Can you tap your way to your ideal weight?

20 May

A tool  I use more and more in my practice is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping.  So I was delighted to see an article in The Daily Mail last week singing the praises of tapping, particularly for helping with weight loss.

The article quotes a recent clinical study on 89 women which found that those who tapped for 15 minutes a day lost an average of 16 lb in eight weeks, without following a strict diet or exercise plan.

One area that tapping is particularly helpful with is emotional eating – those times when we reach for food and we’re not physically hungry.

To show you how to use this powerful tool for yourself, I have created a special video which takes you through a tapping routine to help combat emotional eating.

 

 

I’d love to hear how you found this tapping routine.  Comment below and let me know what you experienced and any particular emotional triggers you have for eating.

How do you experience time?

12 May

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-time-now-2-image1543231Are you the kind of person who is always telling yourself that you don’t have enough time?

Do you find yourself saying to others, ‘Can’t stop, too busy!’

Do you feel that you have so much to do and no time to fit it all in?

I hear you!  I often find myself feeling pressured and a little panicky about time (even though my work is all about being more mindful!  We teach what we need to learn.)

When we feel that we don’t have enough time, our stress levels rise and our sense of wellbeing drops.

The good news is we can choose how we experience time.  We can learn to bring ourselves back into the moment.  We can start to tell ourselves a different time story.

It’s all about perception.

My Tuesday Challenge video focuses on time this week.  I share a story about how I started to shift my experience of time and I invite you to start doing the same.

You can watch the video below and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How do you currently experience time?  Do you feel pressured, busy and rushed?  Please comment at the bottom of the post and let me know your time-style.

 

The 3 tell-tale signs you are experiencing resistance

6 May

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-bored-healthy-eating-image18253299I had a light bulb moment recently (love it when that happens!). I was watching Marie Forleo interview sports psychologist Todd Herman and he was talking about the biological process that occurs when we start to make a change. In very basic terms (I am no scientist!), he explained that when we begin to behave in a new way, our cells are bombarded with different hormones, and they start to vibrate.

We often interpret this vibration as a negative emotion. We can feel unsettled and decide that the change we have made isn’t right for us. We go back to our old habits, as they feel more comfortable.

The realisation that this unsettled feeling that comes when we make a change is actually biological really struck me. Once we recognise that, ‘Hey! It’s just my cells vibrating’, we can move through this initial discomfort and wait for them to calm down (which they will).

I was also really interested in what’s going for us whilst our cells are doing this change dance. What do we actually experience when we are trying to make a change? It can be summed up in one word, resistance.

Resistance can happen whenever we want to do something different. We feel an initial excitement, a ‘Yes! I can do this,’ attitude. We get all motivated and start making the change and then a couple of hours, days or weeks later….resistance kicks in.

What does resistance look like? It’s helpful to know, because you will have your own signature style of resistance. Once you become familiar with it, you can simply say, ‘Oh, I see you there’ and move right on through it.

So, here are three tell-tale signs that your cells are vibrating up a storm and you are experiencing la resistance.

Tell-tale sign number 1: Everything goes to s**t

I have seen this so many times with my clients and myself!

Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight. Everything is going great for a week or so. You’re making healthier food choices, you’re getting to the gym and the weight is starting to come off.

You feel good. You’re thinking to yourself, ‘Yes! I’m finally doing this.’

Then the next week, you get on the scales and to your horror, you’ve put weight on. How did this happen? You’ve been doing everything right. You’ve made changes. How could you have put weight on?

A similar thing happened for me last May. At the time I was working on my wealth consciousness. I was really focused on being more successful in my business.

Do you know what happened? Last May was my worst month ever financially for my business. It was beyond bad.

When this kind of thing happens, our natural response is to feel, ‘What’s the freaking point?’ We can give up and go back to our old habits.

However, if we recognise this difficult time as resistance, then our perception starts to shift.

This is why I always let my clients know that it’s completely normal to experience setbacks. It is part of the process and you just need to move on through it.

What do you do when everything goes to s**t? Keep taking action!

Action is so key. When I had my disastrous May last year, even though part of me wanted to give up and crawl under the duvet, I kept going. I did leaflet drops, put posters up, kept networking and do you know what? Business picked up and has been pretty darn great ever since.

I just had to move through the resistance and you can do that too.

Tell-tale sign number 2: You procrastinate

Have you ever wanted to make a big change and just kept putting it off in some way?

You find yourself thinking that you just need to read that one more book before taking action. Maybe you tell yourself, ‘I’ll start it on Monday, next month, after my holiday’.

Again, this is a sure sign you’re experiencing resistance. Just thinking about this change is causing your cells to samba and you’re feeling uncomfortable.

So, you find ways of putting off actually doing anything. You might even find yourself doing the dishes, folding the washing, cleaning the bathroom – anything to delay making a change.

You can justify all of this in your head, telling yourself that you really need to dust the living room before you can concentrate. Or maybe you tell yourself you don’t have enough time right now?

There are a gazillion excuses and delaying tactics you can call on.

The fact is, you are procrastinating. You are experiencing resistance.

How do you deal with this? Just do the work!

I’m afraid there is no easy solution, you just need to recognise that you are delaying and then get on with it.

Now, don’t think you have to do it all at once (because that could cause resistance overload!)

Start with small, manageable steps. Maybe commit to 30 minutes a day working towards your goal. You can always build on that.

Call yourself out on your procrastination and keep taking action.

Tell-tale sign number 3: You feel grumpy!

Oh, I am so familiar with this form of resistance! (Actually, I’m super-familiar with all of them, but this is a favourite of mine.)

Maybe you sign-up with a personal trainer, a teacher at an evening class or a coach. At first you think that person is great. You’re telling everyone how inspirational they are. You are their biggest fan.

Then one day you find yourself feeling grumpy with them. You start to find points to criticise. Maybe you miss a session, you feel kind of rebellious.

You tell yourself, ‘I’m going to do it my way. I know what’s best for me!’

Now, I absolutely agree that you are unique and you can find your own way. All power to you my friend!

However, if you are telling yourself this and feeling downright grumpy at the same time, then this is often a sign that actually what you are experiencing is resistance.

Maybe this person has challenged you in some way (if they are doing their job right they certainly will have). At first you found this exciting, but then your cells start to cha-cha-cha and you find yourself shrinking back.

It’s much easier to reject someone when you feel grumpy with them, so that’s what happens. You unconsciously manifest a grump so you can justify stopping working with that person.

Does this resonate with you? I have certainly experienced this in the past, both as a therapist and as a client.

How do you get over the grump? Out it!

I know it won’t feel comfortable initially, but acknowledge your grouchiness. Talk to the person your grump is directed at. Tell them what you’re experiencing.

You will feel much better for it. That grump will start to disappear as soon as you let it out (like magic!).

So, resistance, it’s a funny old thing isn’t it? Learning to spot the signs is so liberating. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can move through it.

Take action now: What’s your signature style of resistance? Comment below, tell me about a time you experienced resistance and what you did to overcome it.

If you are ready to just do it and get through your resistance, contact me and let’s talk.

Will this work for me?

29 Apr

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-woman-thinking-image9668962I recently sent out a survey and one of the questions I asked was, ‘Is there anything that stops you from trying hypnotherapy or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)?’

One of the most common responses was, ‘I’m not sure if or how it would help me.’

I hear this a lot from prospective clients. I even wondered about it myself before I actually started to use these therapies personally (I used to be a bit of a sceptic!).

So, what’s the answer. Can hypnotherapy or EFT help anybody?

My belief (and my experience) is YES! These are powerful, life-changing techniques . However, there are some conditions and in the spirit of complete honesty, I want to share them with you.

1) You need to do the work

I have said this before and always make it clear to my clients. You cannot just come for a hypnotherapy or EFT session, sit back and expect the therapist to do all the work (sorry, but it’s not a magic pill!)

Any kind of therapy is a two-way process. I often give my clients homework to do and you have to be willing to take action.

Maybe you’ve had the experience of reading a self-help book and skipping through the exercises the author recommends (ahem, holding my hand up here!) Did you get any results? No!

If you don’t want to do the work, you won’t get results. A willingness to change and engage in the process is a necessity.

2) You will feel resistance

I can guarantee that resistance will come into play at some point.  What I mean by resistance is feeling fed-up, doubting whether it’s working for you, procrastination or feeling like you’re going backwards.

The truth is, if there wasn’t any resistance you would have made the change already.

I must admit, as a therapist I love it when resistance comes up for a client. I know that might sound mean, but when someone starts to find the process difficult, it means that the real change is taking place.

I generally work with clients for six sessions and around session three or four, I know that they will arrive saying that everything has gone wrong. I’ve come to expect it, so I can secretly smile and reassure them that this is a clear sign that big shifts are happening.

When our norm (hey Norm!) feels threatened, it starts to play up. It might feel like we’re falling back into our old ways, but it’s just Norm trying to keep us safe and comfortable.

The good news? Hypnotherapy and EFT are excellent tools for moving through resistance and dealing with Norm.  We’ve got it covered.

3) The client/therapist relationship is super-important

I have worked with lots of clients who have seen other therapists and not got the results they wanted. When I ask what the experience was like, they usually say that they felt some sort of discomfort with the therapist.

Because they didn’t feel at ease, they couldn’t relax. If you can’t relax, then it’s difficult to go into hypnosis. If you can’t go into hypnosis, then you don’t create the change.

It’s so important that you feel comfortable with your therapist. You need to feel safe and supported in all of the work that you do.

This is why I always offer a free 30-minute consultation to any prospective clients. I want to make sure that they feel at ease with me and happy with the way I work.

4) One-session wonders are possible (but not the norm)

Often people have a belief, particularly with hypnotherapy, that they will have one session and ‘Boom!’, their life will be completely different and all their problems will be solved.

Now, I can certainly help specific issues in one session. Smoking is a common one. The fact is, you either smoke or you don’t smoke so we can switch between one and the other, usually fairly easily.

Other issues are more complex. When it comes to weight loss, you can’t simply give up eating. So we have to make changes to your relationship with food, the way you eat and the choices you make. This takes time and the change can be gradual, but it will come.

EFT can also help to achieve surprisingly quick shifts, but sometimes you have to tap on a particular issue for a while to get clear results.

If you experience chronic pain or a long-term issue, then I always recommend tapping daily (just for a few minutes) to create a change.

Sometimes issues aren’t clear-cut and therefore it’s not so easy to see black and white results.

I personally tap pretty much every day, as well as using self-hypnosis regularly to make changes and achieve my goals.

Is it always quick and easy? No.

Do I sometimes feel like I can’t be bothered? Yes.

When I take the time to do it, do I see results? Yes!

I might not see an immediate change, but I know that my life flows easier when I use these powerful tools.

Often I look back over a period of months, or even years and think, ‘Wow! I really have changed.’ Sometimes we can’t see change when we’re close to it. It’s only when we get some distance and step back that we notice the difference.

When I work with clients, my aim is to give them the tools they need so they can go away and continue to create change. I don’t want to keep the secrets for myself, I want to empower you. Once you know how to use hypnosis and EFT (and anyone can do this!), you have these skills for life.

So, does that answer any questions for you?

Have you been wondering ‘Will this work for me?’

Take action now!  Ask yourself, ‘Am I ready to do the work?’, ‘Is this issue or problem important enough for me to take action?’ and ‘Am I willing to move past any resistance?’

If the answer is, ‘Yes!’, get in touch to arrange your free 30-minute consultation and let’s get started.

The Surprising Connection Between Weight Loss and Money

22 Apr

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-frustrated-money-woman-image16282481How the same blocks that are preventing you from losing weight could be stopping you from having the money you desire
(and how to overcome them)

Do you ever have so many ideas flying around inside your head that you end up feeling totally confused? That has been me recently!

Although I’ve always specialised in helping women achieve the perfect weight loss mindset, this year I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I could help different women achieve different goals. It’s been very exciting, but I needed some clarity and therefore I decided to send out a survey to my existing and potential clients.

I wanted to discover what areas of their lives were presenting the most challenges and what they thought was holding them back. The results were surprising and enlightening!

Almost half of the women I surveyed said that money was the main area of challenge in their lives. This was no surprise; I personally have had my challenges with finances and I know many women feel the same. However, what was enlightening was that the stumbling blocks women talked about when it came to money were exactly the same as those I had worked with in my weight loss hypnotherapy practice over the years.

The struggles, challenges, and underlying limiting beliefs that were holding women back from being their ideal weight, were exactly the same as those that were preventing women from managing and calling in the money they desired.

I’m sure you have heard the idea before that our outer world mirrors our inner world. If you are struggling to earn enough, if your relationships are difficult or you have excess weight that is getting you down, this is a reflection of something that is going on internally.

The results of my survey showed that the inner landscape of someone who is struggling to lose weight is very similar to someone who has a difficult relationship with money. The excess weight and lack of money are simply symptoms of the same unconscious blocks.

So, what are these stumbling blocks that can stop us from losing weight as well as enjoying financial abundance? Here are the top three of the most common, along with ways to overcome them.

1) Block One – Lack of self-belief

Just as we often have an ideal weight in our minds, many of us have an idea of the amount of money we would like to earn. We are encouraged to set goals in all areas of our lives, clear, specific, achievable goals. So we do. We write them down and then what? I wonder if you ever think, ‘Okay, that’s my goal, now how the hell do I get to it?’

Perhaps you then start to feel anxious about what steps to take? Maybe you start to beat yourself up that you are not taking any action and you have no idea what to actually do in order to reach you goal. In fact, you can feel downright scared!

When we feel this fear and anxiety, it’s often because there is a little voice in the back of our mind saying, ‘You can’t do that!’, ‘Who do you think you are to try and be that weight/earn that much?’ and the classic, ‘You’re just not good enough’. Any of those sound familiar?

As soon as that voice kicks in, we freeze. We might know exactly where we want to be, but we just don’t believe we can get there. So a ‘what’s the point in trying?’ attitude kicks in.

We just don’t believe in ourselves. And if you don’t truly believe you can achieve a particular goal, it’s going to be darned hard work trying to get there.

Whether it’s a particular weight or a certain amount of money we want, we need to believe we can do it.

If this resonates with you, what can you do to boost your self-belief?

Well, the first step is to recognise that critical voice when it starts kicking in. What exactly is it saying to you? Write down any limiting beliefs that are coming to mind. By writing them down, you are starting the process of getting them out of your head, reducing their power.

The second step is to release these old, limiting beliefs. There are many ways to do this, including hypnotherapy and EFT. However, if you don’t have access to these therapies at the moment, you could hold a simple, symbolic ceremony and burn the piece of paper on which you have written your limiting beliefs. As the paper burns, put your hand on your heart and declare, ‘I choose to release these old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve me’. (This might sound a bit woo-woo but believe me, this kind of releasing ceremony can be very powerful – just give it a go.)

Once you have released the old beliefs, it’s time to decide which new thoughts and beliefs are going to support you as you move forwards. What positive statements and affirmations will build your belief and free you up to move towards your goals?

‘I can do it!’

‘I have all the resources within me to earn the income I desire.’

‘I am good enough’.

It’s time to start installing these new beliefs. Write them down. Say them out loud as often as possible and repeat them in your mind whenever you can, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

This process can take time and you may need to go back and work through the steps over again, but you are reprogramming your mind with self-belief.

Take action now: Take some time to think about a particular goal that’s important to you. Visualise yourself achieving this goal, see yourself getting exactly what you want. As you do this, notice what thoughts come to mind. Are there any critical, negative beliefs that come up? Start with these and work through the three steps outlined above.

2) Block Two – Guilt and Shame

These are big ones! As women, many of us have feelings of guilt and shame around not being the way we want to be. Whether it’s in terms of the way we look or the money we earn (or don’t earn), it’s almost as if we have been programmed to feel shameful and guilty.

Maybe we were told, ‘Nice girls don’t ask for more’, so we feel guilty asking for the money we truly deserve.

Perhaps we feel shameful around out past behaviours and choices around money or food? In the same way that someone might binge eat in secret, maybe you have credit card debts or loans that you feel ashamed of?

Often we feel guilty about wanting more, whether that’s in terms of more money or more self-care. We are told, that you shouldn’t want more than enough, any more is a waste. So we manage on what we already have, we don’t give ourselves what we truly need and deserve. We don’t acknowledge our true, deep-down, desires.

We end up suppressing our feelings, scared to express ourselves, fearful of saying, ‘I want that!’, whatever ‘that’ may be.

I wonder if you have feelings of guilt and shame around money? If you do, one of the best things you can do is let these feelings out.

How can you do this? I recommend either talking to a friend who will understand, becoming part of a supportive group, either online or in-person, or working with a mentor who will help you to release these feelings that can hold you back.

Once any guilt and shame is out in the open, once you express it, the feelings start to lose their power. They are only toxic when you hold them in.

Take action now: Are you holding onto guilt or shame around money? Take some time to journal your feelings and start to look for someone who can support you. It’s important that you feel comfortable and safe with whoever you choose to share these feelings with, so start to explore your options and trust your instinct.

3) Block Three – Feeling overwhelmed

This is such a common feeling when it comes to either losing weight or managing our money.

Maybe your particular goal just feels too big? Perhaps you have no idea where to start?

When we are looking to make changes and work towards a specific outcome, we can sometimes click into anxiety and panic mode. When this happens, stress hormones can start to be released into our bodies. We feel under pressure and on edge. No wonder it feels difficult to move forwards and make the transformation we desire!

This feeling of overwhelm can result in procrastination. Although we have an idea of where we want to get to, it seems like there are too many steps in the way, so we find ourselves checking Facebook for the 10th time that day (sound familiar?)

Another method of self-sabotage is telling ourselves there’s not enough time. I hear this so often (and I must admit, I find myself saying it at times!) When something is important to us, we can always find the time to do it. When we say, I just don’t have the time, it’s another way of saying, ‘I’m overwhelmed, I don’t know where to start and I’m going into panic mode!’

So, what can you do to overcome this feeling of overwhelm? Begin by taking a deep breath and then start small. Set aside just 15 minutes a day and start taking the small steps that are going to make a big difference.

If you were trying to lose weight, you might use this 15 minutes to do some exercise. When it comes to money you could begin by finding out exactly where you are right now. Go through your paperwork (remember, just 15 minutes a day) and write down how much money you have, any debts you currently have and track the money that is coming in. Knowledge is power!

Create a plan of your next steps and use your daily 15 minutes to start moving forward.

When you commit to bitesize chunks of time, it feels so much more manageable than telling yourself you’re going to spend a whole day or half-day on something.

Take action now: Grab your diary and schedule in your daily 15minutes – do it now! Write down some ideas for your small steps and plan them into your 15-minute slots of time. Commit to taking action.

Have any of these blocks particularly resonated with you? If so, please share your comments below this article and let me know what action you plan to take. By taking the time to comment, you are sending a powerful message to your subconscious mind that you are committed to taking action.

Tweet: When we work on our inner world, the outer world starts to shift. It’s inevitable. @NicolaSemple1Tweet: When we work on our inner world, the outer world starts to shift. It's inevitable. @NicolaSemple1

If you are struggling with money at the moment, I am offering free 45-minute Blast Your Block calls next week to three people. These calls will offer you the chance to identify your particular money blocks and explore ways of moving past them, coming up with a clear plan of action. If you would like to step-up and claim one of these calls, email me at: nicola@horizon-hypnotherapy.com and let me know how you would benefit.

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