I have been on my coaching career journey for almost 4 years now. I had taken different courses in coaching before I discovered Neuro Lingustic Programming and Neuro Semantics. When friends and newly met acquaintances ask me to explain it, I normally explain coaching in a very simplistic way. And when they ask me about NLP, i often reference the fast phobia cure as it is one of the most known solutions of NLP has brought to the world.
Four out of ten of those people would ask me — sometimes jokingly, and sometimes seriously — “so you do hypnosis”? The Wikipedia definition of hypnosis is ‘a state of consciousness involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness characterized by an enhanced capacity for response to suggestion. It puts people into a trance. And I would explain that we coach to the conscious mind, and that nobody gets into hypnosis without their willingness. Three quarters into the Meta NLP Master Practitioner certification, I’m realizing that I was right. Well, partly any way. I didn’t realize that so many more things come into play.
I didn’t realize all the seemingly innocent ways we are in trance ourselves. Yes, you read that right. Our Master Trainer Colin Cox explained that any time you’re fully focused or determined on anything, we are in a trance. When you watch that soap opera and you didn’t notice time flying by so quickly? That is being in a trance.
Remember the last time you were looking for a pair of glasses or a pen for so long just to realize it was right in front of you? Or the last time you found something you’ve been looking for in a place you’ve tried finding it at several times but “I swear it was not there before”? Those are moments when we ourselves are in trances. These are times when we weren’t even aware that we were in a trance.
And, from that, it becomes even more interesting. Trance is a state where we are susceptible to suggestions. So there are different kinds of trances, including religious, family, cultural trances. These are beliefs, general understanding that a group of people generally agree with without asking any questions, or even thinking about it. An example is that how it’s considered normal for a kid to go to regular school at a certain age. It becomes so common that it is a norm and an expectation that nobody questions it. Being in love could lead to being “entranced by someone’s beauty”.
And, one can say that there is nothing wrong with it. And I agree that there are certain situations where believing can do no harm, or would it?
Being in the armed forces of a certain country for example, is being in trance. And there are many articles on the news that could be explained by this phenomenon. People are being beheaded and killed without question, because it is believed to be right by some, and commanded by an authority.
How do we get out of this trance? How do get people out of these trances? First, we start being aware of the trances we are in. What are the things you have accepted without any doubt or resistance, or so much as a pause? What are the beliefs that has led to where we are now, as a people, as a nation, as part of humankind? Whatever it is, begin to wonder how it has impacted your life, and how our lives would be if continued living this way.
Whatever it is, know that we have a choice, and we always do. I am amazed of things I realize about my automatic assumptions once I get coached. For example, I wasn’t aware that I was very uncomfortable being complimented because I grew up in a household that wanted to groom me to excel and never be contented. This unspoken belief that I was always less than enough got in the way of so many things, primarily my own peace and happiness.
And in my coaching sessions, I witness how awed, and sometimes completely surprised people can be when they’re asked powerful coaching questions that slice through their reasonings they didn’t know they had. Some people are in tears finding out something an elderly said them decades ago has affected several years of their lives, limiting and stifling them from reaching their goals. There are so many things we operate from that have been so automatic that we never question them anymore. And once we become aware of them, we may realize how toxic they have been to our lives.
The next step after awareness is the decision. The decision could range from completely letting go to incorporating and accepting on conditions. These, I believe are the first steps in changing a life, a culture, and humanity. I have always said that my dream is to have world peace. And being a firm believer in the simplicity of life, I’ve always thought that the solution is simple. And starting to question, to wonder, to feel our way through our trances, we just might be able to crack the mystery to make peace happen.