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How to De-hypnotize Yourself from False Beliefs
“…the power of hypnosis is the power of belief. Let me repeat here Dr.
Barber’s explanation of the power of hypnosis: “We found that hypnotic subjects are able to do surprising things only when convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements … When the hypnotist has guided the subject to the point where he is convinced that the hypnotist’s words are true statements, the subject then behaves differently because he thinks and believes differently.”
The important thing for you to remember is that it does not matter in the least how you got the idea or where it came from. You may never have met a professional hypnotist. You may have never been formally hypnotized. But if you have accepted an idea-from yourself, your teachers, your parents, friends, advertisements, or any other source – and further, if you are firmly convinced that idea is true, it has the same power over you as the hypnotist’s words have over the hypnotized subject.”
Remember that this hypnotic programming gains permanence by coming from an authoritative source, through repetition, and through intensity. Deprogramming and reprogramming requires you to provide these very same factors.
Is Everyone Hypnotized?
It is no exaggeration to say that all human beings are hypnotized to some extent, either by ideas they have uncritically accepted from others, or by ideas they have repeated to themselves or convinced themselves are true. These negative ideas have exactly the same effect on our behavior as the negative ideas implanted into the mind of a hypnotized subject by a professional hypnotist.
Have you ever seen a demonstration of honest-to-goodness hypnosis? If not, let me describe just a few of the more simple phenomena that result from the hypnotist’s suggestion. The hypnotist tells a strong football player that his hand is stuck to the table and that he cannot lift it. It is not a question of the football player “not trying.” He simply cannot. He strains and struggles until the muscles of his arm and shoulder stand out like cords. But his hand remains fully rooted to the table. He tells a championship weight lifter that he cannot lift a pencil from the desk. And although normally he can hoist a 400-pound weight overhead, he now actually cannot lift the pencil.
Strangely enough, in these instances, hypnosis does not weaken the athletes. They are potentially as strong as ever. But, without realizing it consciously, they are working ‘against themselves. On the one hand they try to lift their hand or the pencil by voluntary effort, and actually contract the proper ‘ lifting muscles. But on the other hand, the idea “you cannot do it” causes contrary muscles to contract quite apart from their will. The negative idea causes them to defeat themselves; they cannot express or bring into play their actual available strength.
The gripping strength of another athlete has been tested on a dynamometer and has been found to be 100 pounds. All his effort and straining cannot budge the needle beyond the 100-pound mark. Now he is hypnotized and told, “You are very, very strong. Stronger than you have ever been in your life. Much, much stronger. You are surprised at how strong you are.” Again the gripping strength of his hand is tested. This time he easily pulls the needle to the 125 -pound mark.
Again, strangely enough, hypnosis has not added anything to his actual strength. What the hypnotic suggestion did was to overcome a negative idea that had previously prevented him from expressing his full strength. In other words, the athlete in his normal waking state had imposed a limitation on his strength by the negative belief that he could only grip 100 pounds. The hypnotist merely removed this mental block, and allowed him to express his true strength. The hypnosis literally “dehypnotized” him temporarily from his own self-limiting beliefs about himself.
We have allowed ourselves to be hypnotized by the entirely erroneous idea that “I should be like so and-so” or “I should be like everybody else.” The fallacy of the second idea can be readily seen through, if analyzed, for in truth there are no fixed standards common to everybody else. “Everybody else” is composed of individuals, no two of whom are alike.
Inferiority and superiority are reverse sides of the same coin. The cure lies in realizing that the coin itself is spurious.
The truth about you is this:
You are not “inferior.”
You are not “superior.”
You are simply “you.”
“You” as a personality are not in competition with any other personality simply because there is not another person on the face of the earth like you or in your particular class. You are an individual. You are unique. You are not “like” any other person and can never become “like” any other person. You are not supposed to be like any other person and no other person is supposed to be like you.”
Excerpted from THE NEW PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS by Dr. Maxwell Maltz