Why can’t I be hypnotised?
You can, and already have been thousands of times – you just didn’t realise!
If you have used hypnosis before and think you can’t be hypnotised then this page will help show you how wrong you are because I can guarantee you’ve already done it.
Visit my YouTube channel for dozens of videos about how hypnotherapy works.
What hypnosis really is
Hypnosis is a state of focus.
Hypnosis is not about:
- Feeling sleepy
- Closing your eyes
- Soft music
- Imagining staircases and waterfalls
- Controlling someone else’s mind
All of those things are utter nonsense, yet that’s what most people believe.
One of the most classic misconceptions about hypnosis is that you can hypnotise someone by telling them to relax over and over again.
Hypnosis leads to relaxation but relaxation does not lead to hypnosis!
That’s like saying you can break a plank of wood by jumping on it, therefore breaking a plank of wood makes you jump.
When A leads to B that doesn’t mean B leads to A.
This video explains more.
So what do I mean about how you’ve done hypnosis before?
Let me explain how you’ve already used hypnosis thousands of times in your life without knowing it. In fact, you’re actually doing it right now!
Everyone has already been in hypnosis
You have already been in hypnosis thousands of times without knowing it.
Anytime you do something without knowing you’re entering hypnosis. This includes everyday things like:
- Watching TV
All of those things are done by your unconscious/subconscious mind and hypnosis is when you focus on these unconscious things and become more aware of them.
This is how stage hypnosis shows works. If you watch the clips on this page then you’ll see people that are having new things installed in their subconscious. As well as breathing and blinking, their mind accepts a suggestion that their name is Bob when it isn’t.
Hypnotherapy to overcome anxiety and other issues isn’t about suggestions, You won’t fix a fear of driving just by telling someone they feel fine because you have to go deeper than that but hypnotic suggestions can work for short-term entertainment purposes.
Soft music, swinging a watch in front of someone’s face and whispering about unicorns and fields of candy are all things that amateurs do. They think that’s how you bring hypnosis on because they don’t understand what it really is.
There is no special magic to hypnotising yourself, all you have to do is focus on your internal thoughts.
Wait…did I just say hypnotise yourself? Yes, because…
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis
You can’t hypnotise someone else, that’s impossible.
When you see a “hypnotist” working, they’re merely helping guide someone into their own state of mind. You can’t put someone into hypnosis against their will.
Here is a famous quote from one of the greatest hypnotists of all time.
There is really no such thing as a hypnotist.Dave Elman
What this means is that because you can’t hypnotise someone else, there really is no such thing as a hypnotist as that implies they’re doing the hypnotising.
Even the word hypnosis is incorrect because it comes from the early days when people doing hypnosis thought they had the power to put people to sleep so they named it hypnosis after Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep.
Can you see why the world is in such a mess when it comes to hypnosis?
It was given the wrong name by people who thought it was what it wasn’t and all this got picked up by Hollywood who made films about evil hypnotists controlling people’s minds.
You can read more about this on my page how hypnosis works.
These videos allow you to experience a basic form of hypnosis. Click the menu button at the top right to choose your video.
Why we all need an unconscious mind
Imagine what it would be like if you had to go through life doing everything consciously.
Just to walk you’d have to think “Blink, breathe in, blink, breathe out, left foot forward, blink, right foot forward, breathe in, blink”
You’d never get anywhere!
It’s funny when people insist they can’t be hypnotised. What they’re saying is they do EVERYTHING in life consciously.
The main reason people think they can’t be hypnotised is that they expect it to be something it’s not.
Hypnosis isn’t what people expect
Hypnosis isn’t a zombie-like state. You don’t go to sleep, you wake up. You don’t lose control, you gain control or how else could you use hypnosis to overcome a fear or phobia?
Some people, known as somnambulists, do go into a deep trance but they’re the minority. Whenever you see TV shows with people dropping into dramatic trances it’s because they have handpicked those people to make it look good.
What about stage shows where they throw frisbees into the crowd to select people at random? That isn’t as random as it looks. If you throw a frisbee toward a group of people, the outgoing ones that want to be on stage are going to reach out and grab it while the more reserved people will lean away from it.
Most people by far say they feel nothing or very little when in hypnosis. Hypnosis really is just like sitting with your eyes closed but you can do it with your eyes open because it’s a state of mind not a state of eyelids.
If you’re expecting hypnosis to be something it isn’t then that’s why it “isn’t working”.
It is working, you’re just expecting something that isn’t going to happen and doesn’t need to.
90% of people will never experience a deep trance (somnambulism) in hypnosis. That’s like getting into a taxi and telling the driver to take you to a place that doesn’t exist. It’s not going to happen.
Hypnosis isn’t what many people think it is and you can’t go somewhere that doesn’t exist!
Find out more about MP3 hypnosis tracks on my page Do YouTube hypnosis videos work?
You won’t know when you’re in hypnosis
It’s always funny when someone says they know they haven’t been hypnotised.
Hypnosis is about using your unconscious – if you knew it was happening then it wouldn’t be unconscious!
It’s like asking someone who is drunk if they’re drunk. They’ll usually swear they aren’t drunk and insist they can drive perfectly safely, all as they are struggling to stand up and speak.
I said earlier that you become more aware of things when you’re in hypnosis and that’s true but you’re not aware of the hypnosis itself. When you do become aware of it you risk popping out of hypnosis because your conscious mind will kick in.
Another common misconception is that you just go into hypnosis and stay there. You actually pop in and out of it and it’s common when I work with clients that they go in and out of hypnosis regularly.
Have you ever had one of those where you woke up, went back to sleep and then felt terrible in the morning? That’s not because your sleep was interrupted, it’s because when you come out of a trance and go back into it, you go in deeper. You aren’t tired because you had less sleep, you’re tired because you had deeper sleep.
Another misconception is that dreams happen in deep sleep. Wrong, they actually happen when you’re in a very light state of sleep, almost awake in fact.
Hypnosis is all about keeping your swimming nicely in that thin line between being awake and “asleep” so that you can access your unconscious/subconscious mind.
Read more about how hypnosis feels and watch this video for an excellent example of someone who is clearly in hypnosis yet refuses to accept it.
Before reading on
The following text explains the traditional way of entering hypnosis.
I wrote this when I was a beginner and since spending years training and working with hundreds of clients I can see how far I’ve come.
While the following is true, there are many shortcuts you can take and corners you can cut while still achieving hypnosis.
This is what helped me understand it and move on however so I’ll leave it here so it can do the same for you.
How to enter hypnosis
There are 3 parts to entering hypnosis as covered in the first video on this page:
Why can’t I be hypnotised?
You can, you’re just stopping it from happening.
If you are having trouble entering hypnosis then there is a list of things to check below. This may look like a lot to take in but it takes longer to read it and learn it than it does to just do it!
The main reasons hypnosis isn’t working for you
As we said before, there is no such thing as someone that can’t be hypnotised. There are however people that resist it, even if they don’t know they are resisting it.
If you resist hypnosis then it won’t work. You can’t force it on someone, they have to want it to happen for it to work.
People that are convinced hypnosis is fake are just making their own misbelief come true. When someone has convinced themselves that they’re special, different, better or just that hypnosis is fake then it won’t work. They then proudly boast of how special they are because they have beaten the hypnotist and proven their point.
They have only beaten themselves.
How to get over thinking you can’t be hypnotised
Let’s now look at the main 3 things you need to know to become hypnotised.
I’ll then give you some more tips and videos to help you enter hypnosis even more easily.
Part 1 – You need 4 things for hypnosis to work
There is an easy way to make all these 4 things work in seconds which I explain in my video above. If it seems a lot then don’t worry because it’s all very easy to do.
There are occasions when hypnosis should not be used such as when people have bipolar, schizophrenia, epilepsy or asthma. Hypnosis can make these worse or bring on an attack. This page is not meant as a guide on how to hypnotise someone, it is to help highlight problems for people that want to use hypnosis and have no reason not to but are having trouble achieving it.
Without belief there is nothing. Surely hypnosis would work though whether you believe it or not? I mean, if you put a needle through your hand then it hurts whether or not you believe it, right? Wrong.
It is perfectly possible to make it so that in a state of hypnosis you would not feel a thing when a needle goes right through your hand. Do not try this at home, this is an example only and not something I recommend you do without expert training and supervision. Nevertheless, it is possible.
This is the very same thing that can stop you from entering hypnosis in the first place. If you don’t believe it then your mind will reject it and it will not work.
You must believe in hypnosis or your mind will stop it working.
As already stated, some people take great pride in this and feel a huge sense of achievement by not being able to enjoy it. The reason for this is often fear. They’re unknowingly scared of not being in control which is silly because hypnosis gives you more control.
Hypnosis does not put you to sleep, it wakes you up.
Imagination is the language of the subconscious. Without being able to imagine, hypnosis won’t work.
It’s very easy to imagine. I want you to imagine a tropical beach right now. What can you see, hear, feel?
There is no right or wrong but if you can’t imagine anything then you need to work on imagining things before hypnosis will work for you.
You must be convinced that it is going to work. As with belief, any doubt at all will stop it from working because your mind will reject the idea to protect you. We’ll come to that more in part 2.
You must expect hypnosis to happen. If you sit there expecting it to work then it will. If you sit there expecting it won’t work then guess what? It won’t!
You get what you aim for in life.
People that see themselves as doing well will do well. People who see themselves as a loser will end up a loser.
Here’s a great quote based on that fact:
Whether you think you can, or you think you can‘t – you‘re right.Henry Ford
Before moving on to part 2 you MUST have all the 4 things above done.
You must believe it’ll work, imagine it working, be convinced it’ll work and expect it to work.
A quick test to see how you’re doing so far
Watch the video below. It contains a simple test to see if you have the 4 things above in place. If not then work on those more before continuing.
It doesn’t matter that it’s about driving anxiety, it’ll still show you how to hypnotise yourself.
Part 2 – How to become hypnotised
If you have ticked yes to all the 4 things above then there are just 2 things you need to do to be hypnotised:
- Bypass the critical faculty
- Establish selective thinking
Great but what does that mean?
How to bypass the critical faculty (and what it is!)
The critical faculty is like a security guard in your mind. Whenever someone says anything to you, it analyses it and decides whether to let the suggestion in or reject it.
If a stranger tells you to hand over your car keys then you’ll reject that suggestion because you don’t want to.
If a stranger tells you to take your clothes off you’ll reject that suggestion because you don’t want to (probably!).
Now, if a stranger tells you to be careful because the pavement ahead of you is a bit wobbly and they nearly tripped over then you’ll accept it because it’s useful and won’t do you any harm.
This is why the things from part 1 are so important. If you don’t believe hypnosis will work or don’t want it to work then your mind will reject it and it won’t work. You have made your own wish come true because you only get what you want.
That doesn’t mean hypnosis is fake, it means you’re stopping it from working by telling your mind not to let it happen.
If your mind doesn’t like a suggestion it will reject it – including when you’re in hypnosis.
The way you bypass the critical faculty is the same way that you’d sneak past a security guard into an event you didn’t have tickets for; someone distracts them while you sneak in!
You distract it by focusing purely on one thing like staring at a spot on the wall or creating a phenomenon that baffles the mind, distracting it from other things.
Establish selective thinking
Once you have bypassed the critical faculty (security guard) then you can give a suggestion that your mind will focus on to the point that it will absolutely believe it to be true.
You can say that your hand is numb, you have forgotten your first name etc. Whatever you tell your mind it will believe but…
The suggestion must be something you do not object to.
Harmful suggestions will not work, even though they initially sneaked past.
There is a lot more to learn about hypnosis but that basic knowledge is all you need to understand why you think you can’t be hypnotised.
When you identify which of the 6 things above you’re not doing then you WILL be able to enter hypnosis. Watch the video at the top of this page if you need more help.
Part 3 – All hypnosis is self-hypnosis
What does all hypnosis is self-hypnosis actually mean?
You may have heard this in YouTube videos or read it elsewhere but people often don’t explain exactly what they mean by this.
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis
You can only hypnotise yourself.
People have a false idea that hypnotists have special powers, learn magic or have studied some secret art.
None of those things is true. All we do is guide you into hypnosis but only you yourself can do what’s needed and enter the state we call hypnosis.
It’s impossible to force hypnosis on someone and they only ever choose to go into that state themselves.
What about the videos on this page where people are tricked into hypnosis? They’re not, they want to be hypnotised but they just doubt they can be.
Not believing in something and not being able to do it are two separate things.
Why this is important to know
Sometimes people go to a hypnotist and expect them to do all the work. They think we will put them into hypnosis, say all the right things and their problem will be gone.
It doesn’t work like that.
Only you have access to your mind and only you can make the changes required. You have a job to do as much as I do. It’s no good just expecting me to do everything because I can’t.
I can guide you into hypnosis, tell you what to do and help you get rid of your problems. Ultimately it’s you that makes the changes, not me.
You have a role to play and you’ll only get results from hypnotherapy when we work together. The lack of interaction is one reason why people struggle with YouTube hypnosis videos.
I saw a video where…
A hypnotist goes up to someone and shouts “SLEEP!” and they suddenly go into hypnosis?
It looks impressive but what they didn’t show you was the bit that came before that where they put the person into hypnosis in a more traditional way.
Shouting sleep at someone and yanking their head will only result in the hypnotist entering hypnosis when the person reacts by punching them in the face.
Remember that TV shows are edited and you only see what they want you to. They will have chatted with the person for a few minutes first and given them a suggestion that they won’t remember the next time they meet.
Yes, you can help someone enter hypnosis without them realising just by talking to them. This is known as conversational hypnosis.
What about street hypnosis?
Street hypnosis, stage hypnosis or any kind of hypnosis is still self-hypnosis. However you enter hypnosis, you always do it yourself and can always come around at any time.
You may see people in deep states of hypnosis that do all sorts of silly things as people laugh at them. These people could come out of hypnosis at any time they choose. They aren’t being controlled, they aren’t stuck.
They choose not to come out because it’s such a lovely feeling!
I was in a classroom once being used as a demo client. I was in hypnosis with 15 people around me talking about me. The teacher was talking about me and saying what she’d done but it didn’t bother me at all.
I was happy in that relaxed state and I was fully aware I could have come out of it anytime I wanted to. I just didn’t want to.
Knowing how hypnosis feels helps you get there
A common mistake made by people wanting to experience hypnosis is that they expect it to feel different to how it often does. I mentioned this earlier toward the top of the page but let’s look at it in more detail.
If you’ve seen people that slouch over and look like a zombie when a hypnotist says “sleep” and clicks their fingers then you might be expecting that to happen to you.
There are two things to understand here:
- It’s often not like that
- You wouldn’t know if that did happen
Everyone experiences hypnosis in different ways. Some people, like myself, feel virtually nothing. Maybe a bit tired but nothing much at all.
Other people do almost collapse and have a reaction that looks dramatic to anyone watching. Those people are the ones you see on TV shows because it makes it all look better but many people just don’t do that.
Even if you do collapse, you wouldn’t know. Ask anyone that has been in hypnosis and shown a strong reaction to it and they will have no idea they forgot their own name or pretended to be a tree.
Enter hypnosis without any preconceived ideas of what it should feel like and you’re much more likely to experience it.
Watch the video below to see a man who is clearly hypnotised refusing to accept that he is!
More tips on how to become hypnotised
Now that you know all you need to know to enter hypnosis, let’s look at a few other important points that it helps to know about.
Proof that hypnosis is real
You can see hypnosis is real when you watch the video below.
A man has been hypnotised to think that an onion is a peach. Watch how he reacts when eating it and his reaction when the suggestion is cleared. Even more impressive is that his eyes don’t run at all because he believes it’s a peach and not an onion. You can’t fake this.
The kinds of people that struggle with hypnosis
A common misbelief is that intelligent people struggle the most to experience hypnosis. This is nonsense and only shows that the hypnotist is inflexible in their approach.
Intelligent people are actually very easy to help into hypnosis because you can use their overthinking against them!
Another way of doing it is to use conversational hypnosis. This involves guiding people into hypnosis without them even knowing they’re doing it.
The great thing about conversational hypnosis is that even if you tell someone you’re going to use it and they do everything they can to resist, it still works. They have no idea what they’re supposed to be resisting and the more they resist or look for what you’re doing, the easier it is to guide them into hypnosis.
Everything you hear about hypnosis not working with analytical people that overthink is wrong. It’s either the sign of a bad hypnotist or of a client that likes to think they’re special and different when they’re not.
I know because I used to be like that.
Why can’t I be hypnotised? This is why
People that find it hard to enter hypnosis are often resisting it because they are scared of losing control or having someone else have power over them.
The big thing to understand is that by entering hypnosis you are gaining control and by resisting it you are just showing that you are not in control.
Police officers and soldiers are often the easiest people to hypnotise because they are so used to taking orders. I’ve hypnotised soldiers that drop to the floor at the simple command of “sleep” because they are so used to doing what they’re told!
If you find it hard to enter hypnosis then you are most likely the opposite and don’t like being told what to do.
I get it – I found it hard to enter hypnosis too
I was an awful subject when I first started. I’d spent 20 years as a driving instructor and I was always in control.
I didn’t get it at all and I thought the whole thing was nonsense. What was wrong with these people that have their hands stuck together or forget their names? That would never happen to me.
It was when I learnt the things I talk about in the video above that I finally realised I wasn’t in control at all.
I finally started to experience it but it took time. I had to practise it a lot.
So why can’t I be hypnotised?
If you have tried hypnosis and think you can’t be hypnotised then that’s why.
Can you see what the problem is? If not then let me share something with you that can change your whole life.
Stop trying and start doing!
You have “tried” hypnosis. You haven’t done it. Any time you use the word “try” you are implying failure. Here’s a little exercise to prove this.
Get something small like a phone or a pen, something that is easy to pick up. Now pick it up. You did that quite easily, right?
Now do this – TRY and pick it up. Don’t pick it up because if you do then you’re not trying, you’re doing. Just TRY and pick it up and keep TRYING but don’t do it.
Erase the word try from your life and you will instantly make massive changes. And you know what people say when I tell them that?
“I tried that and it didn’t work”
If you tell yourself that you are going to do something, not try it, then you increase your chances of success massively. Watch out for people using the word try every day. See how many times people say it, especially when they have failed at something.
Stop trying and start doing. It’ll change your whole life.
Contact me for help with driving anxiety
For more help using hypnosis see my page do YouTube hypnosis videos work?