Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy… We talk ourselves out of things, we convince ourselves that we are not capable or not good enough, we can be unduly critical of ourselves and berate ourselves at other times… That ongoing radio channel that sits in our head can sometimes be shouting stuff at us that we don’t want to hear… Like there is a person with a megaphone shouting unwanted orders and put-downs that prevent us from living life as we’d like to.
Recently, while I was speaking at change phenomena conference, I watched the great man Gary Turner (who will be joining us as our speaker at next week’s hypnotherapist peer support group in Bournemouth, get in touch if you’d like to join us) who was quoting a technique he enjoyed using for getting the unwanted internal dialogue in our heads to be quiet… It involved wrapping duct tape around the mouth of the voice of the unwanted internal dialogue.
I rather liked it, and what with Gary being a 13 time world champion at various fighting disciplines, I thought it beautifully apt.
There are many ways to quiet internal dialogue or to get the internal chatter to shush! Some I have written about here before. Here today is one simple way for not just disputing thoughts and not just stopping them, but to tame your thoughts if they are being critical and turn them into something effective, useful and beneficial to you.
Before we start with this process today, think of someone who always wants the best for you, perhaps someone who loves you and even someone who encourages you and supports you unconditionally. If you are really struggling to come up with anyone, then create and imagine what it would be like.
Also have a think about a typical situation where you tend to be critical of yourself, or where your internal dialogue tends to talk you out of taking action or where it effects you detrimentally in some way.
Then lets begin. Get yourself into a comfortable position, where you’ll be undisturbed for the period of doing this exercise and follow these simple steps.
7 Steps To Use Hypnosis and Tame Your Inner Critic
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.
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Scan back through your day, or the past week and think of your activities and actions… As you think, imagine drifting deeper inside your mind as you consider your recent life.
As you scan through your recent life, notice anything that might be considered an issue or a problem that you are currently working on, or a challenge you are facing, ideally a circumstance where your internal dialogue hindered you or malaffected you or held you back or was unduly critical…
Just start to gather up the details of what happened on that occasion. Recall where you were, who you were with and recall the sounds, notice the sights of the place and be aware of how that makes you feel and just notice enough of those feelings as is useful for this exercise.
As you really imagine that you are there in that place, also start to recognise what was happening inside of your head. That is, what were you saying to yourself, what ideas went through your mind, what was your internal dialogue saying.
Notice any negative elements. Notice the unwanted internal dialogue, become aware of the qualities of how it was said as well as the words that were spoken inside your mind and with a good sense of that, move on to the next step.
Step Three: As you notice the old unwanted criticising voice, start to build that voice a body or a character of some kind… Maybe it is an animal or a beast or famous person, or even an object… Just start to create in your mind a physical presence of some kind that you think and believe best suits your internal dialogue.
Fashion the voice with a body, a face of some kind and start to create a very particular physical presence and representation inside your head that represents your internal dialogue. You choose, you imagine, you create. Make it detailed and spend all the time necessary to get this in your mind.
As that becomes fashioned and created, also now get a sense of what the underlying meaning or hidden benefit of this inner critic might be, start to frame it in a way that it could be seen as being progressive or positive in some way.
If you feel that the words or sentiments of the voice, the critical voice were just harmful and had no positive intention at all, then that Is fine, there does not have to be… When you have done that, then move on to the next step.
Step four: This is the fun part of the process… Start to morph the critic into the person who you thought of prior to step one. The encouraging and supportive person (or the imaginary person).
Imagine the change happening in the features, in the details of how they look and the colours updating. Notice the sound of the voice beginning to change, the tonality and pace of what is being said. Notice how it makes you feel to see this person.
Really create the change, I love this part because of my penchant for sci-fi and fantasy films where this happens a great deal! Once you have got the old critic transformed into the new person, then move on to the next step.
Step Five: If there was some kind of positive intention behind the critic’s previous dialogue, then now is the time to refer to it and let the new voice start to encourage you and support you with the same positive intention. If there was no positive intention that you could decipher, then let the new person start to encourage and support you – let it say the words to you that are undeniably convincing that they mean well, that you belief unconditionally and let them be words that make sure you take action, or that change how you respond to that situation, or that empower you, or that really put a smile on your face.
You’ll know what is most useful for you in this situation, so let that start to happen. Let that be said.
Start to notice the words of encouragement are dominating your mind, filling your mind with progressive sentiments in that situation and notice the words beginning to appear in written form, in bright colours and with more pronounced sounds.
As you focus on the progressive words repeating themselves in your mind, let them effect your feelings. Notice the good feelings growing and developing and even imagine them spreading through your body in some way.
Take all the time you need to spread relaxing and enjoyably good feelings throughout your body while the encouraging, positive dialogue persists in your mind, then move on to the next step.
Step Six: Now imagine a time in the future when you’ll be in a similar situation. Really be there in that place and in that scenario. Then start to let the positive, progressive internal dialogue start to play inside your mind. Mentally rehearse the new voice dominating your mind in that situation.
Notice how this changes things for you. Notice how you behave as a result of the internal dialogue, how you take action, how you feel good – notice what is different.
Tell yourself that this is how you communicate with yourself in the future and that each time you practice this process you become more naturally inclined to let go of the old unwanted critic and enjoy the new, progressive encouraging internal dialogue.
With that completed, move on to the final step.
Step Seven: Exit hypnosis with a couple of deep breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes. Remind yourself of the new, progressive internal dialogue and think about going and putting yourself in that situation where you can become encouraged by it.
Then that is it… Enjoy it, practice it a few times and then let that voice inspire you, motivate you, drive you and support you.
We have a double bank holiday here this weekend as we celebrate the Queens jubilee and so I’ll be back after those shenanigans have taken place. Until then, get your internal dialogue working for you.
If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:
1. Has your inner critic held you back and/or is it still doing so now?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason.
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others to tame their inner critic?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom a negative thought process is detrimentally effecting the success of your business?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Self-hypnosis is a great way to help elevate mood and tame an inner critic. If you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, 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.