Taking control of your life requires you to eliminate factors that prevent growth. We have already discussed SDSs and fear, but two other emotions need to be presented. These are guilt and worry, two absolutely useless and potentially dangerous emotions.
Guilt is the result of over-obsessing about mistakes made in the past. This results in a present immobilization of your thoughts and feelings over behavior that is past. You now tend to focus on a former event, feel dejected or angry about something you did or said, and use up your present moments being occupied with feelings concerning past attitudes.
When you feel guilty, what you are actually doing is reminding yourself that you’ve been a bad person because of something you said or didn’t say, felt or didn’t feel, did or didn’t do. You respond by feeling bad in your present moment. You are brainwashed to believe that when you really care about anyone or anything, you show this concern by feeling guilty about the terrible things you’ve done, or by giving some visible evidence that you are concerned about someone’s future. Do you really have to exhibit a neurosis to be considered a caring person? I classify guilt as a useless and potentially dangerous emotion because you are feeling immobilized in the present over something that has already taken place and no amount of guilt can ever change history.
Growth is learning from your past and resolving not to repeat mistakes. This form of learning is a healthy and necessary component of our empowerment. When you are prevented from taking action now as a result of immobilization brought on by guilt, you are compromising any potential growth.
We use guilt to displace responsibility for our behavior from ourselves to others. This blame game (“You made me feel guilty.”) is a no-win SDS. Winning the approval of others can be another pay-off for feeling guilty. Even though these individuals may not approve of your behavior, by feeling guilty you are showing that you know the proper way to behave and are making an attempt to fit in.
One last psychological reward for guilt is an attempt to win pity from others. Your priorities have shifted from earning acceptance and respect to one of having others feel sorry for you. The above “dividends” of guilt represent a low self image. Guilt is a choice, something that you exercise control over. If you don’t like it and would prefer to make it go away so that you are entirely “guilt-free,” here are some beginning strategies for eliminating guilt and placing yourself in a better position to custom design your own destiny:
• Objectively list the current things in your life that you have been avoiding due to guilt feelings about the past. You will facilitate the elimination of this guilt by working on these issues.
• Accept certain things about yourself that you’ve chosen but which others may dislike. Winning your own approval is the first step to depending on the acceptance of others.
• Assertively confront others in your life who attempt to manipulate you with guilt and inform them that you will no longer accept this behavior. You will find that the behavior of others will begin to change once they see that their previous effect upon you has vanished.
• Accept the fact that regardless of how disappointing a past event was, there is nothing you can do to change this circumstance. Feeling guilty about it will not change the past, nor make you a better person.
• Reconstruct your system of values to eliminate those that are impossible to achieve or are just plain superficial. Develop a new set of values and ethics that are more realistic and not imposed by others. Keep room in your value system for change and growth.
• Take a realistic look at the most common and strongest aspects of your life associated with guilt. Eliminate all of those useless and self-destructive attachments and apply the new value system you established in the previous step.
Worry is defined as being immobilized in the present as a result of things that you think are going or not going to happen in the future. Worry is the contrivance that keeps you immobilized in the now about something in the future– frequently something over which you have no control.
Planning for a more desirable future is not worry. It is only when you exhibit this immobilization component that planning becomes worry.
There is absolutely no benefit to be gained by worrying. It will not ensure success and most certainly is not a characteristic of empowerment. Worry will create problems and add undue stress and anxiety to your life. By definition, most worry is about factors over which you have no control.
The following list encompasses what most of my patients appear to worry about:
• The economy.
• Health issues. This includes weight, smoking, heart attack fears, etc.
• Their job.
• The happiness of their spouse.
• The weather.
• Public speaking.
• Their children and other family members.
• Paying bills.
• An afterlife.
• The death of parents, grandparents, etc.
• What others think.
• The car breaking down.
Worry brings with it certain psychological payoffs. Among these are the following:
• It prevents you from accomplishing activities and feeds into procrastination.
• This behavior enables you to avoid dealing with something uncomfortable currently in your life by immobilizing your thoughts, feelings and actions over something else in the future.
• Secondary gain and self-pity is fostered by the psychosomatic syndromes that can often be exhibited by this worry. Examples are cramps, headache, hypertension, backaches and ulcers.
• Worrying can be used to rationalize the fact that you are a caring person.
• This behavior can help you justify your SDSs. You can worry about what would happen if you eliminated these negative patterns. How would you handle empowered behavior? By avoiding changing, worry prevents you from seeing the truth about yourself.
Sample Exercises For Eliminating Worry
• Illustrate the absurdity of your worry by asking yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen to me and what is the likelihood of it occurring?”
• Reorganize your thought processes by viewing your present awareness as a time to live, not to obsess about the future. Initiate actions to accomplish your current goals. Action is the best way to eliminate worry.
• Today begin an activity that goes completely contrary to a current worry. Do something that is opposite to your behavior. For example, if you are continually late for work, arrive 30 minutes early. Surprise everyone, including yourself.
• Use productive thought and planning to eliminate your worry and to develop empowering behavior patterns.
• List all the things you have worried about during the past week, and see how your life has improved. When you prove to yourself that worry has neither accomplished anything positive nor assisted you in solving some problem, you have made a good start in the elimination of this useless emotion.
As you may have observed, the key to the elimination of both guilt and worry centers on the present moment. Learn to live now and not waste your current moments in immobilizing thoughts about the past or future. Try this self-hypnosis script to achieve this goal. For this exercise use the first person “I” and “my” if you are recording your own tape. On my professionally recorded tapes I substitute “you” and “your.” You can also do this if you are making a tape for someone else:
I am at peace with myself and my past. I forgive myself. I learn from the past and I release it. Every day, I feel better and better, all over, in every way. I am positive and my life becomes positive. I now see problems only as opportunities. I become positive and optimistic. I now develop clarity about my desires and goals. I evaluate the potentials and decide what I want. I now have the courage to make life-changing decisions. I now let go of all fears. I am self-assured and confident about my future. I draw joyous experiences into my life. I create a positive new life. I create my own reality, and I create a beautiful life. I release myself. I am free. I am confident and secure. I retain a calm, optimistic outlook.
I feel powerful and in control. My mind is calm and I think positive thoughts. I now accept the things I cannot change, and change the things I can. I create a happy, successful new reality. I am self-confident and self-reliant. I am worthy and deserving. I let go of the past, am responsible to the present, and create a positive new future. I release my fears, and manifest my desires. I deserve love, prosperity and happiness. I mentally, emotionally and spiritually detach from all forms of negativity and negative people. From this moment on I will project a positive, loving, self-confident and empowered self-image that will permanently eliminate any previous guilt and worry from my awareness. Mentally see yourself incorporating these suggestions into your new reality and functioning as a spiritually empowered soul.
Play New Age Music For 3 Minutes
1.Visualize yourself in your favorite relaxing environment. This may be the beach, a park or a cabin in the woods. Add the sounds of nature and the time of year you enjoy most.
2. Imagine yourself walking along in your favorite environment while looking up at the sky. You notice a rainbow has appeared and you focus your attention on the colors. You see red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and violet.
3. As you stare at this rainbow, you realize that as long as you can see it you can accomplish anything you want to do. It is not necessary for this rainbow to be present for you to accomplish your goal, but its presence assures a successful attainment of any quest.
4. Sit down now and think of the kind of person you would like to become, a person completely free from guilt and worry. Review personality traits, health issues, finances and relationships. Focus on specific goals and aspects of your personality. Look up again and note the rainbow. You are now able to accomplish this goal of becoming who you want to be. All of your guilt and worries have now disappeared. Do this now.
Play New Age Music For 4 Minutes
End your trance as usual.
Taking Control Of Your Weight
If I had to state the most common therapeutic issue I treat in my Los Angeles office, it would be weight control. Recent studies have shown that sixty percent of Americans are overweight and one-third of the population is obese (weight more than twenty percent of their recommended weight). You will not project or represent an image of empowerment if you can’t control your weight. Losing weight is really not difficult with self-hypnosis. In addition to being relatively simple, it’s a lot of fun.
I’m sure I don’t have to convince you of the problems encountered with being overweight. Obesity is a serious and unnecessary health hazard. It shortens your lifespan, interferes with your sex life and in today’s society represents a red flag that you are not a happy camper. Losing weight will assist you in taking control of your life because:
• It will change your personality by giving you greater self-confidence, a sense of pride, a feeling of accomplishment.
• It will make you less tired and sluggish.
• It will make you more popular with the opposite sex and improve your sex life.
• It will give you the inspiration to conquer other challenging problems.
• It will prolong your life.
• It will give you the added confidence to develop a better attitude toward other health issues.
• It will enable you to assist others in losing weight by you becoming an example of just what self can do.
• It will assist you in your quest to custom design your own reality.
• Use the rapid self-hypnosis exercise to program motivation to lose weight. Make a firm decision to begin this program today.
• Reinforce all of the positive reasons why you want to lose weight. Add to my list and do this daily.
• Objectively assess your eating habits and look for obvious areas to change your diet.
• Globally assess your reasons for overeating. Are you frustrated with your job, sexually unfulfilled, or compensating for other unmet needs.
• Make a list of all the foods you routinely eat that are bad for you. Construct another list of foods that you like and are healthful and low in calories.
• Program yourself daily that you can and will maintain your ideal weight.
Here is a script for weight reduction using self-hypnosis. Use either the basic self-hypnosis exercise or the rapid self hypnosis method prior to using these scripts. As I mentioned earlier, tapes work better:
Being overweight is unhealthful. You need your body to live. You owe your body this respect and protection. You have the power to reprogram your subconscious mind to reverse the prior thoughts of overeating and thinking of yourself as being overweight. You will, starting today, reprogram your subconscious to think of yourself as being thin and eating only the foods that are healthful and necessary for your body. You are going to lose all the weight that you desire to lose, and you are going to do this starting today. You will associate this relaxed state that you are now in with a relaxed attitude about losing weight. You will not need to count calories. As you lose weight you will gain more confidence and find further weight reduction easier. When you eat you will cut your food into small pieces and chew them slowly and completely before swallowing. Eat only one mouthful of food at a time. You will find that by eating slowly and smaller portions, you will enjoy your meals better and eat less food. You will find that halfway through a meal you will feel full. When this happens you will stop eating. You will never, never eat when you are not hungry.
Repeat these statements to yourself:
1. I will get more filling satisfaction from less food every day.
2. I will eat slowly and only at mealtimes sparingly and properly.
3. I am losing weight steadily every week.
4. I am becoming slim and in better shape.
5. I have a stronger feeling every day that I am in complete control of my eating habits.
6. I am developing a greater liking every day for the foods that help keep me slim and in better shape.
Remember, if you repeatedly deny satisfaction to a hunger pang, the desire eventually goes away. From this moment on you will not think of yourself as being overweight. Every time such a thought comes into your mind, it programs your subconscious negatively. So you will now monitor your thoughts. Any thoughts or actions that come to your mind about your being overweight will be canceled out by your saying to yourself, “I am thin. I am thin.” From this moment on you are only going to eat those foods that are necessary to keep you healthy and mentally alert.
You are going to eat smaller portions of the foods necessary to keep you mentally alert and healthy. You will desire no more. You will be totally aware of eating – no longer eating by habit. From this moment on you will no longer eat between meals, or while watching TV, and you will have absolutely no desire to eat between meals or while watching TV.
You are going to set a realistic goal for your excess weight and you will carry it out successfully. Decide how many pounds you can realistically lose every week and you will lose this exact amount. Now repeat to yourself the realistic amount of weight that you can lose each week until you reach your ideal weight of __________ pounds.
You will find it easier and easier every day to stick to a reducing diet. You will enjoy smaller meals. The irritation and annoyances of everyday life are rolling off you like water off a duck’s back. You will thoroughly enjoy the foods that are good for you.
You will gradually lose your craving for those, which will lead to the accumulation of fat and retention of fluids. Even when you cut out carbohydrate foods (including cakes and pastries), foods rich in starch, sweets, etc., there are still plenty of appetizing foods – salads, fruits, etc., which will begin to appeal to you more and more, as you eat more slowly. Thus you really enjoy the sight, smell and flavor. Consequently you will no longer be tempted into eating between meals and will have less and less difficulty in avoiding foods that are fattening.
You will exercise more each day and drink more water. As you gradually lose weight, you will become much healthier and fitter. Your personal appearance will improve. Every day, your desire and determination to stick to your diet and change your former eating habits will increase to such an extent that it will completely over whelm any temptation to depart from it. The temptation will eventually disappear. Some people fear being thin. But you don’t have to fear losing weight. No matter why you gained the weight, for whatever reasons you became a compulsive eater, it is no longer important. What is important is that you have decided to change your eating habits, so that you can reach your desired goal – the image, shape, weight and size you desire. It doesn’t really come into account whether you are fat or thin. You are still the same person. You still have the same power, the same personality, the same inner reality—no matter what your body shape, weight or size is. There is no need to fear losing any of your self when you lose weight. As the weight and inches roll off, as you control your eating habits, you remain the same you, only more trim. You do not need to fear that you are losing any of your protection. You are the same person. Don’t wait until you lose all the weight to become the person you want to be, if you want to be someone different. Wear the clothes now that project your image. Sit, walk, and act with your thin personality. Don’t worry about hiding the fat.
Wearing fat clothes doesn’t hide the fat. They only make you feel worse. So wear the clothes that you want to wear, that project the real you, now, as you are losing the weight. This will reinforce your desire to reach your goal. As that extra weight begins to roll off, to melt away, to disappear, you are totally comfortable with your emerging fit and slender body. You are perfectly contented and at ease with the emerging slim, trim and slender you. You are in control of your eating habits. You are in control of your life. You are in control of losing weight and you are in control of your personality and your body. And you are perfectly happy with the inner you that remains as you lose weight and inches. I truly believe that you are capable of dieting successfully and effortlessly to achieve and maintain your ideal weight of _________ pounds. You will be guided by the natural powers within you to achieve and maintain this healthy and attractive body.
Whenever you are tempted to eat fattening food or to violate any of these suggestions, you will automatically ask yourself if you really want to indulge. If you do want to, you will, but you will find that you prefer to exercise the hypnotic techniques and suggestions I have given you to reach and maintain your ideal weight.
Weight Reduction Visualization
Imagine yourself being at your ideal weight. See a friend/mate shopping with you. He/she is amazed at your thin appearance. Now visualize two tables in front of you. One table on the right has all the foods you like that add unwanted weight, list examples. Now draw a large red X through the table and imagine looking at yourself in a mirror (one that makes you appear very wide and short – like a carnival mirror). The table on the left contains all the food that is healthful and will not add unwanted weight – fish, vegetables, eggs, lean meat, etc. Now draw a large yellow check through the table and imagine looking at yourself in a mirror (one that makes you appear tall and thin). Mentally tell yourself that you desire only the foods on the check-marked table. Imagine your friends, family, parents telling you how great you look by (specify a date) weighing only __________ pounds.
Visualize a photograph of yourself at your ideal weight. Visualize a photograph of yourself at your present weight. Now focus on the photograph of yourself at your ideal weight. The other photograph disappears. Imagine how it will feel at your ideal weight of _________ pounds to bend over to tie your shoelace, walk, jog, wear a bathing suit on the beach. Now, mentally select an ideal diet that will help you reach your ideal weight of______ pounds. Tell yourself that this is all the food your body will need or desire and it will not send hunger pangs for more.
One of the characteristics of failure that you are wise to avoid is frustration. Frustration brings with it excessive emotional feelings of deep dissatisfaction and futility. When frustration is chronic, it usually implies that your goals are unrealistic, or your self-image is too low, or both. Frustration has a tendency to result in aggressive behavior. I recommend any type of physical exercise to dispel this aggression. The best channel of all for aggression is to use it up as it is intended to be used, in working toward some goal. Work remains one of the best therapies, and one of the best tranquilizers for a troubled spirit. Naturally, you are to continue with your self hypnosis exercises to reprogram your subconscious while this is occurring.
Another aspect of your personality to eliminate on your road to success is resentment. Resentment is an attempt to eradicate a real or imagined injustice that occurred at some time in the past. This is no-win situation because you simply cannot change the past.
A vicious cycle now begins and you habitually feel that you are a victim of injustice; you begin to picture yourself in the role of a victimized person. You carry around an inner feeling looking for an external peg to hang itself on. It is then easy to see “evidence” of injustice, or fancy you have been wronged, in the most innocent remark or neutral circumstance. All this does is lead to self-pity and a lowered self-image.
It is your own response that causes this resentment. You can control it if you firmly convince yourself that resentment and self-pity are not ways to happiness and success, but ways to defeat and unhappiness. Remember, not everyone around you responded to this event with resentment.
If you allow resentment to dominate your emotions, you are incorporating an inappropriate belief that only impedes your ability to attain goals of success and happiness. The last thing you want to do is turn destiny into fate. Take the word of someone who has accomplished many goals by applying the presented techniques; your life becomes worthwhile when you have worthwhile goals.
When you are actively engaged in achieving goals, you become optimistic and this will improve your self-image dramatically. Others will quickly notice the new you. Another helpful hint is to eliminate the tendency to confuse our “self” with our behavior. The fact that you did something does not characterize you as that type of person. For example, to say “I failed” (verb form) is but to recognize an error, and can help lead to future success. But to say, “I am a failure” (noun form) does not describe what you did, but what you think the mistake did to you. This does not contribute to learning, but tends to “fixate” the mistake and make it permanent. We seem to recognize that all children, in learning to walk, will occasionally fall. We say “He fell.” or “He stumbled.” We do not say “He is a faller.” or “She is a stumbler.”
The visual imagery exercise previously presented offered you the opportunity to succeed at little things in your life now. If we are habitually frustrated by failure, we are very apt to acquire habitual “feelings of failure” that color all new undertakings. But by arranging things so that we can succeed in little endeavors, we can build an atmosphere of success that will carry over into larger undertakings. We can gradually pursue more difficult tasks, and after succeeding in them, be in a position to try something even more challenging. Success is literally built upon success and there is much truth in the saying, “Nothing succeeds like success.”
As an exercise I would like you to think of some success you have had in the past. It doesn’t matter how long ago it took place or how small an achievement it was. The feeling of success you felt is more significant than the actual accomplishment. Take a few moments and use the rapid self-hypnosis exercise to relieve this successful experience.
As a follow-up exercise, keeping in this same frame of mind and preserving that success feeling, visualize a current or future project being accomplished and at its conclusion, emanating this same successful feeling you have now.