Hypnosis 101 - Overcoming Failure

It's been a while since I've posted anything with regards to performing hypnosis. I've still been beavering away performing stage shows and attending street hypnosis meets in and around London.

A question I'm often asked particularly by beginners is; 'what happens if they don't get hypnotised?" To be honest, this was something I worried about when I began my path into hypnosis and it held me back from performing hypnosis for a couple of years. I spent the first couple of years going through the same cycle of attending a course and then going home trying it out on a family member, failing and then not trying it again.

I persevered with it though and eventually I got my first subject that I got phenomena with and it was one of the best feelings ever that had made all that training and reading worthwhile.

Had I have experienced that phenomena the first time I tried performing hypnosis I may have saved myself a couple of years, it was similar when I first started comedy, had I not have got some laughs during my first set I probably would have decided that comedy was not for me however, much to my partners dismay I got those laughs and as a result I'm still performing comedy almost a decade later.

In this week's blog I want to offer you some of my tips to help you overcome failure and fast track yourself to becoming a successful hypnotist.

Fake it until you make it

If you're not feeling confident in something the best thing to do is to fake confidence because to the outsider looking in, it's exactly the same thing. It's still hard to do however, you'll find that if you believe you're the hypnotist people will also believe it and your success will be greater.

When I started performing stage hypnosis, I used to emulate Paul McKenna. I'd watched his hypnotic world in awe as a child and I revisited some of his clips on YouTube before I started performing. Whilst onstage I would find myself talking like Paul and even some of the mannerisms would be the same.

It can be a good idea to pretend and imagine that you are someone else when you're starting because as we know it's easier to pretend to be something we're not than to try to be.

Practice, practice, practice

It sounds obvious but, if you want to get good at something then you have to practice it. I get out as often as I can and always take the opportunity when someone shows the remotest bit of interest in being hypnotised. If someone is asking you to hypnotise them, then go for it, you may surprise yourself.

Take the opportunities as they come to you because you'll find that when you tell people that you're a hypnotist, most will be intrigued and more often than not many will be interested in 'trying' hypnosis out.

Change the Angle

When you begin working with people you'll find that they don't always react the way that you're expecting, if this happens to improve your chances you should consider changing the angle.

To illustrate this if you tell someone to imagine their hand being stuck and then you ask them to 'try' to lift it and they do, chances are they can't imagine it being stuck and this can feel like a fail.

If this happens I say something like; 'That's right, you can lift your hand, did you notice a difference in how it felt?' They'll often say yes and then I'll ask them; 'If you had to, how would you describe that feeling?' Then note down what they say. It may be heavy, weird, strange or something else.

Now ask them to place their hand back and imagine that heavy, weird strange or whatever words they've used to describe it feeling in their hand now and notice the difference.

People can't argue against themselves therefore the logic here is, if you've said it feels heavy and I ask you to imagine it being heavy, you can't suddenly say it no longer feels heavy.

Get Help

With the rise of the internet there are so many avenues for help now and something such as hypnosis that was once quite niche now has forums on social media platforms such as Facebook that have literally thousands of performers or therapists on them.

I'd recommend joining some of the many forums that are available because you can always ask a question and more often than not you'll get a response that's useful.

In addition to this you'll also start networking with like minded individuals and you can arrange to go out on meet ups. When I first started learning hypnosis, I was the only person that I knew who was interested in it and this was the same when I started both comedy and magic. However, as I started to do them I met a whole host of other individuals who were also interested in it and then I got to find out where were the best places to perform, when groups met up to go out together, etc.

If you're local to London myself and a couple of others meet up on a monthly basis to perform street hypnosis often in the East End of town. If you're not local why don't you consider setting up your own meet.

Above all get out and get performing roll with the punches and enjoy the experiences you encounter.

Jason Simmons is running a hypnosis course in London on Sunday 7th October, details can be found in the 'Work With Me' section of the Website.

Jason is the author of the forthcoming book: The Hypnosis Hand Book: A Spellbindingly Good Read