Myths and MisconceptionsIt's Not What You Think
Many people still associate hypnosis with the stereotypical image of a mysterious robed-and turban-clad man swinging a pendulum in front of a comatose subject saying “You are in my power.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In actuality, a hypnotized subject is in full control of himself. The relationship between the hypnotist and the subject is not a power struggle. The hypnotist is a facilitator and works with the subject to explore the subconscious mind.
Some other popular misconceptions are that private thoughts and secrets might be revealed or that the hypnotist might “make me bark like a dog or cluck like a chicken”. Can a hypnotist make you do something that is embarrassing, shocking or irreversible? The answer is no, you cannot be “made” to violate your own values or accepted patterns of behavior.
Fear of Loss of Control
A hypnotized subject is in full control of himself, fully aware of everything going on around him and completely capable of making decisions. No one can make you do something that you find objectionable, that you would not do consciously if given the opportunity.
Fear of Revealing Secrets
Many people think if they are hypnotized they will have no choice but to obey the commands given to them and might reveal their deepest secrets. Not True. Under hypnosis the subject has greater awareness than when wide awake and retains full power of selectivity. His secrets are secure. He may remember many more secrets that he was unaware of, but he will not reveal them except by choice.
Myth of the Weak Mind
It is a myth that only the weak minded or gullible can be hypnotized and in fact, quite the opposite is true. Highly intelligent and creative people who have good powers of concentration and vivid imaginations make the best hypnotic subjects.
Fear of Not Waking Up
Hypnosis is not sleep. The two states (sleep and hypnosis) are different both psychologically and physiologically. A person just does not “get stuck” in a hypnotic state. It can’t happen. Even if the hypnotist did not bring him out, the subject would come out himself in a very short time, or else he would fall into a natural sleep and wake up very naturally when he was rested.
Fear of the Trance
Use of the word itself is kind of scary, it comes from a Middle-English and Old French word transe, which meant great anxiety and fear. No wonder there are misconceptions about it. Being hypnotized creates a wonderful relaxed state where the subject is much more focused than in the normal waking state. There simply is no mysterious “feeling” to being hypnotized. If you have ever been to a movie and become completely engrossed in the story then you know what it feels like to be hypnotized.
Fear of Humiliation
Nobody want to be made to look like a fool. Unfortunately, many people base their entire knowledge of hypnosis on what they saw in a stage show. People on stage in a show volunteer to participate. They knew they would be acting silly and clowning around. They are generally uninhibited, fun-loving people (or want to be uninhibited and fun loving). Volunteer subjects expect to participate in an entertaining show and they know that the audience likewise expects to be entertained. A subject can never be induced into “hurting” himself or “fooled” in committing a crime… However, if for any reason the subject finds a suggestion objectionable, he will either refuse to participate, or he will spontaneously and completely come out of hypnosis. Therefore, if a stage subject is asked to imitate a clown or quack like a duck, he will cheerfully comply. But what if he is asked to rob a bank? Never. He would come out of hypnosis and end the show.
It is important for you to remember that a trance state can be terminated by you at any time. It is your choice to enter the trance state, and you can always choose to leave it.
Hypnosis can give you the keys to success. It is always through your own effort that change occurs. This change can affect your life minimally, or it can make a dramatic difference in your lifestyle, success and feeling of well being. You are the controlling factor.