Confidence With Hypnosis: Top 12 Tips For Hypnotherapists Just Starting Out (And The Rest Of You Too)

I get a lot of questions from folks who are just starting out. They’re in the middle of training or they’ve just finished and they don’t yet feel confident in what they do. Here are a few pieces of advice…

My Top Twelve Tips For Those Of You Who Are Just Starting Out

Confident

1) You can feel a lack of confidence and still do just fine. You don’t have to feel confident.

2) Separate the idea of confidence from the idea of competence. Feeling confident and being good are two different things. We all know lots of folks who think they’re good but they’re not. We also know people who don’t feel like they do a good job, but do. A feeling of confidence is a factor but it is not the factor. Don’t take either confidence or a lack of it too seriously.

3) Feeling a lack of confidence means your attention probably needs to be re-directed. When you’re working with a client, make sure all your sensory channels are occupied with incoming data. Feeling a lack of confidence means you’re spending energy thinking about how you are doing. That energy and attention should be focused on the client and their responses to what you are doing.

4) You don’t have to know what you’re going to do; you just have to know where to start. If I don’t know what to do in a session I always remind myself that I can ask the client what they want to accomplish. As soon as they do and as long as my attention is outward rather than inward, I start gathering information when they answer. That information tells me what to do next.

5) You can always fall back to direct suggestion hypnosis. Direct suggestion (where you hypnotize someone and tell them what to do) is more effective than a ton of treatments that are out there. Many times you can make progress without fancier techniques The bottom line is, is someone wants to accomplish something or wants to avoid something, you can hypnotize them and tell them to go ahead and do that.

6) Learning hypnosis/NLP is not an event, it’s a process. I often get questions about whether or not a particular program or education will teach someone “everything” about hypnosis or NLP. No, it won’t. You will never learn everything but you continue to learn more as you go. If you view learning as an end point, you’ll never get there. It’s a process which continues. Point yourself toward more.

7) You can fail, it’s fine. Feel free to blow it now and then. You can always give someone their money back if you feel you weren’t up to par.

8) Trust your instincts and know when to walk away or refer. Sometimes, things go wrong. In many cases, it’s because we don’t trust our instincts.

9) Use the tools you would use to help others to help yourself. Hypnotize yourself and give yourself suggestions. Future Pace. When you make mistakes, run them through a process such as the New Behavior Generator that will help you adapt and refine your skills.

10) Base your future education on what you need. There is a ton of NLP & hypnosis info available. Some of the people pushing it are nutbags. Almost anyone can put together a good story as to why you should buy from them. Rather than let marketing drive what you do, let your own sense of where you could improve drive what you seek. If you feel like you need help with rapport, learn more about rapport. If the regression technique you’re using isn’t working to your satisfaction, search out new techniques. And so on.

11) Remember, you are one of the good guys.

12) You should start. Really. Whatever you know how to do now is very likely beneficial. Knowing more is good but you don’t need to know whatever technique you think is going to put you over the top. Don’t fall for any marketing (including mine), that tells you that you need to know something else before you get started. You should start. Really.

Enjoy,

Keith

PS: Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave them below.

About The Author:

Keith Livingston is the main instructor for Hypnosis 101. Keith has been studying hypnosis since he was a boy and doing hypnosis & NLP training since 1997.

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  1. Mr Livingston, great article! Loved the 12 tips. The one that always worked for me is to always return to focusing on the client as well always remember the basics and then just regroup. I just finshed your home study course on how to hypnotize; it is great! I have been practicing for 12 years and still learned more. A great course! I enjoy your newsletters and website! Hope to meet you someday. My best wishes for you always
    Raphael J Zamarron RN

  2. Very good advice. I particularly like ‘confidence is not competence’. I think too much confidence can be as bad as too little. We should all be prepared to question ourselves. I think that Trevor Sylvester of The Quest Institute sums it up well when he says therapists should have “strong opinions weakly held”.

  3. Great tips. After 26 years I’ve found that if we listen to the clients (including between the lines) they tell you what you need to tell them in trance state.

  4. I like that you mentioned that you always ask the client what they want to accomplish. I think that if you are going to help someone then you might need to know what they are trying to do. I think that it is important to be open to all answers whenever you are doing anything.

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