How to Break Out and Live!
By Cindy Locher
Wake up! We are all living in a trance, or multiple situation-specific trances, all of our lives. Many of these trances aren’t beneficial in our lives. They hold us back, keep us stuck in little worlds of our own creation. Yes, you are living your life in a trance. How can I make this statement?
Easy. We are born into this world with a personality, yes, but without beliefs. A belief is “the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true,” or “Mental acceptance of a claim as truth; Something believed,” (definitions from en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Belief). The psychological state in which mental acceptance happens is the state of trance or hypnosis. In trance or hypnosis, the critical factor of the mind is bypassed, or pushed aside, so that the information or message units presented to the mind are accepted. During the childhood years, the critical factor of the mind is undeveloped and therefore a great majority of your beliefs are formed during childhood. The values and behaviors that you see around you, or are told by your parents, siblings, teachers and peers are accepted much more easily and rapidly. The mind abhors a vacuum, and as the young mind encounters new situations, it requires a belief to be in place in order to know how to function within that situation, so quickly accepts the dominant belief in its environment.
So, your beliefs were formed in trance, and because they anchor your thoughts and emotional states to the time when they were formed, you operate in a level of trance every time you function within that belief, or set of beliefs.
An example is a person who grows up in a household where money is tight. All around her, she is receiving messages of lack, of how difficult money is to obtain, how important it is to choose security over risk, of how inherently dangerous the world is because of how difficult it is to accumulate wealth. When that child becomes an adult, she may desire to be wealthy, but every time she considers taking an action to bring more wealth into her life, actions that often involve risk, her beliefs about money will come into effect, taking her back into the trance state that was in effect when those beliefs were formed, and she will find herself having all manner of troublesome feelings such as self doubt, depression, remorse about decisions involving risk, and she will consistently sabotage her desired success by not following through with actions to create wealth, pulling up short, continually returning to her comfort zone which says that security, even a security with a small amount of money, is preferable to taking risk. The beliefs in play may be stated as, “risk is bad,” “it’s better to be secure,” “money is hard to come by.”
Contrast this person to someone who is raised in an affluent family, and grows up familiar with entrepreneurialism in an environment comfortable with risk. She may grow up accumulating beliefs such as “every risk you take brings you more success,” “when things don’t work out as planned, you learn something valuable that gets you even further,” and “there is always more than enough money.” This woman will feel completely secure in leveraging her money and taking risks, fully expecting that every experience will bring more benefit and wealth into her life.
These two women could even be twins raised in different families, because while some elements of temperament are heritable, beliefs are not. Beliefs are a result of your environment. And both of these women are behaving in accordance with their beliefs, therefore they are both operating in trance. The problems is not beliefs, the problem is not the trance that they were formed in and anchored to. The problem is that we don’t get the chance to opt-in. We don’t get to choose and select the beliefs that will help us to live up to our potential and have the most amazing lives we can.
And while trances and beliefs (often called self-limiting beliefs) about money and abundance are much discussed, beliefs can be beneficial or detrimental in any area of your life, from your ability to learn, to your ability to form and keep good relationships, or to be fit and healthy, and on and on.
Is there an area in your life where your actual results are falling short of what you’d like to see? If so, then that is probably an area where you are carrying limiting beliefs, e.g., operating in a trance, that is not effective or beneficial to you. The way out of this situation is the same way that you got in. The mechanism that formed these beliefs is what you should use to create new beliefs to replace them, and that mechanism is hypnosis. Your actions will always be congruent with your beliefs, so use hypnosis to create beliefs that will enable you to have the life you want.
The method I suggest for this is a system, which starts by choosing an area of your life to improve, a specific goal. Then you enter the process by focusing on the success you already have in your life, which increases your self esteem and confidence to reach further. Then, address the specific fears you have that have blocked you from taking action toward your goals, and increase your motivation to reach those goals. After accomplishing these steps, your subconscious mind will be more ready to release the old, self limiting beliefs. You can’t just do that first, you have to lay the groundwork, the foundation, that makes releasing and replacing the old belief desirable to your subconscious. The final steps are to choose new beliefs that support your goals and to use holographic visualization to create the context for the new beliefs — basically recreating the process that created the released beliefs, but this time you select your beliefs.
Following these steps is a process, and should be done over a period of time that feels right, but not so slowly that homeostatic resistance has a chance to un do any gains. I suggest a system of mental reprogramming over the course of a month to six weeks as ideal for most. As with any change, this system relies on a combination of conscious action paired with subconscious messages, and reinforcement through repetition over time, for its success.
Cindy Locher is a clinical hypnotherapist and mind/body medicine expert specializing in areas of stress management and personal change. Please visit Cindy at www.mn-hypnosis.com.