Setting Yourself Up For Success

We are living in an information age.  There are literally thousands of articles with “how to” guides, “steps” to health and happiness, and marketers telling us about the secrets we need to know in order to be successful.  We are constantly bombarded with more and more information at our finger tips and this can be overwhelming and actually leave us frozen from taking action toward our goals.

Where do we start and how do we fit it all in to our already hectic life?  

When I find myself getting overwhelmed with everything I need to get done, this process helps me slow down to get more clear, focused and grounded.  

First I Create a list (on paper) of the most important things I want to accomplish for the day.  This can be done the night before or first thing in the morning.  I prioritize the activities and commit to working on the top 3 items on your list first.  Sometimes I find myself working on the easy stuff first, but the most effective way is to choose the top 3 tasks that are the hardest or the ones you don’t want to do.  

Then I Break down each activity into small steps that are easily attainable.  I set a timer for 15-20 minutes and focus my attention on just one action.  At the end of the timed session, I take a deep breath and tell myself something that feels empowering. I like to use “I got this, it’s just what I do”.  Others you can use are “I’m killin it”,  “I’m unstoppable”, or one of my favorites from Navy Seal Mark Divine: “Feeling good, Looking good, I ought to be in Hollywood.” Choose something that sounds and feels right to you. 

Taking small action steps can not only help you get to your destination, but also reinforces your beliefs and attitudes that your goals are possible.  Research also confirms that when we take action from a positive mental frame, we learn faster and more efficiently.  

Say, for instance, you have to study for an exam and place all your books on the desk.  Every morning when you get up you’ll look at the books and feel overwhelmed, thinking about all the pages you have yet to read and the time it will take for you to get through it all.  Because of this, you are most certain to land into the trap of procrastination.

Instead, put just one book out on your desk and turn to the specific page you need to read and commit to reading that page first thing in the morning.   Even if you only read one page, you are training your subconscious mind that getting the work done is achievable.  As you do this more consistently with the activities on your “to-do” list, you’ll feel good about this process and you’ll be reinforcing the habit, making it easier to do each day.

In Hypnosis we call this anchoring.  We experience the world in different ways -- auditory, visually and kinesthetically, so learning to anchor habits into your subconscious mind can take more than action alone. In my little ritual above, we are using all 3 of these anchors.  Creating a list helps us visualize the thing we want to accomplish and then we further visualize ourselves accomplishing the tasks.  When we feed ourselves our powerful mantra, we are giving ourselves the auditory anchor.  To seal the deal, when we tap into how good it feels to finish the action, we are firing off our kinesthetic anchor.  

Learning these simple self hypnosis skills can help you break free from the mind numbing influences that keep you stuck while giving you access to unlimited the power of your own mind.

To your freedom and success,

David

Take Back Control Of Your Mind

Most of us find that our mind is constantly racing from one thought to another.  We are stuck in guilt or regret about something that happened in the past; or anxiety about things that we anticipate might happen in the future.  We are overtaken by worry, in a constant state of panic, trying to catch up with yesterday’s work and even though we may be keeping up with life’s demands, we still feel like we’re not doing enough.   

We all have thoughts.  Even the most experienced mediation practitioners and spiritual gurus have thoughts.  Just as our lungs help us breathe, our minds are meant to help us think.  Unfortunately many of us become controlled by our thoughts and live most of our lives thinking about the past or the future.  We hear voices in our head telling us we aren’t good enough, don’t have enough or we need to be more and do more.  Maybe these voices are our own inner critic, repeating things we learned from a parent, friend, family member or some kid from the school yard.  This chatter fills our minds with so much noise that it’s almost impossible to clearly see what’s right in front of us.   

Our minds are extremely powerful and these inner voices create beliefs that sink deep into our subconscious mind. This is the control center that decides what we do, how we think and how we feel; long before we are even aware.  The subconscious mind might believe this inner critic is helping to protect us, yet these inner voices limit our confidence and beliefs about what is possible. 

I was an overweight kid….yes, a fat kid.   Eventually I lost the weight, but for many years after, I still had that voice inside my head telling me I was fat.  I continued to struggle with my body image and developed unhealthy habits.  The addiction to sugar and processed foods tricked me into feeling good, but these foods drained me of energy and kept me from thinking clearly and feeling emotionally balanced.  I believed this was how I was and didn’t even consider that change was possible.  For me, the first step was loving myself for who I was, fat or not fat; "good" or "bad"...all of me.  From there, changing was simply a matter of choice and no longer something I needed to do to feel good about myself.  

As a hypnotist, I see many clients come into my office struggling with anxiety, stress, relationship problems, phobias, body issues, eating disorders and addiction to bad habits (smoking, drinking, etc..).  All of my clients have unique stories and experiences, yet what most people have in common is the inner belief and feeling that they are not enough.  When you can tap into your true nature, that deep well within you that connects you to your purpose, passions and love,  you will KNOW that you are enough, and you deserve love and respect from others and especially from yourself.   

We are all so much more capable than we currently believe.  Changing how we think can quickly and drastically improve our lives.  The first step is learning how to clear out the mental chatter and cultivate a mind that is focused and aware. Just as our body needs exercise to stay healthy, so does our mind.. Setting aside some time each day to meditate is a way to build this muscle.  The next step is learning how to tap in to our subconscious mind to create positive habits that will feel effortless and stick.  Hypnosis is the practical tool to accomplish this.  

Living your best life begins with the belief that it is possible.  We can all cultivate a positive mindset and create happiness in our lives if we choose.  It may feel uncomfortable at first, but we can start by taking small steps and trust the process along the way. 

What is your biggest challenge that you’d like to overcome right now?

Sleeping Your Best So You Can Be Your Best

 

Do you toss and turn throughout the night, thinking about what happened yesterday or what you have to get done tomorrow?   

Wake up feeling exhausted and unfocused?   

Maybe simple decisions stump you during the day? 

Do you keep coming down with colds? 

Are you still hungry after eating all day or find yourself being more emotional or accident-prone? 

Chances are that you, like many others, are falling short on sleep.  In a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation’s Health Index, 35% of Americans reported that their sleep is poor or only fair.  This is cause for concern given that according to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia also have other serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  According to the Sleep Foundation, it's recommended that we get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to set us up for good health.  Some of the benefits we get from a good night's sleep are: 

  • Increased happiness and less stress 
  • More focus and improved memory 
  • Weight loss 
  • Reduced inflammation 
  • Increased stamina 

People have trouble sleeping for a variety of reasons, such as an unsuitable bedroom environment (e.g., too cold/hot, too much noise or light), big meals before bed, excessive caffeine throughout the day, laptop or cell phone usage before bed (light emitted from these devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin) and irregular sleep schedules.  However, the most common cause of insomnia is stress and anxiety.   

When you take stressful thoughts and emotions with you to bed at night, not only do they interfere with your getting the rest you need, but they also get in the way of your brain formulating everything you’ve learned and experienced during the day.  According to researchers from Harvard Medical School, we are consolidating our thoughts and memories while we sleep and there is strong evidence to suggest that adequate sleep is critical for cognition, memory and learning.  

Rather than taking sleeping pills, which can be highly addictive and have negative side effects; the safer way to fall asleep is to cultivate a healthy, calm mind.  Although this might take some practice, the benefits are enormous in the way you will feel, both in and out of bed.  By practicing some simple tools and techniques, you can become more in control of your thoughts and emotions during the day and just before you go to sleep. This will allow you to get the restful sleep needed to recharge, refocus and wake up feeling energized. Since we sleep about 1/3 of our lives, if we can transform our sleep, we can transform our entire lives.  

Here is a short audio recording that can help you relax and let your mind calm down.  Listen to this before going to bed or if you’re feeling restless throughout the night.

 

Also, Check out the book "Sleep For Success" by Dr. James B Mass for guidance on setting up a sleep schedule that works for you.  

To your best self,

David

Placebos – Real or Not Real?

For many years the placebo effect has been misunderstood, dismissed and discredited.  The placebo effect refers to the phenomenon when a fake treatment, such as sugar or saline water, is given to a patient and produces a real response.  Scientists are just beginning to understand what creates this experience, but still can't say why some people respond to certain placebos and others are do not.  For the most part, the placebo effect is based on expectations.  If a person believes that she/he is going to benefit from a pill or treatment, then it is possible that the body’s own chemistry will respond with similar effects to what the medication or treatment might have caused. 

In his new book, Suggestible You, science writer Erik Vance takes us on a fascinating journey through the research, experiments and his own personal journey around placebos, suggestibility and hypnosis.  Erik infuses great humor into his stories of touring some of the world’s leading research facilities and using himself as a guinea pig.  Some highlights include: 

  • His story about getting (electrically) shocked to test his placebo response.  He learns very quickly how fast the placebo effect kicks in once he is feeling pain.  
  • His comparison of the brain to a sports arena.  Just as in the brain, at a sports arena there are many things happening all at once.  There are fans rooting for different teams…people eating, drinking, talking and applauding...some watching the game, while others are engaged in various other tasks.  However, whereas there are only about 67,000 people in the sports arena, there are about 85 billion cells in the brain.  It is all super fascinating and complex and we are just beginning to scratch the surface.  
  • The exposé around the process for pharmaceutical companies to get FDA approval, which involves four phases of research and can take up to 12 years and can cost up to 2.5 billion dollars.  The main obstacle drugs must surmount in order to receive approval is the effectiveness of the drugs must beat the placebo by 30%.  This can be extremely difficult and force drug companies to abandon drugs that might actually be effective.  In response, companies are no longer dismissing placebo and are now trying to better understand the effect, so they can more accurately test their drugs against it.  

In the field of hypnosis, this research gives us a lot to be excited about.  Although hypnosis and placebo are both based on suggestibility and expectation, they do function differently.  Whereas responsiveness to placebos changes from day to day, hypnotic susceptibility remains fairly stable throughout one's life.  Having the ability to be suggestible has nothing to do with our intelligence levels or loss of control.  It means that we can use our minds to change both how our bodies function, as well as how we experience the world around us.  The more we understand the placebo effect and the influence of suggestibility; the more choices we can have to create the experiences we desire.  Knowing how we are being influenced every day by external factors such as TV programs, news reports, advertisements or social media, allows us to choose what we focus on and begin to change our beliefs, so that we can expect the best possible outcomes for ourselves.   

As a hypnotist, I am interested in discovering how we can make positive changes in our lives.  For those that are open, interested and committed to making lasting change, hypnosis can be a powerful tool.  Hypnosis is not trickery, magic or manipulation.  It is simply a technique that helps you bypass the critical parts of your mind that keep you stuck in limiting beliefs.  Our minds can do amazing things when we BELIEVE that it’s possible.   

Are Your Emotions Over-Rated

Are you the kind of person who keeps your emotions and feelings on the inside?  Maybe you are unsure of what you feel most of the time?  Perhaps you are the kind of person who wears his/her heart on your sleeve and once you feel an emotion, you have a hard time focusing on anything else?  

Emotions can be both a blessing and a curse.  When you can identify and express how you feel, not only will you be able to release negative energy, but you’ll also:

 

  •  develop greater self-awareness and self-acceptance;
  •  understand your true underlying needs. 
  •  focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you can't, and;
  •  experience greater empathy for others (It’s not always about you)


The problem is, most people aren’t in touch with their emotions and don’t even realize they could be reacting unconsciously, based on past traumas.  Some people think emotions are a burden or a sign of weakness and they don’t want to be vulnerable or feel uncomfortable. However it’s this harboring of unexpressed thoughts and feelings that lead us to bad decisions and unhealthy behaviors. Understanding and expressing your emotions is essential to your overall physical and mental well-being.

Here is an exercise you can use to identify and release an emotion: 

  1. Write out the story behind some emotions you are currently feeling.   (1-2 minutes)
  2. Write out judgments you’ve made about yourself and the other person. Be honest.  (1-2 minutes)
  3. Answer the following questions: (1-2 minutes) 
  •  How does it make you feel?  
  •  What are the hidden emotions being expressed (e.g., anger, sadness, joy, shame, fear)?
  •  What sensations are you feeling in your body? 
  •  Does an image or voice come up? Perhaps you hear some familiar voices (i.e., your own inner critic or that of your mom, dad, sister, brother or friend)? 

      4. (optional) Grab a pillow and go to a quiet place where you can let it out,  Express everything that needs to be said.  Talk, scream, punch, or cry into the pillow.  Do whatever you need to do, but stay with the feeling.  It will feel uncomfortable and may even feel like it will never leave, but trust the process.  

In her TED talk, Harvard-trained neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor revealed that it takes less than 90 seconds for an emotion to get triggered, surge chemically through the blood stream and then get flushed out. If we fight the emotion and don’t allow it to be released naturally by our bodies, it will get stuck in the body and be triggered some time in the future. However if you can open yourself up to it and remain completely present, it will pass within 90 seconds. 

So the next time a strong emotion arises, give yourself the time and space to feel it, name it, get a sense of what it looks like and what it represents. Then release it safely and let it pass.  What is this emotion telling you about who you are, what you value and the kind of life you want to lead? 

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR PUBLIC SPEAKING AND TAKE BACK YOUR LIFE

Do you ever find yourself:

  • Dreading work meetings
  • Getting clammy hands and shaky legs when making group presentations
  • Losing your words even though you know the information
  • Feeling jealous of others who can act and communicate like experts, even when they're not   

When you can master your public speaking skills, you’ll notice that life gets easier (and more fun). You’ll have more confidence, knowing you can express yourself in all situations whether you're in front of an audience, at a business meeting, hanging out with friends or on a hot date. You’ll feel more powerful and that will be expressed in your words and actions.  Being a better speaker is also the key to telling great stories and influencing those around you.  

Using Hypnosis To Re-channel Anxiety and Nervousness

Nervousness, anxiety and fear are just forms of energy.  These feelings serve to protect you and they are not inherently good or bad. They become problematic when they begin to interfere with your performing at your best.  Some of my clients want to completely get rid of their nervousness or anxiety, but the key is learning to work with these feelings to your advantage, rather than against them.  

It’s interesting to look at emotions as both simultaneously real and not real.  You can’t cut an emotion out of your body and observe it in a petri dish.  Yet when experiencing your emotions, they feel very real.  Hypnosis allows you to have more control over your emotions, so you can let go of the negative charges and redirect that energy in a more positive direction.  In some situations it may be appropriate to turn up a certain emotion, while turning down another.  Having these subconscious mind tools will give you more control and flexibility to stay present and engaged when speaking and interacting with others.    

I’ve been there... In addition to being a hypnotist, I’ve been a professional musician for most of my adult life.  I understand what it's like to be terrified before an important gig or audition.  I can remember my hands shaking so hard that I almost lost it in the middle of a performance.  I see it time and time again with top level performers.  It’s important to develop your artistry, but once you do that, it’s the mental game that will take you to the next level.   Most of life is a mental game and when you can master your thoughts and emotions, you can master anything you set your mind to accomplish.  

My clients include business executives, students, entrepreneurs, stand up comics, singers, classical/jazz instrumentalists and teachers.  Hear how they’ve taken back control and improved their lives: < Testimonials >  

If you're interested in learning more, check out this 10-minute Self-Hypnosis session to help you improve your public speaking skills.  

Also, check out this article from New York magazine, “Has hypnosis finally been vindicated by neuroscience?” Fascinating stuff!

 

To your best self,

 

David

YOU ARE BEING HYPNOTIZED!

Did you know?...

  • Average Americans watch 5 hours and 4 minutes of TV per day.
  • Television is the most powerful hypnosis machine out there.

What we see and read on TV trains us what to think, how to feel, what to buy and who to vote for.  If you think you are free and in total control of your thoughts, I am sorry to say but you are disillusioned; even if you don’t watch TV.   Advertising, media, politics, friends, and upbringing influence our daily lives tremendously.  The most effective influencers and persuaders work in sales, marketing, politics and media; and even they are subject to influence and persuasion.  Hypnosis is a state that we all go in and out of every day.  Learning how to embrace hypnosis to access your subconscious mind will allow you to become more aware of how you’re being influenced and ultimately give you more control over what you choose to think about.  In this article I will explain why hypnosis is important and then leave you with a practice to help you start to take back control of your mind from unwanted influences.

Power of your mind:

There are lots of myths around hypnosis and because of TV and movies, many people are led to believe that hypnosis is trickery or involves loss of control.  On the contrary, hypnosis is about choice.  It enables you to take back control of those parts of your mind that have either been operating unconsciously or have led you to negative beliefs and unproductive habits.  The subconscious mind is unable to discern good from bad, productive from unproductive.  When you learn to access your subconscious mind, you can reprogram your beliefs to take you from where you are, to where you want to be.  

How your subconscious and conscious minds work:

Your subconscious mind takes in thousands of bits of information every second, while your conscious mind can handle up to 10 pieces of information at any time (and that’s when you’re relaxed and focused). When you’re conscious mind is filled with stress, anxiety and fear; the amount of information you’re able to process plummets to 2 or 3 things at a time.  This is why your subconscious mind is so powerful.  You are cognizant, listening and taking in information; even when you’re unaware.  

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis:

Hypnosis is simply focused attention and awareness.  It’s important to not only be able to imagine change and the outcomes you want, but to also be able to experience the emotions of what it would feel like to make those changes.  We are our own most powerful hypnotists and my job is to teach you how to become better at it, so you can manifest the life you desire.  

This Self-Hypnosis exercise is a good first step toward helping you change your subconscious mind and lead you towards the outcomes you desire:

Click Here For This Free Self-Hypnosis Guide

If you would like to learn more about hypnosis and how it can help you transform your life, please visit.  www.inspiredlivinghypnosis.com

You can also check out how Darren Brown used influence and persuasion to steer advertising executives towards the idea he wanted.  Powerful stuff!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQXe1CokWqQ

Build Massive Confidence & Be The Guy Who Gets What He Wants

Do you take things too personally and let your emotions get the best of you?  Do you look for validation from others?  Are you afraid of getting rejected?  Maybe you can relate to this scenario:

You're out with your friends at a club doing your thing and then all of a sudden there she is -- a gorgeous woman standing at the end of the bar.  You can’t keep your eyes off her. You try not to stare, but can’t help yourself.   As you think about approaching her, you get a surge of fear in the pit of your stomach.  You freeze as your body starts to sweat.  

Those voices in your head start sounding..."I could never get a woman like that.  I don’t know what to say.  I can't possibly have anything in common with her -- she’s too perfect."  You watch her for the rest of the night, but never muster up the courage to approach her.  You missed your opportunity and for the rest of the week, you're beating yourself up.  Sound familiar?

Guys do this because they're afraid of getting hurt, rejected or disregarded.  In order for a man to navigate the world confidently, he must find the space inside himself of worthiness and self love.   Feeling unworthy is the source of most obstacles in life.  Of course we all want to be liked, seen and heard, especially by the opposite sex.  When a man is confident and has positive self regard, he can stay relaxed, playful and curious.  His aim isn’t to please others or look outside himself for validation.  Instead he is excited to see how life will unfold.  

I’m not going to give you scripts or advice about how to pick up women.  You can find that information on the internet ad nauseam.  I’m going to share with you tried and true ways for becoming the man who gets what he wants.   

1. Learn to dance

Yes, men...I said it.  Take a dance class...and not some free-for-all dance party or anything of the ecstatic sort, but a full-fledged, formal dance class...where YOU, the man, must LEAD.

I see so many men struggle with taking the lead in their romantic relationships. Two people cannot lead at the same time and it’s important to know which role you want to take up. In a romantic relationship, it's the man who should lead. This is not about control, but about guiding someone to their full expression. When a man has the balls to step up and lead, a woman can let go and express her femininity.  By his nature, a man must initiate, guide and ask for what he wants.  A relationship where there is a struggle for power is doomed, unless the man can stand up and assert himself.  Partner dancing is a great way to understand and incorporate the subtle and powerful dynamics of leading within a relationship.  It will also teach you how to be in your body, trust your intuition, remain humble and, most importantly, let go and have fun.  By becoming more self aware, you will have the inner confidence to lead yourself and others.  

2. Join a men’s group

For thousands of years, cultures have encouraged male bonding and created ways to pass on wisdom and traditions.  We have lost these connections in modern times and have been forced to learn about masculinity on the playground, through our parents or by guessing.  Men's groups are a place where we can express our fears, anger, sadness and even joy in a healthy, productive way.  It’s where we can get honest, receive no bullshit feedback and figure ourselves out.  If you have a group in your town, join it.  If not, round up a bunch of guys and commit to helping each other go after your dreams and ambitions.    

3. Get out in nature

Nature separates the men from the boys very quickly.  If you're a city guy like me, you’ll learn very quickly that you don’t know shit if you don’t have survival skills like how to keep yourself alive when the weather gets bad or when you’re climbing dangerous terrain.  Going out and exploring nature is not only a huge confidence builder, but it will give you a greater sense of what it means to be human; and the great beauty and power of mother nature.  

4. Take a martial arts class

Learn how to give a hit and take one too.  Too many sensitive guys avoid confrontation and are unable to stay in tense situations without getting taken advantage of or feeling ashamed.  Knowing how to defend yourself gives you the mindset that you can hold your own.  It’s much deeper than being able to do a particular move.  When you know your power, you'll feel confident, more relaxed, present, alert and, in many cases, avoid trouble without getting injured.  The state of our physical body affects our mental state, so when we are feeling physically powerful, we will act like it.  

5. Travel alone to a foreign country

Traveling alone helps get you out of your comfort zone quickly.  You’re forced to navigate your surroundings, make new friends and learn new traditions.  Your senses will be heightened as you travel to places with new smells, tastes, and languages. No matter how old you are, traveling alone forces you to grow up and discover yourself.  You’ll have a better understanding of what’s important, what you need and can let go of.  

These are not quick and easy ways to build confidence over night.  They are tools that will help you be vulnerable to build character, self worth and true confidence.  Try one or all of these activities and you will find yourself a changed man for the better.