Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
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Saturday, January 31, 2015

How to Reduce or Eliminate the Need for "Will Power"

If you can believe in it, you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen!
If yo.u can experience it, you can believe it. 
If you can believe it, you can believe in it.
If you can believe in it, you can make it happen!
When I was still in high school, I read a book entitled Hypnosis Around the World, by Polgar. I was horrified to read his account of a hypnotist who told a subject that he was Christ on the cross. The man wept and writhed on the ground in an obvious paroxysm of pain. Now, some fifty years later, after a life of study and research into the nature of hypnosis, I remain as horrified as ever by this account but I have found no reason to question its accuracy. In fact, now we know how to make it relatively easy to involve your whole person in the content of a suggested event in order to motivate yourself to attain a distant goal -- a much more worthwhile application of the power of suggestion than the one I read about! Here is a description of the process as written for WikiHow, which was based on a paper presented earlier at the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (Gibbons, 2005). 

The "Best Me Technique" is a form of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience.

Every letter in "Best Me" corresponds with an element of suggestion. These elements can be applied in a variety of ways, including visualization exercises and other forms of hypnosis and self hypnosis. Instead of merely picturing something in the mind’s eye, high-responders to suggestion are able to use the Best Me Technique to exceed the limitations of "virtual reality" by utilizing all the building blocks of experience. 

Regardless of whether you are one of the experientially and imginatively gifted who are able to experience multimodal suggestion as a higher form of reality, or whether you merely experience it as a guided daydream, the Best Me Technique is a systematic, comprehensive way to harness the power of suggestion in your own life. So get ready for some exciting new experiences!


Things to Keep in Mind
  1. Find a quiet time and place to practice the Best Me Technique. An induction procedure is like the theme music to a motion picture or a television drama. It allows us to shift our thinking from a strictly logical mode of thought to a more flexible, more imaginative way of looking at the world. And we can all do that!
    • Unless you actually intend to do so, choose a time when you are not too sleepy or tired, so that you are not likely to doze off.
    • Turn off your cell phone or pager, if you have one, and take the telephone off the hook or put it on answer mode with the ringer turned off.
    • Sit down or lie down in a position which will enable you to relax deeply. If you should find yourself becoming uncomfortable during the session, it should not disturb you to gently adjust your position in order to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
  2. Guide yourself through the elements of the Best Me Technique using whatever words feel most natural to you. The following example is merely for purposes of illustration. In actual use, Best Me suggestions may be presented in any order and varied as often as necessary, much as you might vary the verses and choruses of a song. (You can make sure that you are including all the steps of the Best Me Technique by silently counting them off on your fingers as you go along.)
    • Belief systems. Picture yourself in a happy place, either real or imaginary, where you can drift off into a calm and peaceful nap. For the sake of illustration, we will use the example of lying on a blanket in the middle of a beautiful meadow, late on a warm spring morning.
    • Emotions. Let your entire being absorb the peacefulness which is all around you.
    • Sensations and physical perceptions. Feel the cool breeze upon your skin, and savour the freshness of the pure, country air. Listen to the twitter of the birds in the distance, and the sound of the water quietly splashing against the rocks in the brook, as you gently relax into the blanket and that warm, golden glow of the sunlight relaxes you completely from head to toe.
    • Thoughts and images. Sinking down and shutting down, and sinking down and shutting down. Sinking down and shutting down. Shutting down completely.
    • Motives. It’s so calm, and so peaceful that all you want to do is keep drifting, and dreaming, and floating on, and on, and on, into your own personal paradise.
    • Expectations. And the deeper you go, the deeper you're able to go, and the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more enjoyable the experience becomes."
    • As you go through each step, believe it will happen, expect it to happen, and feel it happening. The exact number of repetitions is not as important as the degree to which you are able to believe in your suggestions, as well as merely believing them.
  3. If you are inclined to doubt whether or not you have achieved self-hypnosis after a few minutes, you probably have. For many people, there is no such thing as a "hypnotized" feeling.
    • A private paradise is like a private room. When you enter a private space, it's not unusual to close the door to leave all worries and cares outside. You've already done this by closing your eyelids.
    • Of course, you can lock that door so that you can be safe and secure anytime you want. Now, after locking a door, it's natural to check it by tugging in vain at the doorknob and finding it locked tight. So, when you're certain you've locked your eyelids shut, make sure by tugging in vain at the doorknob and finding you've locked those eyelids shut, until you're ready to conclude your self-hypnosis session.
    • As soon as you're certain, you can stop trying, relax the eyelids, and allow that relaxation to flow through your body as you feel a sense of pride that you have just hypnotized yourself. You have given your body a suggestion, and your body has carried it out.
  4. Practice regularly. Just as people who practice meditation must incorporate it into their life style in order to be able to benefit from it, and just as a driver does not turn off the ignition until the destination has been reached, you also need to continue to use the Best Me Technique as often as needed to maintain your desired level of performance. However, once you have become sufficiently familiar with the elements of the Best Me Technique, you will be able to use them automatically and seamlessly in order to provide yourself with a self-hypnosis experience which is both enjoyable and effective.
Pre-Experiencing the Rewards of a Future Goal
  1. Choose the goal. This example illustrates the accomplishment of a specific goal: graduation, in order to provide the incentive to get there, reducing or eliminating the need for "will power."
    • You can increase the incentive value of the Best Me Technique still further by pre-experiencing other rewarding aspects of your goal, such as celebrating at a graduation party with friends and family, or relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship as you treat yourself to a much-deserved vacation after your goal has been achieved.
    • You may also want to pre-experience the rewards of sub-goals along the way, such as completing a unit of study, presenting a paper, or passing a major examination while overcoming the stress that goes with it, secure in the knowledge that you are on the way to a pre-determined and inevitable success.
    • The Best Me Technique can also be used to enhance performance in many other areas, such as singing, dance, athletics, creative writing, motivating yourself to work out, or starting your own business. It may also be a helpful part of a program to lose weight, stop smoking, or to rid yourself of other forms of addiction.
  2. Take all the time you need in order to thoroughly pre-experience the attainment of your goal. Use whatever order and wording you prefer as long as you include all of the "Best Me" steps. Allow yourself to experience each step as strongly as possible, but don't just daydream. Hyperempiria is like riding a bicycle. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but after a bit of practice it feels very natural. You can generally tell how well you are doing in your BMT experience by how good it makes you feel.
    • (B) Imagine yourself in the future, at the very moment you receive your diploma.
    • (E) Feel the admiring looks of your friends and family upon you, and enjoy to the fullest your sense of pride and accomplishment as you dwell on the glow of your success.
    • (S) See it happen, hear it happen, and feel it happening, as you allow yourself to experience this thrill of achievement throughout every part of your body, from head to toe.
    • (T) Visualize this goal so clearly that it feels as if you were actually willing it into existence.
    • (M) Let yourself believe that you are headed toward a certain and inevitable success.
    • (E) And as a result, allow yourself to actthink, and feel as if it were impossible to fail
Re-Creating an Earlier Mood
  1. You can also think of a time in your past when your confidence and motivation were at a level where you want them to be right now.
  2. Go through the steps of the Best Me Technique to allow yourself to experience this mood again. As before, you can generally tell how well you are doing in your BMT experience by how good it makes you feel.
    • (B) Imagine yourself in the past, when you were feeling the mood you want to feel now, in the present.
    • (E) Let yourself feel the emotion you were experiencing then as strongly as you can, as you re-live those moments in your mind.
    • (S) See it happen, hear it happen, and feel it happening, as you allow yourself to experience this feeling state once more throughout every part of your body, from head to toe.
    • (T) Visualize this mood, and the events which produced it, so clearly that it feels as if you were actually willing them back into existence.
    • (M) Let yourself believe that you are headed toward a certain and inevitable success once again.
    • (E) And as a result, allow yourself to actthink, and feel as if it were impossible to fail.
Turning it Up Even Higher

When you have created the mood you want, you can turn up the intensity to the level you desire by picturing a dial such as a ship's speed indicator, and slowly moving it up to where you want it. While allowing yourself a reasonable amount of time for breaks, if you should feel your motivation slipping you can always pause for a moment to re-adjust the controls.  You can also use an image like this to slow down your sense of how fast time is passing when you have time off from your duties, and to speed it up when you have work to do, so that it feels like your tasks will be over quickly.

Preparing to End Your Hyperempiric Session
  1. Whenever you are ready, you can think to yourself that you will gradually emerge from hyperempiria as you silently count from one to five, telling yourself that by the time you get to five, you are going to be back in the normal, everyday frame of mind in which we spend most of our waking lives.
  2. You can also give yourself a suggestion that each time you enter hyperempiria, you will be able to go in deeper and more rapidly, and derive even more benefits, from the experience, some of which you may already know and some of which you may not yet realize. (This will allow your unconscious to provide you with additional benefits which you may not yet be aware of.)
  3. Conclude your hyperempiric session. Silently count from one to five, telling yourself that at the count of five you will be back wide awake and feeling wonderful, using words like this:
    • One. Beginning to return now, as your mind begins to return to its normal level of functioning.
    • Two. You will be smiling, happy, and confident as you prepare to resume your life’s adventure.
    • Three. Coming back more and more now.
    • Four. Almost back.
    • Five. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful.


  • If you are inclined to doubt whether or not you have achieved self-hypnosis after a few minutes, you probably have.
    • For many people, there is no such thing as a "hypnotized" feeling.
    • An induction procedure is like the theme music to a motion picture or a television drama. It allows us to shift our thinking from a strictly logical mode of thought to a more flexible, more imaginative way of looking at the world. And we can all do that!
  • Regular practice using the Best Me Technique is essential until your long-term goal has been achieved.
    • People who want to realize the benefits of meditation make it a regular part of their life, and the same is true with hyperempiria.
    • When you are driving a car, you don't want to turn off the ignition until you have arrived at your destination!.
  • Whenever you would like to increase your level of motivation, here's a neat suggestion that you can give to yourself at any time. Just picture a dial in your mind (a clock with only an hour hand, with the hour hand set at one or a ship's speed indicator such as the one shown previously), and turn this dial up to an even higher level as you raise your motivation along with it. With a little practice, this can become a handy way to give your motivation an extra push whenever you need it most.
  • As a general rule, it is better to use as few words as possible with your Best Me suggestions. The images and experiences you encounter at each step, and the conviction with which you hold them, are much more important in determining the final outcome.
  • The building blocks of a Best Me experience need not be conceptually "pure." The purpose of the Best Me Technique is comprehensiveness; and each part of a Best Me experience may contain elements of the others.
  • If you already know how to perform self-hypnosis, you may prefer to use your own induction at the beginning, and then use the Best Me Technique for goal achievement.
  • You should focus on only one goal per session, rather than making up a "laundry list" of things to pursue. Having too many goals at once might tend to interfere with your ability to clearly focus your imagination on the rewards of goal attainment.
  • If other thoughts should start to distract you during your BMT session, just passively observe them and let them go, as one might do while practicing meditation. Recordings are also used to extend the effectiveness of hypnotic suggestions provided by someone else (or you can make your own). You may need to experiment a bit to find which method or combination works best for you.
  • You can also use the Best Me Technique to re-experience a time in the past when your motivation and confidence were at very high levels. When you have caught that mood, hold it for a moment and then bring it into the present to power your present tasks.
  • If you should find that you need to build self-confidence in order to pursue a much-desired goal, and if self-help books and articles are not useful enough, you may need to seek the services of a psychologist, counselor, clinical social worker, or life coach to provide the necessary support and encouragement, and to help you sort out your goals more clearly.
  • If you are finding it difficult to put the necessary degree of conviction into your suggestions to accomplish a goal, you may need to go back and analyze your goal to see if there are any hidden conflicts which may be preventing you from focusing completely upon its achievement.
  • Don't forget the importance of "environmental engineering." In addition to using self-hypnosis, you need to make whatever changes you have to in yourself and in your daily life in order to bring your goal to completion, such as learning to control your emotions, or to deal with impossible people you may meet along the way.
  • The potential applications of the Best Me Technique are quite large. When used correctly, suggestion may be regarded as an artistic medium which enables us to work directly with the ultimate art form: human experience itself.


The willingness to take calculated risks is an important part of what makes us human.
The desire to take calculated risks
 is an important part of what makes us human.
  • There is an old saying which goes, "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it." Things almost never turn out exactly as we expect them to. But the desire to take calculated risks, to "dream the impossible dream," and, if necessary, to make our own luck -- is part of what makes us human -- and it's what having free will is all about!
    • Suggestion should not be used to treat any type of mental condition, or to recover old memories, except under the direction and supervision of an appropriately qualified and licensed mental health professional.
    • Do not use the power of suggestion to eliminate pain or other physical symptoms, except under appropriate medical supervision. Such symptoms are often a natural warning signal from your body that something is wrong (or that something may be GOING wrong). Similarly, you should not attempt to use the power of suggestion to overcome depression, mood swings, hearing voices or seeing things that do not exist. And unless you are a physician or a licensed mental health professional yourself, there are probably a large number of potentially serious conditions that you have never even heard of!
    • You should not stop taking any type of prescription medication while using self-suggestion without talking to your doctor.
  • Don't try to use the Best Me Technique to "scare yourself" into achieving your goal, and don't include any shoulds, oughts, or musts in your suggestions. Psychological research has conclusively shown that human beings are motivated primarily by reward rather than by the threat of punishment. Keep it positive!
  • Don't try to use positive suggestion to maintain a failing relationship, or to rescue a relationship which is in trouble. This is most likely to be a form of denial. See a therapist or counselor.
  • Hypnosis and hyperempiria will not weaken your will, leave you susceptible to demonic or occult influences, or turn you into someone else's willing servant.
  • Do not allow yourself to be misled by the exaggerated claims of advertisers, or by or phony or unregulated degrees, accreditations, and "board certifications."
    • Self-hypnosis is not difficult to learn. People can end up paying thousands of dollars to acquire these skills, but they can just as learn master them free of charge if they are willing to put forth the necessary time and effort in order to do so.
  • Many self-improvement projects may require the additional professional assistance of a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker for their successful completion.
    • Psychiatrists can perform these services too, of course. But, with a few fortunate exceptions, the demands of today's marketplace have led many psychiatrists to concentrate primarily on diagnosing mental illness and prescribing psychotropic medication.
    • Many insurance companies do not pay for consulting a hypnotist or hypnotherapist if this is their only professional qualification. If you have insurance which covers mental health, you can call your State psychological, counseling, or social work association and ask for the names of members near you who include hypnosis as one of their specialties, or you can check your phone book listings under these headings.
    • You may want to check ahead of time to see whether or not your particular need is covered and, if so, which types of mental health providers your insurance carrier is willing to recognize. You also need to determine whether or not the particular provider you have chosen is in your insurance carrier's network or is able to accept out-of-network reimbursement from that particular provider. Your insurance carrier or your mental health services provider needs to inform you whether or not pre-authorization is necessary, if there is a deductible which has to be met first, how many visits they are willing to authorize, and how much the co-pay, if any, is going to be.
  • We must always retain the ability to recognize when a goal is really not worth pursuing, in order to keep from wasting our lives in futile effort.
    • If we can learn to overcome the discouragement which has protected us in from our own mistakes in goal selection, we have an added responsibility to make certain that the goals which we have chosen really are worth going after, and that they are within the scope of our ability to attain them.
    • The world is full of people whose "impossible dreams" will always be impossible. But there are many others for whom an iron determination can make all the difference, no matter what the odds against them. As we put this powerful new technology into use, it is up to each of us to decide just how idealistic or how practical we choose to be.
  • Finally, just as there are some people who are color blind cannot comprehend the experience of color, some people are hypnosis blind and cannot comprehend the experience of hypnosis.
    • The ability to respond to suggestion is distributed in the general population in much the same way that height, weight, and intelligence are. Some of us have a little, and some of us have a lot, but most of us have enough to get by.
    • But for everyone whose ability to respond to suggestion is extremely low or virtually nonexistent, there is someone else who can harness the power of suggestion for many areas of personal growth and self-improvement. Such is the potential and the promise of hyperempiria for those who are able and willing to make use of it.
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