all the while repeating that mantra It’s not good enough – a mantra that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The solution is simple, just not easy. But then nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Without at least a little challenge we tend to undervalue the results. When we put a little effort in to learn a new skill we feel good about ourselves and value our accomplishment.

What you have to do is learn how to take control of your mind and learn to let go of those things that do not serve you.

If you are willing to put the effort in to learn that new, life-enhancing, skill, then first of all download my free book Freedom by filling in your details on the right – just underneath the book cover. If you like my style, then invest in a copy of Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis. This is available in Kindle or paperback from Amazon, or from iBooks if you like to read on your iDevice.

Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis is filled with tips, strategies and techniques to deal with the stresses in your life. It takes you, step by step, through the process of retraining your thought patterns and how to use your mind to ease the stresses in your life that are caused by anything from a relationship that isn’t working to dealing with challenges in the work place.

If you prefer to listen than to read then check out the guided visualisations on my download page. The chakra meditation is highly recommended.


If you have any questions about dealing with stress then leave a comment below.


Hypnosis , Cancer, and Chemotherapy

There’s a real problem with hypnosis and Western Medicine. Although the two work very well together, it’s a rare and enlightened doctor who makes use of it. The problem is that there is no money in it for anyone except the hypnotherapist.

Yes, we like to get paid just like everyone else doing their job.

Let me clarify.

Let’s say a pharmaceutical company spends several years developing a new drug, testing it on animals, working on the formulation and whatever else they do before people swallow it. By this time they have invested several million dollars. Then they have to run drug trials. These are expensive. They are also supposed to be independent, but they are actually funded by the company who has invested millions in the development of the drug. The doctors running the trial are paid by the drug company. If the trial reports success, which is surprisingly often, then the results are handed over to the Federal Drugs Administration for approval. If the FDA gives the go ahead then huge profits are almost guaranteed. Partly because the company involved will spend several more millions promoting it. Reps who visit general practitioners will recommend it and hand out mugs and pens and notepads emblazoned with the name of the new drug – just so the doctor can’t forget about it.

And that’s just what the pharmaceutical companies do that’s above board.

Doctors love new drugs. Patients love new drugs because they hold the promise of an almost instant cure that an old drug no longer has. If it’s new, it’s got to be good – right? And occasionally a new drug is better than an old drug. But once a new drug is being prescribed regularly then all of that investment rolls back into the coffers of the drug companies and before long huge profits are made.

The typical hypnotherapist is a one-person show who knows how to help people. Hypnotherapists fall into the class of healer much more readily than do most doctors. They also tend to be more interested in their patients’ well-being to a much greater extent than the average pharmaceutical company.

The problem is that individual hypnotherapists cannot afford millions of dollars to fund favourable research in the way that drug companies can and do. Consequently what research there is tends to be with small groups of patients because that way the cost is kept down. Another problem – particularly with life-threatening diseases like cancer – is that it is unethical to withhold treatment. So you can’t ethically run an experiment where some patients only receive, say, hypnotherapy, when it is known that there are drugs out there that could help. It is also unethical to run a placebo group as you would in a trial for a new form of aspirin.

Still there is some research out there and some of that research reports favourably on the use of hypnotherapy. I’ve written about the evidence for how helpful hypnosis can be in the easing of side-effects from chemotherapy and I suggest you check that out.

But with hypnosis, all you are buying is the hypnotherapist’s time and skill, and once you have completed the course of treatment that’s it, you are free and well. There is no long-term custom. There is no product to be manufactured and profited from. There are no hospitals to supply a constant market for the product.

But I have another problem with the way that research is conducted for hypnotherapy. In most cases the attempt, with research, is to remove the effect of personality. Have you ever noticed how some doctors make you feel well and you leave filled-with hope and expectation of a cure, while others leave you unsettled or unsatisfied?

Hypnosis research is based around the reading of hypnosis scripts. Nothing wrong with that, many hypnotherapists use scripts that guide the patient into the state of hypnosis and then make the appropriate suggestions. But what most hypnotherapists do is to modify these scripts depending on the needs of the individual patients. So two people coming with the same problem will get similar, but not identical, treatment because the hypnotherapist will tailor treatment to their patients’ personalities and specific needs. Hypnosis research does not allow for this. They make it just like taking a pill – one size fits all.

I’ve lost track of the number of people who have been to other hypnotherapists and had no success with treatment, then, often years later, they decide to try again. They find their way to me and I fix their problem quickly and easily. They tell me they wished they had found me first. They tell me that their first visit put them off hypnotherapy and made them think it was a waste of time. Not everyone is the same. Personality is important. Everyone has their own way of being with other people and feeling for what they most need. Quite often it’s simply recognising where the root cause of the problem truly lies and then working on that.

I mentioned above that I’d looked into some of the research for the use of hypnosis with conventional cancer-treatment. That was to help me to create a CD for a friend of mine who is undergoing treatment for cancer at the moment. I have since made this recording available to anyone who wants to download it. It utilises hypnotic techniques that I’ve tried and tested over the years with many of my patients. It is designed to ease the side-effects generally suffered with patients undergoing chemotherapy. It is quite safe to use alongside conventional medical treatment and will only make life easier. Full details are available here.

But it needs commitment. It needs to be listened to daily – in just the same way that you would expect to take a drug on a regular basis for a period of time. People expect miracles from hypnosis that they don’t expect from any other branch of medicine. Hypnosis is not magic. It needs to be worked with and treated with respect. This particular treatment needs to be listened to at least once, and preferably twice, daily in order for you to enjoy its benefits.

So if you are reading this and you have a friend or relative who is about to endure, or is in the middle of chemotherapy, share this page with them. The decision needs to be theirs – all I can do is offer the help.



Words Add More Weight Than Calories

Words make you fat.

My work with hypnosis long ago taught me the power of words. I’ve changed lives, removed fears, eased pain, and helped people to lose weight. I did all of that using nothing more than words. But words have so much power they can harm as well as heal.

A recent long-term US study, conducted by A. Janet Tomiyama, Asst Prof of Psychology, UCLA, followed the weight of 2,379 girls from the age of 10 until the age of 19. Almost 60% of these children had been told they were too fat by the time they were 10. Girls labelled too fat were much more likely to be obese at age 19. The greater the number of people who told a girl she was too fat the greater the likelihood of obesity at age 19.

This is not just a case of fatter children growing into fat adults, because the effects of actual weight were statistically removed in the study. The only factor whose effect was measured was being told you were too fat and by whom. The greater the emotional attachment to the person who criticises the weight – the greater the weight increase in later years.

This is quite fascinating because one of society’s solutions for problems is to point them out.

That’s all that is happening here. People who love the child, and know the problems that obesity brings, simply want to help by encouraging the child to become aware of their problem.

But it has the opposite effect.

Of course if you’ve read my book How to Lose Weight and Free Yourself from Diets Forever you’ll know all about emotional eating. So what is it going to do to a ten year old girl to tell her, no matter how lovingly, that she is too fat – in a world where attractive & loved & popular & famous = SLIM?

It’s not going to cheer her up.

It is going to make her unhappy.

And what do overweight people do when they are unhappy and can’t control their world?

They eat.

Do they eat lettuce and apples? No! They eat sweets and cakes and fats and sugars.

“When people feel bad, they tend to eat more, not decide to diet or take a jog,” Tomiyama said. “Making people feel bad about their weight could increase their levels of the hormone cortisol, which generally leads to weight gain.”

All that matters, especially with a young child, is that they learn to feel good about themselves. Not good about what they look like, or whether they fit in with society’s current view of physical perfection, but good about who they are; good about their talents and abilities; good about how kind and loving they are; and good about everything they do.

Yes, it’s a good idea to ensure they have a healthy diet, but you can do that without stigmatising a child, or regarding a healthy diet as some sort of punishment for getting too fat. I mean what 10 year old has any idea of the connection between their long-term weight and enjoying an ice cream?

Be kind.

Encourage and support a shift to a healthier diet and more active play rather than computer fun. That’s all you need – except…

You just might want to tell your ten year old daughter how beautiful she is.


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Jennifer Saunders Uses Hypnosis To Help With Procrastination and Win £100,000


According to the New Zealand Herald Jennifer Saunders is experiencing a common problem – procrastination. You know, that thing where every trivial task is more important than the most important job you have to finish. It seems that Jennifer Saunders is working on a script for the screen version of Absolutely Fabulous and finding it difficult to complete – even though there is a £100,000 bet to win from her friend Dawn French if she completes before the end of the year.

Jennifer is getting help from her hypnotherapist.

So how exactly might hypnosis help you to do what you don’t really want to do?

Well, in my experience, the problem is never about doing the thing that is causing the procrastination. The problem is about things like fear of success, ‘what will I do when I’ve finished that?’, expecting to fail, fear of what will happen after the task is completed…

Obviously I have no idea what the problem is that Jennifer Saunders is experiencing and I have no intention of speculating. What I like is the idea that she is using hypnotherapy to help her to write a successful script that will turn into a film that I will almost certainly enjoy.

There are several routes that you can take with hypnosis to solve this particular type of problem. You can journey into the past to find out where the problem may have originated; you can move forward in time and see what problems and difficulties show up that you might be subconsciously avoiding; or you could treat it symbolically.

My first choice would be the symbolic one – because when it works it is very quick and very simple.

You can even do it yourself if you know how to use self-hypnosis.

All you have to do is to take yourself into trance, and when you are deeply relaxed, allow an image to form of a barrier that blocks your route to the successful completion of the task. You can imagine the barrier as anything you like: a shark-infested moat, a big stone wall; a minefield; razor wire; or maybe even a pride of lions. Use your imagination, the sillier the better.

Then you have to use your imagination to find a way to get over, through, or destroy the barrier. Because it is your imagination you can create anything you want to help you.

This imagery activates right-brain symbolic processing and, after you do this, you may find yourself effortlessly completing what you were putting off.

Obviously it can be a lot more complicated than this, but all the solution really requires is a willingness to explore your own resistance to completion and allow your subconscious mind to reveal its secrets.

If you want to try this out and need some help with the self-hypnosis part then check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis where I go into this technique, and others, in much more detail.

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Limiting Beliefs & Hypnosis

We are who we are – the blend of innate personality traits plus our life experiences.

We do what we do – even though we’d like to be doing it differently.

We believe that what we believe is true – because a belief is a filter that permanently colours our world view.

We may not like who we are.

We may not be doing what we want to be doing.

What we believe may be causing us unnecessary emotional pain.

But we are either unaware of this, or have no idea how to change it, because it feels normal and we think it is us.

Early life experiences, plus our innate nature, train us to respond to certain situations in specific ways. The basic premise is avoid pain, seek pleasure. Sometimes, the sensitives among us, feel the pain of others as if it were their own. So what they do is take on the responsibility of making sure that others are ok – even it means they do without.

Children with an angry, or a frequently drunk, parent may discover very quickly that being quiet and keeping out of the way is the way to avoid pain. In adulthood you have a quiet person who never voices their opinion – especially if it is different from the prevailing view. It doesn’t matter if the majority are wrong (frequently the case), this individual will remain silent. The echo of the violence from the past is forever present.

An overbearing disciplinarian father, or school teacher, may impress a fear of authority that remains throughout adulthood. This may not even seem like a fear. It may just seem like doing the right thing and being a stickler for the rules. The only problem is that the rules are never questioned, because when the rules were questioned as a child the response was ‘don’t give cheek’ or ‘don’t answer back’.

Any little thing that happened in childhood that caused even momentary emotional discomfort is stored away in the back of the mind and, in adulthood, anything that reminds us of that, or feels a bit like that, or looks a bit like that, is avoided. At the extreme this can become an apparently irrational phobia.

But because these are just things we do and ways we respond and it all seems to happen so naturally we think it is normal for us and so it is only ever questioned when it interferes with earning a living or doing things that cannot be avoided forever.

A phobia of needles, induced, say, by a painful experience with an insensitive doctor at about 18 months of age has to be dealt with when pregnancy occurs – because the medics just love sticking needles in pregnant ladies. At this point a solution will be sought. But while avoidance works – avoidance will be the norm.

If you believe the sun moves across the sky, because your experience tells you that this is true and you have the evidence of your very own eyes then you may resist very strongly the idea that the sun is stationary and that the very solid and stable earth that you are standing on is whizzing along at around 1000 miles an hour. It’s a totally crazy idea that goes against everything you can sense. Your senses are the only way you can make sense of your world. If your senses are lying to you then you have no idea what is going on anywhere. Can you imagine how destabilising that would be? If you cannot trust your senses you cannot trust anything.

In the same way you will have discovered many things that you believe to be true. All of these things will be based on limited evidence, and because you have limited evidence you will draw the wrong conclusions.

You may believe that when you enter a room everyone is immediately, in their own thoughts, criticising the clothes you have chosen to wear today, or have nothing better to do than fill their minds with thoughts about how fat you are.

Our minds crucify us incessantly.

And it all seems perfectly normal.

It isn’t.

You can change it – if you feel that you deserve to live a peaceful, happy, fulfilled, life.

Here’s how…  Check out Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis

But first of all check out this story of how Nathan T. Had his life turned around and his limiting beliefs neutralised by a couple of hypnosis sessions.

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Why is Change so Difficult?

Change is difficult because we are the way we are for good reason. Some people seem to find life easy, yet for others it’s a constant struggle. You may find it difficult or impossible to assert yourself, or even ask for legitimate needs. When you have this problem with an intimate partner then you will have a difficult relationship; when you have it with a manager then you will have an unsatisfying job; when you have it with a store assistant, then your shopping trips will be fearful experiences.

You may find that almost every aspect of life and living fills you with anxious moments. Meeting new people may be fraught because of your internal dialogue and self-monitoring. Whatever it is, you will want it to be different from the way it is. You may have sought help and ended up medicated or counselled. You may have gone it alone and sought help from your local library, bookshop, or Amazon. You may have found moments of relief only to discover that it was short-lived and life soon returned to the normality of suffering. So you start again, more help, better medication, more books. You enjoy a few more moments of brightness filled with courage and confidence – only to find them dissipating like tendrils of mist as the sun rises. Then you find yourself back in the bright light of a reality you don’t fully understand, and definitely don’t seem to fit in.

One of the things I encounter in my work is that people have generally tried everything else before they come to see me. This highlights the seemingly endless searching of so many desiring change. It suggests strongly that deep down there is a knowing that peace and joy exist and are available.

We are tenacious in our search for peace and a joyful experience of living.

But it is difficult and the reason it is so difficult is because it’s the very same reason that makes humans such a successful species. We learn from experience and never, ever, ever, forget – at a cellular level – those things in our lives that frightened, threatened, terrified, or just made us jump. The bee sting as a young child that becomes a panic stricken phobia whenever a bzzz is heard 50 years later; the being punished in school for something you were innocent of that leaves you with a lifelong fear of authority; the being told you are useless and will never amount to anything over and over again that leaves you incapable of success at anything; whatever it was that happened it stung and left its mark.

Our survival success is based around this. We have evolved to favour false positives. This is reacting to signs of danger even when there is no real danger present. This is a much safer stance than ignoring potential threats. This is why our early life experiences have such a powerful effect on our ease and confidence as adults. We may not consciously remember the activating experience, but it is buried deep in our subconscious. We can react to almost anything that has even the vaguest connection with a past source of pain.

So a behaviour, like perfectionism, becomes normal and, despite the difficulties it causes, is maintained – not from a desire to be perfect – but to avoid the emotional pain that not being good enough drew forth. This is even though the critic is no longer in their lives, or may even have passed away.

I have found so many patients live their lives to please parents who are no longer alive.

If you are seeking a more permanent change then know that because it works with your subconscious, which is where the problem lies, hypnosis and self-hypnosis are valuable tools. I would encourage you to explore them.


Of course you could always just check out my book Change Your Life with Self Hypnosis on Amazon.

More info:

health self-help weight control

Weight Loss Is Not About Fighting Hunger


Feeling hungry isn’t really the issue with weight loss. By that I mean that people who are overweight eat regardless of whether or not they are hungry. Sometimes the problem is simply that they are so out of touch with the sensations their body produces that they just respond to external stimuli as the trigger for eating. But most of the time it’s about the tricks other people play with our minds.

It’s really difficult to watch an evening of tv with all of those food & snack adverts and not, at some point, decide you need something to eat. This is the subtle hypnosis of tv. It puts ideas in your mind purely because of the associations it creates. When was the last time you saw any food advert with fat people in it? When was the last time you saw any food advert with unattractive people in it? When was the last time you saw a food advert with miserable people in it? Unless, that is, they were miserable because they were not getting the food that was being advertised.

I especially remember a series of food adverts that M&S ran. It stuck in my mind because of two things – the stunning quality of the photography, and Dervla Kirwan’s sexy, seductive voiceover. No people appeared in these ads just the food. But there was a hidden promise if you buy this stuff.

It doesn’t mean that you are weak-willed if you are influenced by this stuff. It’s designed to do that. It’s designed by experts to make you want to eat, and to become familiar with the brand so that you automatically pick it up on your next trip to the supermarket. That way, when you next see the advert there will be some of that in the cupboard. The subliminal message is that you too will have the lifestyle and body shape of the people who eat this stuff on tv.  

What you actually get is fatter.

Feeling negative emotion is another eat trigger. Anything from boredom to despair can trigger a trip to the kitchen for something to eat. It passes the time, it reminds you of getting treats as a child and knowing you were loved. Watching an evening of tv is quite likely to fill you with negative emotion even if you didn’t have any to start off with. That’s why the food manufacturers’ advertising is so effective. The soaps are dreary, the news is never good, and reality tv is nothing like reality. It is hardly surprising that we seek a distraction and food is the easiest and quickest solution.

It would be great if it actually worked though. If food truly made us feel better then we’d all be happy fatties and the world would be a better place. But we’re still miserable fatties the next evening and the next and the next and we never stop to question whether or not the feel bad-eat, or feel bored-eat strategy changes anything except our weight.

If you want to change this then next time you realise you are heading to the kitchen in a commercial break go to the staircase instead and walk up and down ten times, then return to watch tv.

Don’t forget to check out my book How to Lose Weight and Free Yourself from Diets Forever.