The marathon running bug hit me the year before I decided to run my first. I watched the TV coverage of all those people running together throughout the streets of London for London marathon. The City was just about closed. In addition to the thousands of people that were running in the event, there were more thousands lining the 26 miles of the course.
When I started participating in races and getting into marathon training and running, someone said that it is a great idea to write your name on the front of your running vest and throughout the race the crowds will keep on shouting your name and giving you personal encouragement. It is such a wonderful tonic on busy races.
It is amazing how different it is to run on a street lined with thousands and thousands of people shouting and encouraging you – compared to running alone on a rainy, cold, dark evening or a grey, windy morning on your own, with only your own internal dialogue and MP3 player for company.
I also remember when the world record holder marathon runner, our very own Paula Radcliffe ran the London marathon for the first time – every inch of the course, she was greeted with cheers and encouragement that was unparalleled to anything I had seen before at a marathon event. She led within the first couple of miles and destroyed the field. She made the world’s greatest marathon runners look ordinary and herself look superhuman. You just know that everyone watching at home was cheering her on and encouraging her too.
So much is said about being the home team in a football match too, for example, as the crowd supports and encourages their players so much more. The home team are said to have an advantage as they are playing in front of more of their own supporters.
You know what? I believe that we all need some of that kind of encouragement from time to time. This is especially true when we want to make positive and powerful changes in our lives for our own betterment.
Over the years, I have written a great deal about our internal dialogue, if you really have too much of it and you want to use it far better, I recommend you read The Secrets of Self-Hypnosis because it has got a lot of information with regards to your internal communication. Ok, I digress.
The point I want to firmly establish here is that if individuals insist on continually telling themselves not to make a fool of themselves in front of others, or reminding themselves how things went wrong the last time, or indicating to themselves how useless they think they are, then that internal dialogue is well and truly amplifying a problem and likely to ensure that a similar issue occurs again. It really is! You knew that much already though, didn’t you?
Take a moment out here to imagine this scenario. First of all, think of someone that you love; a child or your spouse or best friend or any other dearly beloved person in your life. Imagine that they were really trying to achieve something; I mean that they really wanted a particular thing to happen or wanted to create something or achieve a goal. Now imagine that a total stranger came and belittled their efforts. The stranger told them that they could not do it and they might as well give up! Imagine the stranger said that they should not have tried in the first place and their efforts will amount to nothing!
How would that make you feel? To understate it, I guess you would feel annoyed at the stranger’s sentiments, wouldn’t you? You are likely to defend your loved one, aren’t you? Maybe you’d like to box the ears of the stranger!
So in contrast, what would you say to that loved one to encourage them and support them? Really take a moment out to think about that. How would you encourage them to successfully achieve and apply themselves?
You see, so often the kind of thing that the stranger was saying is the kind of thing that people say to themselves. You would not tolerate that sort of thing being said to a loved one, as you have just demonstrated, yet you may well be just as guilty and harmful in the way you communicate to yourself. Not just with your internal dialogue, it could be with your belief about yourself and your actions in life.
Encouragement should not just be reserved for sports stars, or babies learning to walk. You never hear anyone saying to a baby “that was a pathetic attempt to walk, you are rubbish at walking, just give up and get back in that Moses basket!”
We all need encouragement as often as we can. Even if we are not getting as much as we should from others, we can encourage ourselves.
My brother still jokes about the time him and I ran the Bristol half marathon together a few years ago. We were going for a personal best time at this race and in the last few miles we were battling ourselves, our aching legs and our lungs that were readying to burst! We encountered a steep hill that most runners were groaning at the prospect of scaling at this late stage in the race. As we got over the hill and carried on speeding along the flat road, trying to catch our panting breath, my brother was laughing at me and I asked him what he was laughing at.
He said, “I was just laughing at you shouting and swearing at yourself.”
I had not realised that I was so determined and was encouraging myself so much inside my head, that I had said my words out loud!! I shall not repeat them here as they are far too blue!
As of this very day, begin to think about what you would say to someone else in certain situations in life if you wanted to encourage them. How would you encourage a loved one? What language and tone of voice would you use? Consider writing it all down and repeating it to yourself inside your mind to become your new, progressive internal dialogue. How do you encourage others? Use this way of encouraging others on yourself.
Ensure that you are convincing and sincere, make sure that you really mean what it is that you are saying. When you then communicate with yourself in that way, notice how that makes you feel. Notice what it is like to have that kind of progressive, encouraging internal communication instead. It can be like a breath of fresh air for your brain because you are now nurturing it.
As a result of encouraging yourself so much more, each time you create some internal communication of any kind with yourself, as you are more and more supportive, this is going to naturally increase your self-esteem and your self-confidence too! In turn, that builds a stronger foundation for your success and grows your ability to achieve more.
Over the course of the next week, maybe consider allowing yourself to relax and deliver this kind of dialogue to yourself for 10 minutes a day and become aware of how good you feel as a result.
The way in which you behave and the feelings that you have affect each other. Your behaviour often shows what your feelings are and your behaviours also affect how you feel (and vice versa of course). Very often, people think that they have to feel different before they change any of their behaviours. However, it is often far, far easier to do it the other way around.
An individual that has low self-esteem, for example, may well focus upon things in their life which have failed or gone wrong rather than focusing on their successes, things they have done well or encouraging themselves. In a given identical situation or circumstance, someone with a high level of self-esteem will look for what they did well, they are encouraging, and continue to remind themselves of their achievement or their success. They use their own resources, their own progressive and positive thoughts and successful experiences as a way of continually enhancing their energy and motivation.
Follow these simple encouragement steps to start really helping yourself to achieve more:
Step One: Induce Hypnosis.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Take some time to create a good receptive mindset. Have a good think about a success that you have experienced or something that went really well or maybe a significant achievement in your life or an everyday achievement (is there really such a thing?). As you think about it, think about what it was that has been so successful about it and also notice that thinking about it makes you feel better.
Notice what you thought, what internal dialogue you had, where in your body the feelings were, what you saw and heard and how you behaved. With a full, sensory rich idea of your successes you can learn from them and replicate them.
Step Two: Run through that entire process again with another occasion. Repeat it a couple of times for both times. Really do this. Invest some energy into your success here. These are things that are indicative to you that you are on the right path in certain areas of your life.
Step Three: Give yourself some praise. Go on, go ahead and praise yourself. Pat yourself on the back! This is nourishing, it is nurturing your relationship with yourself and rewarding and leads to you building your sense of self. Have some laughs as you do it, I know I find it hard to keep a straight face when I am doing this.
Now, start piling on the encouragement. As I have been writing about throughout this blog entry. Give yourself some really good encouragement. Encouraging yourself gives you more and more resources for the challenges and difficulties that may lie ahead. As we did earlier, think about how you would encourage someone else and then deliver that encouragement to you.
Step Four: Next up is comfort. Now I am not talking about the kind of comfort that I get when I sit in my lovely reclining chair, although it is very nice. I digress. Comfort yourself about something that may have not gone as you wanted. Heal those old wounds that used to be there. Take some time out to nurture yourself and heighten your own personal awareness of self.
Accepting and heightening your awareness of these things rather than resisting and fighting past things will allow you to start to take yourself to a new place in the future. This is a different flavour of encouragement.
Step Five: Create a time in the future when you have a darling loved one encouraging you. Imagine them telling you how amazing you are and how proud they are of you – maybe someone that motivates you or someone you admire. You can take it up a level and imagine a small crowd of people that you know and love all encouraging you and loving you and telling you all those wonderful things that make them sure that you can achieve what you want to achieve.
Then, you can even take it higher than that. Imagine the sights, sounds and feelings of running past thousands of people, or standing on a stage in front of thousands of people, or whatever you want to imagine, and those people are cheering you on, applauding you and showing you how much they believe in you. Soak this stuff up and enjoy the encouragement of the masses!
Step Seven: Finally, once again just remind yourself of a happy moment or a time when you felt really good about yourself. There are lots of them. If you are trying your hardest to convince yourself that you cannot recall any good feelings, then email me, I will tell you one of my favourite and irresistible jokes and you’ll then have a moment of happiness to cherish. This process helps to change your state. Get used to doing this. Whenever you imagine something really vividly, something that made you feel really good, you cannot help but make changes in your neurology and your physiology.
Step Eight: Finishing the simple self-hypnosis exercise.
Thank yourself for the energy and time you invested in yourself. Be appreciative of what you are doing and start to think about bringing this rehearsal into real life and believing that you now have a new way of encouraging yourself in that situation. If you follow the process in my book, count yourself up and out of hypnosis accordingly, otherwise take a deep breath and open your eyes, wiggle your fingers and toes and bring the positive belief and thought process with you into your life.
We all need to do these simple things to build a basis and a foundation for your success in developing more of the life we want for ourselves. So many people tell me that they ‘already know these things.’ Yet if you truly examined their life, it is evident that they are not actually applying these basic things that they ‘already know’ so much about!
I know that there are people out there that read my books, listen to my audio programmes and do not actually take any proper action and thus gain no real lasting benefit from them. Knowing the theory is just not enough.
This does not end with yourself of course. Think of ways that you can now actively encourage others too. Giving encouragement to others also confirms to you that you have more and more of the things that you need to succeed and achieve more of the things you want in your life. So make a conscious decision to be more generous with the encouragement you offer to those around you. Write down some things that you can do this very day to encourage those around you and then take action to do them.
Apply encouragement to yourself and observe what a fabulously enjoyable effect it has on your life.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about simple self-hypnosis skills, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.