“Feel good about myself? What’s there to feel good about?” she asked me. And she meant it, I could tell by her confrontative looks.
Now I could have told her a thousand things. You know, the usual stuff: Hey, feel good about yourself because you’re healthy – you’ve got all ten fingers, two legs, you can see without glasses, and so on.
I could have also told her that there are people who like her, people who love her, people who care for her (and in her case it was true). And that this is a great luck, and that many people would be incredibly grateful about it.
But all these rational reasons usually have very little impact. It’s just a way of feeding the mind, but in situations like these, the mind is like a black hole which devours everything.
What I really needed to do was to get access to the underlying subconscious pattern that made her feel bad about herself.
So how do you do that?
Well, first of all, you need to keep the conscious mind busy and occupied. This way you reduce the effectiveness of self-sabotage-strategies which people who feel bad about themselves often habitually use.
In her case, I told her to make a list of all the positive things about her life.
I know, I know. It’s a cheap and simplistic approach. But keep in mind that this was a disctraction maneuver, and not the actual intervention. It was just part of the set up to move things the right way.
Then I told her to pick the clothes that she felt best in for the next time she would come to my office. She had to choose the clothes that would make her feel the most comfortable – and I left it up to her to decide whether that would be a pyjama or a gala dinner dress or anything in between.
Again, just another part of the set up.
And I told her to watch at least one really silly, stupid funny video clip a day that would make her laugh. And then she would have to tell me which clip made her laugh for each day that passed (she would come to see me again in 7 days in my practice).
And when she actually did come, I just did a simple hypnotic induction with her, anchoring certain emotional states and utilizing these anchors to install a better strategy. She left the session feeling not good about herself. But next time she came, she told me: “You know, I still don’t believe that those funny clips or your hypnosis actually worked. But I do feel good about myself now! I just came to see if there is anything else that I should do to make sure it stays that way?”
I thought it was kind of funny that this change happened exactly after that intervention, and that she didn’t believe it had anything to do with the hypnosis, but still asked me if there was anything else she should do. I told her it was fine, and she should just cherish herself and those around her, and I met her again a couple of months later accidentally and we chatted a bit, and she said “that thing” (the not feeling good about herself) was a thing long gone.
Now the good thing is – you don’t actually need to come to see me in my office, or any other hypnotist. There is an excellent hypnosis download to help you feel good about yourself, and all you need to do is to listen to it daily for a couple of weeks.