The Myth of the Strong-Willed Subject

It’s 2018. So many things are still here, against the odds. Social inequality should have vanished by now. I’d happily see certain fast food chains retire gracefully into history. Then there’s the idea that someone can be too strong-willed to be hypnotised.

That doesn’t even make sense. It’s like saying you’re too purple to run aquatically. Your strength of will – whatever that means – has nothing to do with hypnotic susceptibility.

And I have news for you: if you were unable to be hypnotised, that’s not something you’d brag about. Just the opposite, in fact.

I mean, I get where it comes from. Popular culture still clings to the Svengali-inspired hypnotist – a master manipulator who induces trance through dominating someone’s will. But here’s the thing: Svengali is a fictional character. From the 1890s.

Maybe it’s time to put that myth to rest?

As usual, the truth is less sensationalist… but far more interesting. Hypnosis is not a battle of wills. Your brain wants to enter hypnotic trances. It craves it. That’s why you desire meaningful and enriching experiences.

Every conversation that’s not a mere exchange of facts is hypnotic. That’s how they can change your perspective and feel so good at the same time. Every song you appreciate and sunset that fills you with peace does so through trance.

You enter trance when you are relaxed, safe and open to new things. If you have a rich imagination, trust in yourself and a healthy connection to your emotions, you’ll find it easier to be hypnotised. Same thing when you have rapport with the hypnotist, motivation to change and the confidence that more is possible.

What blocks trance? Fear, disgust, doubting yourself, doubting others, an unwillingness to change and a lack of self-awareness.

A strong will doesn’t prevent hypnosis. If anything, having good mental discipline helps the hypnotic process. You stay focused on what’s important and keep your thoughts away from distractions.

And if you enter the trance state often? You’ll be happier, healthier, more creative and more productive than otherwise. People will enjoy your company more and, likewise, you’ll appreciate others. You’ll find more of those odd little moments that make your day for no reason.

If you take pride in not being hypnotisable, you probably think it makes you freer. But it wouldn’t. Never entering a trance would trap you in an impoverished life that you can’t enjoy and can’t change.

The good news, though, is that you’re wrong about hypnosis. You’re just as susceptible to its benefits as everyone else is.

Discarding old misconceptions is the first step. There’s so much more you can cut away from your life. Old fears, doubts, worries and limitations are waiting for you to let go.

These things take energy. Removing them frees up your resources to focus on what matters. See what else you can do without the obstacles you’ve gotten comfortable with.


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