by TD Hickerson
Empowerment is about getting in touch with personal power, developing the capacity to define and achieve goals, believing in the ability to make that happen, and taking smart action. Hypnotherapy, then, can be an effective tool to cultivate personal empowerment.
Just to be clear, personal empowerment is not about wishful thinking or feeling superior. Personal empowerment is becoming familiar with the powers of choice and resilience, in order to use them to accomplish meaningful goals. It is also important to note that merely feeling empowered isn’t the same as actual empowerment. As noted by George Mason University researchers Lauren Cattaneo and Aliya Chapman in their paper, “The Process of Empowerment” (American Psychologist / October, 2010), true personal empowerment comes when feelings of empowerment are met with informed action.
Consider this example: Gwen wanted to start a business for a number of years, and while she felt that she had a lot to offer her clients, she was getting stuck at every step of the process. Thoughts kept circling in her mind: she was no good at selling, she had no idea how to make a website, she wouldn’t know what to charge, and she wouldn’t be able to handle the inevitable rejection. She didn’t feel that she had what it took to start a successful business, so when opportunities fell into her lap, her fear and uncertainty sabotaged them – she wasn’t getting back to people timely, she didn’t push her comfort zone or take calculated risks. Her business never got off the ground. She felt weak and incapable, and her results were in line with what she felt.
Contrast Gwen’s plight with the example of Grace. Just like Gwen, Grace had also wanted to start a business for a number of years. She, too, felt that she had something of value to offer her clients, and like Gwen, had no particular skills or knowledge in selling to clients, making a website, setting rates, or handling rejection. However, what she did know was that her odds of success were lowest when she felt weak and incapable.
Grace sought the support of a hypnotherapist who helped enlist her subconscious mind in the pursuit of her goals. Through hypnotherapy, her attitudes and motivation began changing in positive ways. Instead of thinking, “I’ll never succeed at starting a business,” she began thinking, “Why not me?” She reasoned that if she wanted to start a business, she had a right to try. She got in touch with her unique strengths and capitalized on them. She realized that “selling” was really an opportunity to “serve” her clients, and with this new revelation, she no longer feared or dreaded it. Over and over throughout her hypnotherapy sessions, her mind opened to reveal her inner resourcefulness. She found opportunities often and could act on them because she believed that failure was only temporary feedback. Gwen’s business became a success, not by instantaneous luck, of course, but by her steady application of personal power. She took empowered action and subsequently achieved her goals.
Why can hypnotherapy be so effective for issues around personal empowerment? Simply put, because empowerment comes from first nurturing a change of mindset (one of hypnotherapy’s strong points). Hypnotherapy gains access to the subconscious mind, to the areas of the mind where memories are stored, and ultimately where the disempowering beliefs we’ve learned reside. A professional hypnotherapist can help identify what it is about a situation that makes someone feel lousy and weak. They can help enhance the desire for positive change and help a person stay motivated to act in ways that will leave them feeling (and acting) empowered. What’s more, they can help with the negative issues of self-sabotage, the fear of success, and the exposed feeling of “being seen.”
Someone who feels more like Gwen than Grace was at some point in their life likely made to feel limited, small, ineffective or weak. A decision has to be made that personal empowerment is a birthright and not a privilege, and that action must be taken. Becoming empowered doesn’t mean becoming a millionaire or a celebrity; rather, it shows that being shackled by internal issues doesn’t have to be permanent. If someone is not happy with their present situation, they alone have the power to make different choices.
TD Hickerson is a Certified Hypnotherapist and owner of Integrative Hypnotherapy, in Worthington. For more information, call 614-304-1061 or visit Integrative-Hypnotherapy.com.