Who do you think you are?
This is such an interesting question, and I wonder how many people really spend time thinking about it? Why do we see the world in the way that we do, even if we don’t like all of our own traits? Simply put, why are you... you?
Back in Ancient Greece, in the year 384 BC, the famous Greek Philosopher Aristotle was born. He stated 'give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man'.
The general interpretation of this is to say that once a child reaches the age of seven, his characteristics and personality have already been formed - the man already exists within the child.
More recently, Bruce Lipton, who is an American developmental biologist, added his own thoughts to this. He speaks of these first years of a child’s life as being a time when the child has no real consciousness but is very busy downloading the programmes that will be required for the future.
Amazingly, the size of a child’s brain doubles within the first year of its birth, and by the age of five, 90% of the brain will already have been developed. This means that our personalities are already formed during this time too, based on all of our positive and negative interactions with the world, the people around us, and our unique experiences.
It’s not surprising to note that children who have had more positive experiences during these formative years go on to become healthier and more successful adults too.
So, what can we do if there are problems? What if we didn’t have the most nurturing upbringing in the world? Most of us can’t even consciously remember what happened to us, or what might have influenced us, at such a young age. Are we doomed forever, stuck in this mindset that we don’t want?
The answer is no, we are not stuck.
Why we can change
It wasn’t until the 1970’s that research proved the theory of what is called 'neuroplasticity' - in other words, 'plastic brain'. Up until that point, it was considered that we were pretty much locked into the behaviours and learnings from our developmental years. We now know that change is entirely possible, and there are a couple of ways in which this can be achieved.
One way we can make changes is by repetition. Repetition of any behaviour will create new skill sets, and these will become our habits. This is how routines are formed. Depending on what we want to achieve, however, sometimes it can feel difficult to repeat a new behaviour that feels alien to us.
Another way to create change is by accessing the subconscious mind, where all our habits and behaviours exist as templates. This is the part of the mind that allows us to go through life almost on auto-pilot - we do the same things over and over again, almost without thinking about them. When I make a cup of tea, it’s automatic, and when I drive on a familiar route it’s automatic too. Consciously there is not a lot of thought going on about these processes, or any others that are familiar actions. I don’t have to think about walking or talking, for example - I just do it naturally.
Sadly, because the subconscious mind isn’t an intellect, it doesn’t actually have any judgement about whether a behaviour is beneficial to us or unhelpful. What’s more, it tries to protect the programming that is already in place. Because this is so, we can sabotage ourselves in many different ways. The conscious mind may want to follow one particular course of action, but the subconscious mind resists, and this creates conflict.
- Conscious mind says "I want to lose weight, I will eat a salad"
- Subconscious mind says "I always eat chocolate after dinner. I want to do what I’ve always done"
- Conscious mind says "I’d love to spend some time visiting relatives in Australia"
- Subconscious mind says "Flying is dangerous, you have no control. I won’t let you do it"
- Conscious mind says "If I can do this presentation at work, it will help my status and I may even get a promotion. I know my stuff, I can do it"
- Subconscious mind says "You will be stepping away from the safety of the group, into the spotlight. You will be putting yourself at risk of failure and ridicule. I won’t let you do it"
I’m sure you get the picture.
How do we access the subconscious mind?
The easiest and most successful way of accessing the subconscious mind is through hypnosis. During this state of awareness, the brain can make changes, installing new behaviours and new programmes at a very deep level. This is how smokers can stop smoking immediately without even craving a cigarette, and how people can create the right mindset to help them with most of their life goals and ambitions.
Hypnotherapy can create an absolutely perfect environment to calm down that subconscious 'primitive' part of the brain so that new programming can be installed, and as we know from our experience of computers, if we are running outdated software, then it doesn’t matter if we have the best hardware in the world, we won’t get very far.
Hypnotherapy can make amazing changes where other therapies fail, and that’s why so many people enjoy the experience of trance to make the changes they want in their lives.