Why you suffer to acquire success and how to take an “In-Tranced” short cut..
I’d heard of Hypnosis, I mean who hasn’t? some of us have been hypnotised and others can’t be according to an article I found myself reading, in fact a few years I hired a stage hypnotist to help raise some money for charity I was supporting and watched in amazement how normal rational people suddenly turned themselves in chickens or carried out acts on stage that they would of course deny (until the photos appear ) But I still denied it could happen to me and so it transpires that we can’t actually be hypnotised without our unconscious (the place where decisions are made at an unconscious level) or conscious mind giving it the thumbs up. Hypnosis being a glorified version of absolute and concentrated thought of one single thing or inter related things. I’d also heard of self hypnosis but what has this to do with performance in and out of business?
During my Army years I had no idea that I was being conditioned to the extent that I was, the removal of my sense of identity, the installation of programs designed to override normal instinct (under severe stress to respond accordingly and trained) to distance oneself from emotional thought – all whilst wearing a cap badge that meant something, when I went onto the ranges or streets of Northern Ireland I was conditioned to the very best of the Army’s ability to perform under pressure – when it mattered.
And so are athletes who are often referred to as being “in the zone” absolute and concentrated thought – but how could I do this for myself and how could I stretch myself beyond my personal limits?
In early 2012 I attended a course in Ericksonian Hypnosis and discovered something quite amazing (in my opinion) how subtle words can alter a persons thought patterns and hey presto as if by magic their emotional state – from happy to sad, sad to happy etc for the therapists in the room the learning acquired would help them with their clients to address depression, low self worth etc – but still I was unsure how to go about improving my physical performance beyond anything I’d ever achieved before. How can I run 50 miles in one go? Well that was my goal… I’d never managed the feat before due to the discomfort factor and sheer lack of fitness so what could I do? I didn’t have the determination, will or time to plot some scientific training regime so I decided to build up my distance work rapidly – in other words every week run / walk / crawl / drag myself much further than the week before at whatever cost… when it came to my test week which was to run 48 miles I had everything planned, my sports rucksack was crammed with protein, a few bananas, first aid kit (I was running solo along a canal bank in and through snow and on icy paths) I had my music, in fact it appeared I had everything planned and sorted so it was time to get on with it – I set off at 6am on a frozen ice covered path, I started quickly not deliberately but to get warm as it was so cold, my legs were icy cold so I stepped the pace up foolishly and not what I should have done, a small amount of muscle in my right calf tore and because of the cold numbing effect I couldn’t consciously feel much pain so I just kept going, what I also didn’t realise was that I had in fact started leaning onto my left leg to compensate and after 30 miles found myself with some pain in my left leg just above my knee. At this stage Runkeeper my mobile phone app was reporting to me on the hour every hour my pace, my time, distance covered, calories used etc I found myself in some discomfort but not too much to stop me from my goal. That was until I stopped for a break.
The break I had to replenish my by now food drained body with a mean concoction that would contain all sorts of nutritional value, I’d now run 39 miles and had another 9 to go, but after eating I stood up, picked up bag and was about to set off but my legs didn’t want to go any further, I had no strength in them and the pain was almost unbearable, I hobbled several steps and thought for the first time in my life I was going to have to submit and admit defeat –tat was until my mobile phone suddenly announced I’d run 39 miles in a time I was happy with, and my average speed was good too – I then wondered if I could just try to get my average speed somewhere near then I could arrive back here I started from in good time, so I painfully kept going, the pain magically but slowly evaporated, I started focussing upon the times and as I approached my starting point with two and a half miles to go I literally raced in, I almost sprinted after running 45.5 miles I sprinted the last two and half!! Crazy – where did the energy come from and more importantly where did the pain go?
The energy was drawn from the food I had consumed, ideal foods for endurance events and as for the pain, well it didn’t go anywhere as I about to discover?
My mind had in fact focussed on times – not the pain in my legs,I had no choice but to return to my start point so at an unconscious mind level it focussed purely on the hour by hour report coming from my mobile phone and getting to the end point – which I did.
At the end point my legs almost gave up on me, I had to literally crawl up the stairs to get to my bed and found my energy levels just left me completely, or to put it in a different way, my mind had by now chosen to focus on what it deemed important to focus on – recovery of cells.
I had without knowing it hypnotised myself with the sounds of my phone, the intense visualisation of each hours findings overtook my “feelings” of pain and discomfort and helped me complete what was without doubt a tough challenge.
So how can you do the same in your life? In business? In sport? In life?
Here’s a few ideas:
Intense visualisation with verbal or visual confirmations, milestones, anything that will aid your unconscious minds attention to the task, complete involvement, uniform, removal of distraction, support from others, coaching even – by simply doing a few of the above suggestions will help you get into state or “in the zone” which will help your mind help you – win, achieve, complete, do…
Intense thought = engagement=higher probability of success
And that’s what you want isn’t it?