“Describe, in positive terms, what you want, why you want it, and how you can control it.”
When clients visit the Chicago Hypnosis Center to address their challenges and goals, partners Catherine Johns and Karen Hand start the process by asking these questions. “Once we explore their expectations and feelings, clients develop insights into their situation and how it affects their goals,” explains Johns. “Then we can more effectively help them achieve long term results.”
While it is typical for individuals to say what they do not want, it’s important to think in positive terms…what you do want. “In other words,” Johns says, “describe a well-considered outcome that is in your control.”
Johns asked a client, who had made several attempts to lose weight but didn’t maintain the weight loss, “what is the down side, for you, of a healthier weight?” Upon reflection, she admitted that every time she lost weight, her family and friends treated her like everyone else. When she was heavier, they “coddled her” and “cut her slack,” and she didn’t want to give that up. Now that she was more aware, she could address her weight and other goals in a positive way…for more constructive reasons. Another client realized that, for him, being heavier was a way of “keeping a distance,” an issue he needed to explore.
An experienced corporate professional who had delivered many successful public presentations, suddenly panicked during one. When it happened again in a different venue, she knew it was time to seek help. She and Johns discussed what might have prompted her panic, what factors she could control and what she could not. In anticipation of an upcoming speaking engagement at a big conference, they rehearsed her delivery skills and addressed her anxiety. The result: a very successful presentation.
Johns says she always asks, “Why is this goal important and what will it mean for you?” When someone responds with, “I’ll feel more confident and better about myself,” Johns explains that “feeling good about yourself should start now while you’re trying to make the change, because you’re more likely to do things that will help you reach your goals.”
Increased personal awareness and insights can be empowering, revealing our potential and unexpected opportunities. Thus, “Describe, in positive terms, what you want, why you want it, and how you can control it.”