Self-Esteem, Confidence and Motivation.

Psychologists claim every human being has an ultimate goal. The goal may be maintained in the subconscious mind, but it is none the less a final objective. And it is the same for all people, regardless of race, creed, nationality or even physical condition.

The ultimate goal for each individual is Self-Actualization: achieving what people call a “personal best”. Regardless of background, financial standing, education or other factors, every individual is subconsciously induced to move onward & upward, to be the best possible in relation to his beliefs and his values.

Progress toward the ultimate goal, and necessary intermediate objectives, is affected by experiential factors-the hand of cards dealt out by heredity, opportunity and life in general.

There are three factors essential to positive progress: Self-Esteem, Confidence and Motivation. During the course of a lifetime virtually everyone experiences problems involving one or more of these elements. Resolving such problems is one of the most important and valuable capabilities of hypnotherapy.


High self-esteem is a basic essential of success. Low self-esteem, however does not suddenly appear, like the symptom of an illness. It develops, like a cancer, usually unnoticed in early stages, but spreading slowly throughout the mind until, when recognized it may be full-blown, demoralizing destructive and possibly even terminal.

Low self-esteem actually must be dealt with before progress can be achieved in building self-confidence and creating motivation. It is difficult for a person to show confidence when he views himself as low man on his own totem pole.

While poor self-esteem can emanate from events which might be considered personal setbacks (in business, relationships, health etc.); the primary cause is negative programming from the past. It might be a product of judgmental parents, teachers, authority figures, relatives and friends. Many times derogatory comments, ridicule, relentless criticism and similar factors ignore commendable achievement and simply focus on and accentuate the negative.

Frequently these events, hurts, or negative valuations are absorbed by or buried in subconscious memory, with the victim totally unaware of the sources of troubled feelings, fears, self-doubt and damaging attitudes.

But we know that the subconscious mind is the storage house of memory. Through hypnotherapy it is possible to set aside the conscious mind, seek, locate and uncover the detrimental memories which are adversely affecting the personality, and in bringing the problems to light and understanding accomplish a resolution which can free the client from the past and open the doors to future progress and achievement.


The establishment of self-confidence must follow the disposition of past negative programming-eliminating from self-perception any labels such as bad, wrong, stupid, clumsy, dumb, inept, untalented, ignorant etc. Hypnosis can become the source of self-discovery-revealing unrecognized capabilities that lead to an acceptance of valid self-worth.

The procedures for developing self-confidence may vary considerably depending on the depth and origins of the problem. In milder cases, working out problems of self-esteem may be followed by programming which utilizes visualization, creating in the mind pictures of success, confidence and appropriate abilities. Enhancing suggestions given in hypnotherapy can be absorbed and accepted, leading to attitude modification and positive demonstrations of newly acquired self-assurance.

In more complex cases where depression is a factor, the hypnotherapist may elect to use the techniques of parts therapy or the removal of fears to free up behavior and reduce negative internal judgments so that positive self-feelings and confidence can develop in a natural way.

Longer term results can be significant. Mood and energy levels increase, compulsive and psychosomatic symptoms fade, emotions become understood, clients move toward self-direction and greater interpersonal involvement. Self-derogation is reduced and positive feelings about life’s possibilities develop.


With self-esteem and confidence enhanced, improved motivation comes into the spotlight. Psychologist Maslow defines five levels at which people are motivated: psychological-food, drink, sleep, sex; Safety- protection, freedom from fear, order; Belongingness-love, social contact, family friends; Esteem-self-respect, need to be valued; Self-actualization- the need to grow, to achieve one’s potential.

Essential to generating positive motivation is elimination of any fear of failure (its often hidden counterpart, fear of success). First, it is important to recognize motivations & subsequent successes of the past. Second, a sense of direction is needed (where am I going?). After which the all important factor of “goal-setting” is required. Not the ultimate goal, but a short term, quickly achievable goal-a first step to provide convincing proof that forward movement is established. Finally, on achievement of this goal, self-reward. This constitutes self-recognition, a powerful motivating factor. This reward may be a self-treat, or the pride of achievement and self-satisfaction. The lesson learned will be lasting; Success Breeds Success.

The purpose of establishing short-term, successive goals is important to understand. A small success generates additional confidence. It creates a sense of completion, readiness and eagerness for the next step. The end result MOTIVATION!


Hang–ups, Fears and Phobias.

Among the primary reasons why people seek therapy is the need to deal with fear reactions. The range of problems is extensive-from simple, annoying “hang-ups”, to specific (or non-specific) fears which affect the activities or enjoyment of life, to full-blown phobias which may be a part of serious mental illness. Under certain circumstances or in specific situations virtually all people are subject to a variety of rational or irrational apprehensions. Many of these originate in childhood when under-developed reasoning creates in a young person a natural climate for developing fears of the unknown.

Fears can of course develop in adulthood through traumatic experience, but most prove to have originated in early, impressionable years. It is interesting to note that fears usually travel alone. While one may be dominant and apparent, Investigation will usually reveal others which are associated and inter-related.

The usual apprehensions that may exist in relative degrees of severity include flying, high places, rejection, failure (or even success), pain, exposure, poor performance (sports, scholastic, job, theatrical, sexual), death, the unknown, contamination, blood, animals ( including spiders, sharks, etc.), water, impending danger, darkness, open spaces, closed spaces, loss of control and many others.

Fears are not necessarily bad. They can be highly valuable if they serve useful purposes, such as creating caution in driving, locking doors, being prepared for emergencies. But when a fear causes alteration of a normal life-style, creating intense and irrational behavior, becoming a threat to a person’s well–being, it merits attention. Frequent occurrence is a strong warning signal that needs to be heeded.

A “hang-up” becomes a fear when it becomes noticeably disturbing and begins to affect behavior. A fear becomes a phobia when it reaches the point of being triggered by factors which are irrational and may be unknown, and when it is experienced so frequently that it affects an individual’s normal activities. Lack of under-standing of the repressed conflict which causes the reaction may result in uncontrollable or unreasonable behavior.

The fear itself may not create the phobic reaction. It may well be caused by what the fear represents as an unknown danger. A phobic person is threatened by something that does not in reality present a life threat. Yet the reaction is the same as it would be in situation of real danger. The fear generates more fear and the situation cannot be confronted in a calm state, so the victim makes every effort to avoid it.

Specific fears often emanate from apprehension of impending danger. Feelings of anxiety and panic tend to develop into fore-boding of approaching disaster the source of which is not understood. The fear of loss of control is primitive and is likely to be a common element and basic cause in all phobia cases. It is not uncommon in relationship break-ups.

Exposing the cause can diminish the anxiety associated with the fear by taking out of the unknown so that rational suggestion can be used, while in hypnotic trance, to alleviate symptoms. The fears are met and faced through the subconscious mind. Repeated confrontation causes deterioration of the fear symptoms and increases the ability to face and deal with past traumatic experiences without apprehension, which the conscious mind then accepts.