About 20 years ago, to raise money for charity, I had a go at fire walking. Don’t try this at home – while it’s perfectly safe done properly you can get badly burnt. I spent the best part of a day training, doing exercises that, at the time, seemed a bit strange. Now, with an understanding of hypnotherapy and neuro-linguistic programming I can see what those exercises were trying to achieve.
It was supposed to be a huge confidence booster. If you could take off your shoes and socks then walk boldly across a bed of burning coals you could do anything. That was the theory anyway, and it made sense.
I did it successfully, and quite enjoyed it. The sensation was a bit like walking across warm sand. A doubting friend stuck his finger into the coals to test their heat. He went home with a blister as a souvenir!
But it didn’t do anything for m confidence. Of course I felt proud of myself when I’d done it – but there were no lasting effects. When I thought about that, I realised it was because I never doubted my ability to do it – I trusted my trainer and knew that if I followed his instructions I’d be fine.
I’m not knocking fire walking as a means of building confidence. It has an amazing impact on lots of people who try it. But if you believe you can do it from the outset, it’s probably not going to have much of an effect on you.
I use gentler ways of building confidence. You don’t have to face your fears in order to overcome them, although that can be very effective. I prefer you to overcome your fears so you can face them. Using the pleasant sensation of hypnotic trance to access your unconscious mind, I can then work with it to release you from your fears.