Fears, nagging inner criticism, and creative blocks are familiar to passionate performing and visual artists. The stress caused by any of these factors can be so debilitating for some that it ruins their live performance or prevents them from starting or even finishing projects. Some seek guidance from self-improvement books to help them out of their dilemma. Musicians might turn to The Musician’s Way by Gerald Klickstein, artists to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, or others may look to Eric Maisel’s creativity books such as Fearless Creating. But what if following their advice fails to bring relief? That means there is something deeper in play. Something that has a life of its own which exerts unwanted control over the body or instigates negative, performance disrupting thoughts. It’s something that eludes logic, reason and any conscious effort to maintain self-control. What could it be?
For better or worse, parents, teachers, clergy and other authority figures make imprints upon us when we are young, impressionable children. An imprint is an idea that makes its way into the subconscious mind and sticks. It is a little program that is played back whenever the subconscious mind perceives a situation or pattern for which it has a previously learned a response.
We carry imprints into adulthood. They can be neutral in character, such as automatically retying a loose shoelace, or positive, such as striving to do good, timely work. But negative imprints produce undesirable responses. Those responses may be procrastination, negative or racing thoughts, or physical symptoms: muscle tension, dry mouth, shaky hands, sweating, vocal tremor or much worse.
The subconscious mind doesn’t discriminate. It may become imprinted with several competing or opposing responses to a number of similar situations. That causes inner conflict. Like starting to do one thing but then suddenly veering off to do something entirely different. Like the solo trumpet player whose mouth suddenly goes dry during a concerto which had been practiced to perfection. Or like the fiction writer who wants to start but doesn’t because thoughts of not being good enough get in the way. Or perhaps it’s the artist who struggles to paint something new and fresh but clings to the same old landscapes. All are defenseless against negative imprints because it takes more than logic and reason to wrestle back control.
Hypnosis is proven to be effective for releasing the negative imprints of childhood and replacing them with new, positive imprints. The subconscious mind effortlessly relearns and is easily reprogrammed through hypnosis to respond in supportive rather than destructive ways. These next examples show how a hypnotist using hypnosis works to solve some common performance issues.
Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battle ground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling―Madeleine L’Engle
A little anxiety can be good for a performer. It provides a small rush of adrenaline that brings sparkle to a performance. But when anxious feelings become extreme and the performer no longer regulates their mind or controls their body then they are unable to perform.
Thirty years ago doctors started prescribing an off-label use of the beta blocker Propranolol to musicians. The medicine blocks the effects of adrenaline and makes the heart beat slower with less force. It controls the physical symptoms of stage fright: shaking, dry mouth, clammy hands, feeling flushed. Yet it does nothing for racing thoughts, negative self-talk, blanking out and fear. What performers really needed was a totally effective, side effect-free, permanent remedy for stage fright.
Through hypnosis the hypnotist uncovers the imprints causing stage fright. Hypnosis creates an environment which enables the subconscious mind to accept that there was a time when those imprints were valid and valuable but they now are inappropriate and unneeded. This prompts the release of outdated negative responses―fears―and the adopting of new permanent performance enhancing responses.
Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy―Ray Bradbury
Creativeness can only be found by escaping the rattle and hum of the conscious mind and moving toward a deeper, calmer and quieter place of pure experience and productive concentration. Many know this in their hearts to be true. It’s the place to shake off clichés, the overused and the stale before dipping a brush into the inner primordial soup and touching it to canvas. That place is the Creativity Zone.
The hypnotist is a guide and teacher who can lead anyone to construct a special place within their own mind for creative contemplation―a personal Creativity Zone where all ideas are welcome, worth considering and free from criticism. The hypnotist also teaches self-hypnosis. A person learns self-hypnosis to become their own hypnotist so they can go on their own to the Creativity Zone whenever and wherever they choose. Self-hypnosis is the most self-empowering way to stimulate the creative thought process.
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad―Andy Warhol
“Why bother practicing? You never will be good enough.”
“You don’t deserve to be a success.”
“No! Not good enough! You have to paint better than that!”
So speaks the judgmental inner critic, a saboteur who hinders creativity by destroying self-esteem, self-confidence and self-worth.
An inner critic is part of personality. It comes into existence―oftentimes spawned from a long forgotten traumatic childhood event―to protect against embarrassment, failure or other harm. Yet it has no power to act on its own. Instead it nags, badgers and pesters until we take action on its behalf. Though well intentioned, the outcome often is worse than the harm it protects against.
The inner critic wants to enforce a specific way of living. It demands perfection, caution or obsessive hard work. But in a cruel twist it instead gets low self-esteem, performance fears, mental blocks, self-doubt and even addictions in return.
The inner critic cannot be restrained or removed. It can only be reformed. The hypnotist identifies the inner critic and its purpose through interactive dialog during a hypnosis session. The hypnotist persuades the inner critic to release its negative criticisms and adopt a new positive outlook. That completes its transformation from inner critic to inner champion. Going forward the inner champion takes over making only supportive, nurturing and encouraging statements.
Hypnosis removes barriers to creative expression. It rebalances inner resources and realigns inner drives with personal desires to provide uplifting support to creative goals. It gives immediate access to the most creative part of the artist, the mind. Hypnosis is for the creative life you want to live.