Hypnosis and NLP

Essential Personal Development Skills

As hypnotists and NLP practitioners we’re constantly trying to nail things down. If somebody says they just want to be “happy”, we need to know what that actually means. What makes me happy might drive another person to the depths of despair, and vice versa. The same is true in the field of personal development. Personal development isn’t a final destination It’s a process involving a set of skills, and just like any other process, personal development skills can be learned – once you know what they are.

Strange as it may seem, it’s only in recent years that the question of healthy personal development has been looked at in any depth. For much of its history, psychology (at least in the West) has tended to focus on unhealthy or problematic states of mind. This is understandable, but it left a huge gap in our knowledge and some even bigger misconceptions. Many people believe that their personal development is entirely random and outside their control, or even fixed at birth like their star sign. Fortunately, thanks to the work of pioneers like Martin Seligman in the US and Joe Griffin and Ivan Tyrrell in the UK, we now know the skills a person needs to grow and develop in a healthy, positive way.

1. Tolerating Uncertainty

Human beings just don’t like ambiguity, which is odd. You’d think we’d be used to it by now – every single person who’s ever lived has faced uncertainty, and until we develop reliable psychic powers, that’s likely to be the case for a long time to come. True personal development means accepting that state of affairs, and relaxing with it. Rather than dreading the future or jumping to premature conclusions, the healthy response is to be comfortable at those times when you simply don’t know what’s going to happen. As Sean Connery says in The Untouchables, “don’t wait for it to happen. Don’t even want it to happen. Just see what does happen.”

2. Challenging Emotional States

At the risk of sounding clichéd, emotions are like fire – a great worker, but a terrible boss. Personal development really does depend on being able to challenge unhelpful emotional states as they arise. Fortunately, nature has endowed us with the ability to do this, via our critical thinking faculties. You’ll never escape your emotions, and neither should you want to, but you can ask yourself if they’re justified, and you can change them if they’re not.

3. Relaxation

We’re constantly bombarded with information and novelty, so much so that we can begin to feel very anxious if we’re not being stimulated in some way. This is like driving your car flat out and never checking your oil and water – sooner or later the engine’s going to overheat and burn out. Learning to relax properly is a vital step in anyone’s personal development, and I’m afraid watching TV or playing Grand Theft Auto doesn’t count. I’m not suggesting you enter a Zen retreat, but five minutes of self hypnosis a day will do more for your well-being and development than any amount of web surfing. Finish reading this article first, though!

4. Paying Attention

This is connected to the above. Modern culture seems to conspire against the human attention span. So many cell phone conversations to have, so many browser windows to open, so many links to click. In practice, this means we’re never where we actually are, and we miss an awful lot. Worse, attention is a finite resource than quickly become exhausted, leading to all sorts of mental and even physical problems. Your personal development depends on building up those attention muscles.

5. Gaining Distance

Can you step back and observe your actions and behaviors from a neutral standpoint? Are you able to detach yourself from your problems or do they totally overwhelm you? Can you envisage a future when your problems are simply no longer there, or does it feel like this is the way it’s going to be for eternity? The human mind has the unique capacity to detach and contemplate itself. Developing this observing self is an important step in personal fulfillment.

6. Thinking Creatively

This doesn’t mean painting or writing poetry, necessarily. What it does mean is the ability to make connections, arrive at solutions and find better ways of doing things if the thing you’re doing isn’t working. It naturally follows on from the other personal development skills, since an enhanced attention span increases the amount of experience you have to draw on, and the ability to detach yourself allows you to consider multiple viewpoints.

7. Communication

Effective communication really is the royal road to personal development. Making yourself understood to others and understanding them in turn will make your life considerably richer, easier and more fulfilling.

There are many ways of acquiring these essential personal development skills. I’ve talked about some of the more effective methods on this blog already, and I’ll continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead. Rather than a “how to”, this article is “where to”. As I said at the beginning, an important part of our work is nailing things down. Personal development may not be a final destination, but you need to know you’re following the right signs along the way.

Hypnosis and NLP

Deepening the Trance Review – Sean Michael Andrews

Recently I attended a hypnosis training by Sean Michael Andrews, and right before the lunch break on one of the days, I convinced him to let me a take a sneak peak of one of his new products that has just come out, “Deepening the Trance.”

Sean didn’t want to release it into the wild at that point, but when we promised to keep the contents confidential until its debut, he finally gave in and our group got to view the DVD in its entirety. With only a select few of us in the room, he loaded up a projector attached to his Alienware laptop, and pointed it at the wall where you might have seen his huge dark-blue “Worlds Fastest Hypnotist” banner.

Roll ‘Em, Jimmy

As the movie queued up, what I saw exceeded my expectations and it looked like it came from a Hollywood camera crew. This DVD is professionally shot and edited, and features rich menus with studio quality sound. When the title screen came up, I was already pretty excited about it just because of the intro.

The first shot you see in the DVD is of Sean teaching at a seminar where he is about to demonstrate a trance. Sean starts out with a conceptual overview of what it means to deepen the trance and includes some things that you may not have known. He then calls one of the attendees up to the front of the room, and does the first deepening technique, the Vogt deepener.

You’re Going Deeper, and Deeper…

Each deepener is a collection of clips of Sean’s clients, with the same deepener being demonstrated. Each of the clients is shown going deep into hypnosis and there are visible responses in their eye flutter, facial mask, and breathing as they respond to the techniques.

I already knew a few of the techniques from working with my own clients, but I was very surprised that he slipped in some that I hadn’t even heard of but that turned out to be very effective. When I talked to Sean, it turns out he actually researched this, found the most powerful techniques and stuck them all in one video. Cool.

Now open, and close your eyes all the way down

The main scene in the video is a demonstration of all of the inductions at one of his hypnosis classes. Then for added emphasis, the video will transition to other footage he has of him doing the deepeners, including a lot of footage from his private clients.

As usual, Sean has showcased what a great area he lives in, because a lot of his clients are attractive young women! Check this blog often because when I find out his secret, that’s it, we’re all packing up and moving to Sean’s neighborhood.

What could be better about this DVD?

Because there are so many clips being switched in and out, sometimes the video and sound quality is not as great in some of the clips from clients that he has switched in. Sometimes the video got a bit fuzzier, and the sound quality on one of the clips (about a minute and a half long) was noticeably noisier in the background.

All in all though, this is a minor complaint and in the context of the whole video it could hardly be seen as a big problem. To be honest the clips that are a little louder are only about 5% of the entire video so it’s not that big of a deal. I think Sean chose to put these clips in because they actually add to the substance of the video and give more examples.


I really enjoyed this DVD because it includes a lot of great techniques, and includes many different people for examples which I know from doing my own DVDs are not always easy to get.

The great thing about this type of video is that you finish watching it feeling like you’ve really learned something, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Since Sean has been doing this for years, he has an incredible base of people that support him, which I know will only help him with his future products and ventures.

In short I have to recommend to all the loyal readers of this blog to click below and get this DVD. It includes great explanations and demonstrations of the 15 deepening techniques, and I know I would be very excited to get it in the mail.

I’d also like to thank Sean for allowing me to review this great new product, as we’ve become good friends and have had a lot of fun together doing street hypnosis (another story for another day!)

Get your DVD here:
Deepening the Trance by Sean Michael Andrews

Hypnosis and NLP

Finding the meaning of life

A short story for you guys, from Timothy Ferris’s “The Four-Hour Work Week“:

An American business man took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders. Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boar were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of the fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and “I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But… What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing , and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you bould buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, the distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will all this take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”

“But what then, senor?”

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fisihing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

Hypnosis and NLP

Hypnosis Voice Training Techniques (Continued)

Since my last article on voice training exercises had some good responses, I thought I’d continue by talking more about a hypnotist can improve their voice.

This time I want to talk about emotional undertones in your voice and the different states that are possible to lead someone through just by using the voice. Our model for this is Tony Robbins. That guy is amazing with his voice. He captivates the audience, mostly with his voice.
Do you think Tony Robbins knows how to do playful? outrageous? excited? teary-eyed soft moments? huge rushes of adrenaline? You KNOW he does, if you’ve listened to him.

The emotional undertone of how you are speaking can be so very important, because by altering how we pause at certain moments, or whether our voice is soft and tender or in-your-face intense, we can get people to feel differently.

Using this in hypnosis, at some times we want to be very calm. “You are now floating in a boat, calmly at sea, gently drifting along, as if all the cares in the world float away with the passing clouds…”

But at other times you want to make an impact with them. You want to get emotional. “You are NOW a non-smoker and you’ll be a non-smoker for the rest of your life! Your hands are STUCK together. You are UNABLE to speak your name!”

And my guess is that Tony did not start out being able to do all those emotions. I’m going to guess he practiced them. A LOT. It’s like an actor in a lot of ways, you practice the emotions you will need, so that when you need them they are there for you, and you can do excited, or angry, or apathetic, or loving, or any other emotion, in the moment.

Do most hypnotists that you know have that much of control over their voice and how they command attention? Do you have it? If you don’t then realize it’s another thing that you can learn. Just as you have been learning hypnosis, you can also learn to have a great control over your voice. So when it comes time to pound that message into someone that they will get all the changes you have suggested to them, you’ll be able to do it, no problem.

Now here’s another voice exercise called the Alphabet or Vowels exercise. You will say the vowels, but the way you will say them will vary. First you start out with very pleasurable feel-good tip-of-the-orgasm type feelings, and then you do anger, and then you do like you are begging someone for a request and you really need them to do it for you.

So how could you say “E” (and hold the note) and make it sound like you were a little kid, curious about the world, discovering something new? If this isn’t an experience you have a reference for, invent one. Then imagine if you were a 30-something woman and you had just been treated to a day at the spa, and hold that same vowel with that in mind. Then do it like you are commanding someone to do something.

Obviously this is hard to describe over text, and maybe I will do an accompanying mp3 with this to demonstrate how it is done if there are enough requests! Enjoy.

Hypnosis and NLP

Hypnosis Double Induction Video

This is a video I did a while ago which is a double induction (also called a dual induction) that I did with another hypnotist, Oscar Rodriguez.

I always like to cover how to do the multiple person inductions when certifying people, because they’re lots of fun and can establish very profound states of hypnosis. In this case we “Tranced Out” an entire class of people and later conditioned them to go deeper.

This segment was part of a class we were doing on Hypnotic Language Patterns, and even though the DVDs for this one are no longer available (sorry guys and gals), we will be coming out with a Tranced Out Language Patterns product pretty soon, after our inductions set gets released. Look out for that one because it’s going to be a doozy 😉

Here’s the video:

Hypnosis and NLP

Voice Training Exercises for Hypnotists

It’s 9 A.M. and I’m surprised the neighbors haven’t called the cops on me yet. For the past hour I’ve been blasting away at the walls doing vocal projection exercises. This particular exercise involves reciting famous passages like Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech, and Patrick Henry’s Call to Action, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

As hypnotists we should be always improving ourselves, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am an advocate of “CANI” or Constant And Never-Ending Improvement. Your voice is one thing that you should be practicing to improve at least once in a while, and one of the ways is by doing voice training exercises.

If you have studied NLP at all, you know that some people are primarily auditory, and making this type of person happy means that you will need to sound pleasant to the ears. I have a friend who is very auditory, and he’s a musician out in LA. I’ve hypnotized him quite a few times, and he’s been hypnotized by others as well, and he will always mention to me how the quality of a person’s voice can make or break the experience.

With that in mind, here is a powerful exercise that you will want to do, to enhance the depth of your voice, and it has to do with finding your optimum pitch.

In the “Voicing It” program, Nancy Daniels talks about doing “doughnut O’s” which helps you to find the optimum center of where you should be speaking and to speak at the correct pitch. Here is how you do it:

Put your hand on your diaphragm, which is going to be in the lower part of your chest, about 2-3 inches above the solar plexus. Then, as deeply as you can, and keeping your head in a neutral position (don’t lower the head down too much), say “HO HO HO” like Santa Claus, and say it as deep as you possibly can. You should feel vibrations in the lower part of your chest and around the rib cage, which will tell you that your voice is reverberating. That is what you want!

Once you get that, hold the “O” sound and begin speaking at that same exact pitch (pitch is the relative highness or lowness of a note – in this example we are reverberating a very low pitch).

Now, since some of the readers of this blog are women, they might be thinking, “But Taylor, I don’t want to sound like Santa Claus.” This is a good point to bring up. What you have to remember is that a deeper voice, even in women, is very attractive. Super-high voices are usually associated with nagging and are not that pleasant. If you want someone to ignore what you have to say, just talk with a very high pitch and speak quickly. If you want them to listen to you and for you to be more hypnotic, lower the voice down.

You’re going to get better results by developing a smooth, deep, resonant voice.

What this exercise does is it allows you to find the optimum pitch that you should be resonating at. This is the pitch range at which you will have the most power in projecting, and it will be much easier to vibrate at that range.

This brings me to a funny exercise that Bandler does with his students, where he has them put their finger on their nose, speaking through the nose, and saying “This is my nose…” and of course they sound very nasal. Then they go “This is my mouth” and they speak through that area, then “This is my chest” … and then finally, “This is my diaphragm… and when I talk from here, I will make millions of dollars and have lots of steamy sex.”

If those things are attractive to you, do this voice training exercise! I promise it will pay off.

I made a video to show you how to do this technique. Check it out: