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Feeling Blocked?

Determine if the block needs to be there in the first place.

The other day, I was out to lunch with my wife, Beverly Craddock, also a hypnotist at Hawaii Hypnosis Center, and I heard a young woman complaining to a friend that she was having trouble trusting her boyfriend. She knew he was a good guy, but past relationships with cheating boyfriends seemed to weigh on her mind. She told her friend that she was trying to “get over it,” but she really felt like something was preventing that.

It reminded me of a recent client that said he was having trouble cold calling clients. It was an important part of his sales job, but he just hated doing it. He was getting anxious just being at his desk and seeing the phone sitting there. He told me, with a bit of frustration in his voice, that he was really having trouble “getting past” the problem.

That which holds us back from doing the things we want to do are sometimes called “blocks.” It always strikes me how literal the mind is when I hear people refer to these blocks in terms of “getting over it” or “getting past it.” Often times, clients will describe these blocks as they would describe a wall or a fence.

One of the things we know as hypnotists is that the subconscious mind is not using these blocks to keep us from being successful, it’s doing a different and more important job: It’s trying to protect us from something that has hurt us in the past.

The woman talking about trust in her relationship was fighting against her subconscious mind’s desire to protect her from more emotional pain. The man was fighting against the fear of rejection that he had developed as a young person long before his sales career.

“People generally fight their blocks,” says Beverly. “And that’s where frustration and bad decision making come into play.”

Beverly recommends discovering the reason that the block exists. Most people will understand the fear but try to rationalize it. They tell themselves they’re being silly or oversensitive; however, by doing that they actually advance the problem. Not only do they have the original problem of the block, but now they have an internal voice telling them they’re foolish for having the block.

“The best way around a block is to help your subconscious mind determine if the block needs to be there in the first place,” Beverly explains. “This requires finding that moment when the block was created.”

Blocks don’t start out as big boulders in our mind. They begin as a speed bump but get reinforced and built up as we travel through life. The thing that we’ve learned as we’ve worked with thousands of clients is that the origin of these blocks is often bad information.

Here’s a quick example from my life: In seventh grade, I went to my first school dance. Nobody wanted to look stupid in front of the other kids, so nobody was dancing. I looked across the gym and saw Susie Cooper. I gathered up all of my seventh grade courage and asked her to dance. She looked at me and said, "No." I went back across the gym and started telling myself a story about that interaction, with the following title: “What's wrong with me?” This story affected much of my life. From then on, I was too scared to talk to girls. Every time I would try, I would get nervous. Most times, I would just give in to the fear and walk away. I had a “talking to girls block.”

If we look at my situation from a bigger perspective, we learn some important things: It's possible that Susie didn't know how to dance. Maybe Susie said no because her friends didn’t have anyone to dance with and she felt bad for them. Maybe she wanted Bobby to dance with her. In none of those situations do I actually come into the equation. You see, it’s entirely possible that my block was built on a misinterpretation made by my fragile seventh grade mind.

Even if Susie didn’t like me, I probably don’t need to be carrying around that block for 30-plus years. The block is based on old information. I’m not the same person anymore, and the things I cared about back then are completely different now.

“If you can work with the block, you’ll generally find that you can alter its foundation,” Beverly concludes. “Hypnosis helps quickly find those origins and resolve them, which is why so many people are using it successfully to advance in their relationships, careers and with health goals.”

For the client that came to me afraid of cold calls, he was able to find that rejection of a sales proposal wasn’t a rejection of him personally but rather a rejection of a product. And to the young woman in the restaurant: I hope you discover that the trust block you have is based on a bad person or two you were involved with and not based on you—so it doesn’t have to move forward with you.

Randy Hampton is a writer, social scientist, hypnotist and blogger living in Honolulu. 

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