In the last chapters we've concentrated on teaching you the skills of being an effective subject. You've experienced progressive relaxation, a self-administered hypnosis session, and a great variety of suggestions outside hypnosis. So far. however, you've remained a spectator, a recipient of suggestions. In this chapter you'll move on to the other side of hypnosis: how to give yourself suggestions and organize your strategies of self-hypnosis. We'll begin by considering what you are trying to accomplish.
I've discussed this in principle already: You are trying to reconstruct your personal reality, change your definitions of the situation. Every one of us has an internal sense of reality, our definition of the situation, a map or model of what the real world is and how it works. The problems you can most easily deal with in hypnosis are problems with your realities: The overeater knows he or she cannot really keep away from the excess of food making him or her fat; the underachieving student knows he or she always messes up on tests.
We've also looked at how your definitions of the situation have a way of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. Since you routinely, even subconsciously, organize your behavior according to what you consider to be true, your ideas have a very practical impact upon your life.
However, nobody can live without habits, without taking some things for granted. We reduce the things we must do over and over again to habitual routines, otherwise we'd be paralyzed.
Experiment Nine: Doing Things the Hard Way
To explore the usefulness of habitual routines.
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