Improving motivation is at once one of the simplest and most complex applications of hypnotherapy. On the simpler side are the direct suggestions aimed at building the self-esteem necessary for an individual to realize his or her potential. This can simply involve an encouragement of the inner conviction that “you can do it!” Fostering a positive mental outlook can by itself have impressive results. In the hypnotic state these suggestions are extremely powerful, but they can also be highly effective in books (both fictional and non-fictional), in movies and when spoken by motivational speakers. There is a treasure trove of inspirational material to draw upon. But sometimes direct suggestions designed to build self-esteem and a positive mental attitude are not enough. Sometimes hidden or subconscious mental blocks can create barriers to success. And sometimes the enemy of motivation is nothing other than confusion and the failure to see new opportunity.
Confusion about what to do or where to go from here does not necessarily mean that one is suffering from low self-esteem or confidence. You can be highly motivated and yet be in a funk and at a loss about what to do about it. This funk is a sort of common depression that anyone can experience, and is the result of feeling stuck and being unable to get by the obstacles and barriers that stand in the way of what we want. When the barriers persist a sense of futility and resignation to fate can set in. Motivation becomes diminished as one frustration after another seems to extinguish the last remnants of hope. Perhaps the most common variety of this eternal story is that of rejected love. A man or woman becomes convinced that he or she has finally found true love. All hopes and dreams are focused, concentrated, and projected upon this one person. A person’s future life is inextricably conceived of in terms of this other person and then suddenly it is over. A bombshell explodes in the form of words that say “We’ve grown apart” or “I’ve met somebody else” or simply “I am no longer in love with you.” Most people move on with their lives and meet others and begin a new chapter. However, some are so devastated and fixated by the past relationship that all motivation to meet new people seems to be sapped. Obviously this example is hugely generalized and it disregards any particular hurts or traumas which might be involved. But in the generalization there is some relevancy. Absorption in the particular matter at hand, whatever it is, is the hypnotic-like blinder that can obfuscate, hide, and entrap, and ultimately prevent the discoveries and answers that we seek, hope and pray for. Hypnotherapy is a cure for the hypnosis or hypnotic-like limitations of everyday life!
It might be said that this is far too simplistic, and of course it is. The above comments completely ignore the power of emotional attachment and that changing relationships is not like trading in cars. True enough. My point, however, is this: regardless of the cause of the myopic view of options and possibilities which can result from failed relationships, it steals away the motivation which is the energy and hope of future happiness. Much the same may be said of those situations when someone loses his job. While some individuals are resilient, others are hopeless and unmotivated. The difference between the resilient and unmotivated individuals concerns the ability to recognize opportunity. To understand how a negative can sometimes turn into a positive. To perceive how strengths in one area may emerge as strengths in completely different and unexpected areas. The ability to clear away the intellectual muddle–even when it is a consequence of emotional turbulence–can bring answers which enable self-realization (and the emotional turbulence may subside in the process).
Combining intellectual clarity with connectivity or “in touchness” with the creative potential of the subconscious can allow barriers and obstacles to fall. My sessions concerning improved motivation may center around subliminal messages of how to build greater self-esteem and confidence, or they may involve philosophically oriented discussions of options and possibilities linked with subliminal suggestions for creative problem solving. The course is driven by my client. Generally, I find that when the source of poor motivation is poor self-esteem the client recognizes it and often characterizes the problem by expressly linking the two together. When the issues are somewhat more complex and involve intellectual obstacles in the form of confusion, obfuscation, or blindness to new possibilities we may choose to explore the philosophical
issues which may bear on the question of motivation. The intensity of life sometimes convinces us that there are no solutions or that there is no other way. In a very meaningful sense, we can truly become hypnotized into believing that there is just no way out of the sealed box that we perceive to be our lives, and so why continue trying? And so we give up. Irony of ironies! It may take hypnosis to snap us of out of the trance.