There's a reason why I spent most of my professional life being self-employed: I don't like submitting to authority. My time on the stand-up comedy stage is a testament to that; where I enjoyed skewering the absurdities of everyone else's conventional lifestyle.
However, a few years back I was approached about a long-term position with a television production company that wanted my creative skill set. The project was interesting, the travel appealing and the money was decent. The only exception was the company's owner. He was neither interesting, appealing, nor anywhere near the ballpark of "decent." The day-to-day stress from producing episodic television was amplified to the Nth degree under his condescension and poor leadership.
After the project wrapped, I quickly returned to the greener pastures of the self-employed. But I kept wondering, "How do most people do it?" How can they endure the daily grind of the corporate environment? Stress, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, juggling family life and not to mention "horrible bosses" all takes a toll on you.
As I expanded my stand-up comedy schedule to include a stage hypnosis show, I realized how powerful the human mind was. There were more opportunities to utilize hypnosis than to simply make people laugh. Hypnosis, or more specifically hypnotherapy really fosters a state of well-being that can prove some advantage. Having lived what I considered a nightmare within the corporate world, I wanted to be able to help any of my corporate comrades that were left behind. Hypnosis was the proverbial secret weapon.
Hypnosis works by embedding specific messages into an unconscious mind. Within hypnotherapy, these types of messages are positively geared to course correct limiting behavior. These newly embedded affirmations operate within the person's inner conscious mind as the person goes about everyday life. The hope is that the negative behavior is reduced or even eliminated completely.
Within the workplace, there are 5 areas hypnosis can help improve a person's mindset to not only help them cope, but by also allowing them to get ahead.
1. Conquer Fears
Hypnosis has long been used to help those crippled by irrational fears or phobias to lead more normal lives. Given that most phobias develop as a by-product of traumatic experiences, they are psychological in nature. "All in your head", if you will. But researchers believe that the generation of these fears may not only be due to learned fears from our parents, but also from our parents' genetics and the varying amounts of chemical transmitters in our brains. Hypnotherapy is considered an easy, natural way to help ease those fears, especially as they apply to the workplace.
For example, customer service requires a certain finesse to deal with unruly clients or customers. If an employee is afraid of confrontation, or feels fear when required to make routine conference calls, this may be debilitating for their workplace attitude. For many, the instinctual solution to fear is avoidance, and if this means ignoring client phone calls or avoiding co-worker interactions, their productivity can seriously decline. After facing a trauma, or life-altering event, consider hypnotherapy as an option to explore to conquer those underlying fears that may limit workplace success.
2. Overcome Anxiety
Another use of hypnotherapy is in soothing anxiety. While the iconic comedy image of Frank Costenza yelling, "Serenity now!" comes to mind, there's actually proof in the proverbial pudding that hypnosis really does relax you. This can be a huge weapon to combat work related stress. Juggling a multitude of tasks, clients and other requirements of the job (especially under a time constraint or deadline) may prove daunting. While most employees have to handle some workplace stress, over-abundance can mean serious performance issues. After using hypnosis to target negative thoughts and feelings, employees report being able to sleep better, handle tasks better and ultimately shed unnecessary anxiety.
Anxious and over-burdened employees do not hide their affections well. Stress tends to seep in to physical aspects of the body leading to acne breakouts, brittle hair, weight loss and a poor appearance. By using hypnosis to tackle some of the precursors to stress, an employee can prove to be more resilient and capable.
3. Restore Confidence
An increase in confidence is one of the biggest potential boosts to any career. Often, only those who are willing to ask for (or demand) a raise or promotion, get one. Many professional career coaches claim that their client's number one struggle in the job market is having the confidence required to score that high-paying position. Hypnosis can help reaffirm an individual's worth, installing a renewed sense of purpose and confidence in the workplace. Individuals who have a keen understanding of their strengths and weaknesses tend to be more successful in their projects and professional relationships.
4. Increase Memory
Another use of hypnosis in helping level-up a career is by using techniques to develop an increased concentration and memory. Studies have shown that hypnosis can help improve memory, which is invaluable in the workplace, especially one where an employee is expected to memorize a complicated set of statistics or client data. By increasing recall memory, an employee can be perceived by his peers and supervisors as better organized, present, and dedicated to the company. Hypnosis to improve memory works by targeting the mechanisms by which the brain stores and recalls information. By using specific techniques, hypnosis "unlocks" certain pathways which may make an employee able to retain and refer to a greater amount of information more quickly, thus making them more productive in the workplace.
5. Refine Business Skills
Hypnotherapy has also proven useful for those looking to refine a set of vital business skills. These skills can be hampered by any of the aforementioned shortcomings including stress, anxiety, forgetfulness, or a lack of confidence. Using hypnosis to eliminate these obstacles can help an individual direct their focus towards the traits which make a stellar employee. Some of these traits include being out-going, friendly, and conversational. Related tasks can vary from public speaking, to hosting a business meeting successfully. To do this, hypnosis relies on a combination of visualization and meditation, to reaffirm positive thoughts while helping to release those which may be detrimental. These types of skills are hugely important to career development and vocational success.
Hypnosis has the potential to address the many issues that keep an individual from being more successful on the job and even at home. These techniques would have proved invaluable for any of my time spent in the corporate environment. However, I have implemented every one of them now in my personal and professional life. I have found myself more focused, more productive and especially more relaxed before and during a show.