Hypnosis is one of those subjects that comes with the “chicken” stigma attached to it: People are constantly afraid that they will be turned into a chicken. Truth be told, sometimes I wish I could just do that, however that is not the point of my work (yet, if you do see some people clucking around cities, you know I am close by). In fact we have been hypnotizing each other for years and years, and we do it all the time, yet with little direction. Have you ever told someone “don’t do that!” and they did, or “don’t drop it” and that instant, it fell? In some sens, you have successfully hypnotized them to do that, and drop that…
So, let’s have a look at what happened. The word “no” exists only in language, not in experience. Now, this might sound odd, however, how does “the dog is not chasing the cat” look like in your mind? Chances are, first you have to make the picture of the dog chasing the cat, and then either stop the chase or cross it out. So, to some extent, the word “no” is hard to represent.
Taking it a step further, the word “no” only exists in conscious language, not in unconscious structure. Whatever you do, do not think of a blue elephant. Don’t think of a blue elephant. What are you thinking about? A blue elephant!! What does that mean?
When you tell someone “don’t do that”, in their mind they start doing it. “Don’t drop it” does the same. So, in a way, you get what you want from them, just that you don’t know how to formulate it so they do what you really want. Hence, and just for today, ask people to do what you want them to do as opposed to what you don’t want them to do. And once you start doing that, maybe throw in some “not’s” to further expedite your outcome. After all, I don’t want you to have too much fun with language all at once….