Freedom from self-doubt using hypnotherapy

My first client as a clinical hypnotherapist and life coach was a very attractive, intelligent lady who was incredibly shy. She was an ex-infant teacher, recently retired from her calling, but had found that the world of retirement was becoming increasingly difficult and isolating because she had a dread fear of meeting new people and felt incapable of making small talk. She had a couple of friends who had tried to include her in their 'ladies who lunch' circles but they were becoming exasperated with her as she kept cancelling at the last minute. Just thinking about what she would wear, what she would say and what people would think about her caused her to develop a panic attack. She really needed help!

It was interesting that this lady was comfortable in the classroom and very confident about what she was teaching her pupils. The age group she had responsibility for were not, on the whole, expected to challenge what they were being taught or even have a view on the world. I discovered that it was the thought that her philosophies, likes and dislikes might be considered topics for discussion and be judged which was the main reason for her withdrawal. How would she find the words to defend herself? What if she became totally tongue-tied - then she would look a fool! 'What if's' were ruining her life.

Eleanor Roosevelt said ‘No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent’.The only reason for feeling insecure and intimidated is the way we think about ourselves. If we think the worst, then we will create negative emotions which cause our body to release stress hormones. Stress hormones make us want to run away, fight or freeze; this lady was running away because her fear was such that she expected she would freeze when she got into a situation which her mind interpreted as intimidating. 

Using coaching and clinical hypnotherapy, I was able to reassure this lady that she was as worthy a person in her new life as a retiree as she had been in her old life as a teacher. After all, she was married and had children who loved her - and she had friends who cared for her. The negative self-talk and thinking which had become an ingrained habit had to change. New neural pathways were created using NLP techniques, metaphor and positive visualisation and an ear-worm which said 'Of course you can' every time she started doubting herself.

And the results have been startling! She is a changed woman. She now has a full social life and has even taken a part-time job teaching adults. She is confident, self-assured and never turns down an invitation to go out for lunch!

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