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Overcoming public speaking fears with hypnosis
Are you afraid of speaking in public? Do you clam up at just the thought of being asked to speak in groups? Could you significantly improve your career prospects, income and status if only you had the confidence and skills to present to groups?
You are not alone!
Many business people worry about making presentations. Actors and musicians can find performance nerves, shows and concerts extremely difficult. And a bestman can do his very best to avoid making that all-important wedding speech.
Fear of public speaking (Glossophobia to give its official name) is a very common social phobia and appears in many “top 10 lists” of common phobias. It affects even the most confident of people and symptoms can include:
- avoiding events which focus the group’s attention on individuals in attendance
- intense anxiety and worry in the lead-up to a public presentation, or simply at the thought of having to speak in a group situation
- physical signs of panic, e.g. nausea, increased blood pressure, faster heart beat, sweating, stiffening of neck and upper back muscles, and dry mouth
Sufferers will do almost anything to avoid speaking in public!
So why is fear of public speaking so common?
You were born to shine
Babies are not born with a fear of communicating in public, and most toddlers love showing their talents without a care in the world – they are natural born performers.
As children, we learn by absorbing information from the world around us, from parents, teachers, friends, TV, stories and society, and this information “programs” our thought, feeling and behaviour patterns.
As we’re growing up if we pick up incorrect information, our natural instinctive “programmes” can be disrupted, including our natural talent for communicating in public.
Perhaps you weren’t picked for a particular part in the school play, maybe you were told to ‘stop showing off’, or were told to ‘keep quiet and stop ‘making a fuss’ or perhaps you had a sibling or friend that would always seem to come before you.
All these messages go directly into the subconscious, similar to a virus infecting a computer programme, and can cause chaos later in life. Incorrect programming can be as a result of either a habit (i.e. we hear or practice the same things repetitively) or due to a traumatic incident that immediately creates the fear of public speaking.
Hypnosis allows us to access previously hidden subconscious information to the fear is stored so that it can be reassessed and updated with more appropriate thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Suggestion hypnosis (new ‘software” for the mind) is appropriate for addressing habit based problems, but is ineffective for dealing with trauma. The most commonly available hypnotherapy is suggestion (often presented as Ericksonian hypnosis, clinical hypnosis, solution focussed therapy and combined with NLP, CBT or EFT) helps approximately a 1/3 of problems. For the rest, age regression is required, and it is recommended because there it is impossible to tell whether a person has a habit or trauma based problem without actually doing the work and finding out.
Using regression based advanced hypnotherapy we are able to tap into the subconscious to identify the source of the fear of public speaking. By revisiting the hidden incident that created the problem (‘mind virus), you are the able to understand and reprocess the memory with an adult perspective, rather than as a scared child. With the correct interpretation of the event, you’re then able to deal with future events more rationally, intelligently and confidently.
Often people consciously remember incidents that they believe may have triggered the issues. However, past events are often forgotten by the conscious mind and it is necessary to go back further, and deeper to find the real cause of the issue, as this case study demonstrates:
“Like a Light Being Switched On”
James, a successful senior HR professional, came to us with a terrible fear of public speaking.
The fear first became apparent when he started his career and would only be a problem at work. He was confident in social situations and team meetings / presentations to colleagues reporting into him were not a problem. The problem only manifested during specific work situations – big presentations and/or in the presence of senior executives. As delivering high-level presentations to senior level executives and large groups was a major part of his role, this fear was seriously stifling his career.
James has already tried various NLP, CBT and suggestion hypnosis approaches to rid himself of the problem, without success. He could even identify some potentially relevant childhood memories but had still not got to the bottom of the fear and was desperate to rid himself of the problem.
To cope with the current situation, he was using prescription drugs to deal with presentation panic. This had been the only successful solution so far and was totally reliant on them during presentations. He decided to seek therapy and a permanent solution as he did not wish to rely on drugs, and was concerned about being ‘caught out’ if asked to do an on-the-spot presentation without having his prescription on him.
We worked with James over 4 weeks and each week he reported feeling progressively more confident.
After the second week he reported feeling more relaxed but was still taking medication for all meetings, but he had reduced it from ½ a pill to a ¼. Although still not prepared to stop taking the medication, he started to question whether or not he needed it – something he never previously thought about.
After the third week, he was feeling even more confident and did not take medication for 1 out of 3 meetings. He had also spoken to a doctor friend who explained that a ¼ tablet of his medication would have no effect – in other words, it was a placebo and the problem was purely psychological.
It was during the fourth week, we located the source of the problem.
We visited a memory where he was 2 years old with his mother and violent father at the breakfast table. The father was shouting at his mother and intimidating her, and she was trying to hide her fear by comforting the little boy. This agitated the father further who then switched his attention and anger to the little boy. James was terrified, feeling helpless, panicked and frightened as both he and his mother were powerless to stop the father. The incident gave the information to why his public speaking problem was only in the presence of ‘authority’ figures, which represented the controlling father.
Once reprocessed through ‘adult eyes’, rather than as the frightened child, the fear had gone, and when out of hypnosis James reported it “was like a light being switched on” and “100% fixed. He was also feeling very positive and excited about his future presentations.James, Case Study*
What would speaking in public with confidence do for you?
New clients, a pay rise, new job or increased ability to earn more? Better career prospects? More relaxed at work? Presenting your business with confidence? More MONEY? Excitement about getting your unique message out into the world? Pride at overcoming a lifelong fear?
Whatever your motivation(s) for wanting to speak in public and desires for ridding yourself of fears, doubts and panic you currently feel about public speaking, our specialist advanced hypnotherapy could help you.
Want to be a confident public speaker? Call us today
Find out if our advanced ‘Public Speaking’ hypnotherapy programme is right for you. Contact Katie Glen or Jenny O’Kelly on 020 8712 5981 for your complimentary 15-minute consultation today.
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