The belief and expectation system of an individual plays a powerful role in the process of hypnosis and ultimately determines the kind of outcomes they will achieve. We know that if someone really believes they can do something – i.e. stop smoking, reduce weight, exercise assertiveness etc – they will do it. Likewise if they believe that they will achieve a good level of trance they will also achieve this. If their focus is on achieving positive results and they are willing to use the power of their imagination to create lasting changes then, inevitably their expectations will be met.
However, the reverse is also true. For example, if a person cannot believe in the probability of their own success they will end up resisting the hypnotic suggestions; what they fail to understand is that whatever they believe in forms their reality and determines the quality of their experiences. From this standpoint, they are unlikely to create different results for themselves and will probably be difficult to hypnotise. Ultimately, they are unwilling to imagine themselves living a life free from their destructive habits and behaviours, and instead choose to believe in their own strength of mind as a powerful force to guard against, what they consider to be, a loss of control in hypnosis.
Anyone who says “I can’t be hypnotised” or I’m too strong – my mind is too strong” is really limiting their own expectations and their ability to experience trance/hypnosis; and in fact, the stronger the mind is the stronger the trance will be. If someone believes and can imagine themselves being hypnotised, is convinced that their therapist can guide them easily into hypnosis and expects to be hypnotised without any reservations, then they will be hypnotised.
Roy Hunter in the Art of Hypnosis states that long term success depends on the following Hypnotic Formula: Belief + imagination + conviction + expectation = results. In summary, whatever a person imagines, believes, expects and is convinced will happen as a result of therapy will be manifested in their reality.
Finally, as all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, only those individuals who are willing to enter trance with an open mind and a sense of curious expectancy will experience optimum results.
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