Excuse me, I'm neither a square nor a circle ...
In therapy, some can be seen as a psychological shape. Not a circle or a square, nor a triangle or even a hexagon but, instead, an almost infinitely complex shape. We all have our sharp edges and straight lines and we all have weaknesses and strengths within our structure. So, how have I been using this concept within hypnotherapy and, specifically, with regards to self-esteem?
The world is full of all of these utterly unique shapes (humans) and, within specific workplaces or families, we are often forced to be in extremely close proximity with other shapes. Some of these shapes will appeal greatly to us and may become friends or acquaintances whilst other shapes we will generally attempt to avoid. The other type of shape, which is an altogether more sinister beast, is the shape that grinds against our edges and attempts to change OUR shape. So, why would anyone want to change our shape? It could be that it is convenient, from their perspective, for us to be weaker on a certain edge or bend for them so that they can achieve a goal. Alternatively, it may be that, by making us bend/weaken, they feel better about themselves.
It is important to note that people generally do not attempt to alter our shape too quickly or aggressively for they know that we would notice and, perhaps, fight back against such change. No, people who wish to change your shape for their betterment will do so slowly and cerebrally to the degree that we do not notice until much of the change has occurred.
This is the point at which people may often approach a hypnotherapist citing ‘low self-esteem’ as the presenting issue and, as some of the reasons for their low self-esteem are analysed, it becomes apparent that they have allowed their shape to be altered by people or by circumstance. It is important to stress the previous sentence: they have allowed their shape to be altered. If one is able to accept that they have allowed themselves to be whittled down we can, therefore, presume that, by changing their behaviour, they can return to their previous, natural shape. Hypnotherapists may have experienced many hypnosis sessions with people regarding restoring themselves to their natural shape and resisting people’s continued attempts to shape them.
Often it is convenient for those around you that you become an easily definable circle or square who responds to them in a predictable and convenient manner but you are not a circle nor a square but, instead, unique and quirky. Low self-esteem is so often caused by having to act as something other than you are, but there is good news: our natural shape will always rejuvenate itself if we allow and encourage it to do so and, hypnotherapy is an excellent method of accelerating that process.