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.
This video explains how hypnosis works for everyone
Use the links below to skip to parts of this page.
What hypnosis really is
Hypnosis is a state of focus.
Hypnosis is NOT about:
- Controlling someone else’s mind
- Stories of magical lands, spirit guides and unicorns
- Feeling sleepy
- Closing your eyes
- Suggestions put into your head
- Soft music
- Imagining staircases and waterfalls
- Supernatural power or magic
All of those things are untrue, yet that’s what most people believe.
Hypnosis is NOT relaxation
One of the biggest misconceptions about hypnosis is that it’s all about relaxing.
It isn’t and that’s why we’re called hypnotists and not relaxotists.
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.
Relaxation comes after hypnosis, not before.
This video explains how relaxing is the last thing you need to do to fix a problem.
Hypnosis isn’t what people expect it to be
Hypnosis isn’t a zombie-like state.
You don’t go to sleep, you wake up. You don’t lose control, you gain control; how could you use hypnosis to overcome problems by losing control?
You certainly don’t “go under” or “get put down” as some say. No wonder hypnosis scares people using phrases like those!
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 and will perform well are going to reach out and grab it. The more reserved people who wouldn’t enjoy taking part and wouldn’t perform as well will lean away from it or pass it to someone else. You can hear Derren Brown talking about this here.
Hypnosis isn’t what many people think it is.
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.
Saying hypnosis doesn’t work is like getting into a taxi and telling the driver to take you to a place that doesn’t exist.
The driver can’t take you somewhere that doesn’t exist but does that mean taxis don’t work?
This video shows how simple hypnosis is to use and how it helps form anxeity.
We all use hypnosis daily
You have already been in hypnosis thousands of times without knowing it.
Anytime you do something without knowing you’re using your unconscious mind which is similar to entering hypnosis. This includes everyday things like:
- Watching TV
Hypnosis is when you focus on these unconscious things happening and suspend the unconsciousness.
It’s similar to how you can breathe in and out at a normal pace or take a deep breath in and hold it. Hypnosis is when you hold the unconscious moment like you would hold your breath.
Why do we need hypnosis?
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.
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.
Even the word hypnosis is incorrect because it comes from the early days when people using 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 which made films about evil hypnotists controlling people’s minds. Then along came the internet and its armchair experts making useless videos telling you to close your eyes and imagine unicorns which won’t solve your problems because they focus on the symptoms, such as anxiety, rather than the problem itself.
The result of this is everyone goes away thinking hypnosis is fake because they couldn’t see the unicorns, they didn’t go into a trance, their mind wasn’t controlled and their problem didn’t go.
You can read more about this on my page Do YouTube hypnosis videos work?
These videos allow you to experience a basic form of hypnosis. Click the menu button at the top right to choose your video.
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 a drunk if they’re drunk. They’ll 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 hypnosis and It’s common when I work with clients that they go in and out of hypnosis regularly. Sometimes hypnosis only lasts for a split second.
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.
Why doesn’t hypnosis work on me?
People saying hypnosis doesn’t work on them is a common problem.
Hypnotherapists say that no matter what they do, their clients just won’t “go under”. Clients say that they didn’t feel like they were in hypnosis.
The reason for both of these things is simple: hypnosis inductions don’t work.
Hypnosis inductions are fake
The hypnotic induction is what we call the method you use to get someone into hypnosis.
Common inductions include getting someone to imagine walking down a staircase, telling them to stare at a spot on the ceiling or telling them to relax over and over again.
There is one problem here:
Hypnosis inductions don’t work!
The reason so many therapists and clients struggle to enter hypnosis is that they doing it completely wrong.
It is not about following a step-by-step guide that ends up with the client in a trance. It is not about lying down and relaxing as someone whispers in your ears about fields of candy.
Once you accept the fact that all hypnosis inductions are fake it all makes more sense.
When I say fake I mean that they don’t produce the result you think. Yes, you may get hypnosis but it isn’t the induction that’s doing it. Therefore, the induction is fake: the definition of fake from Google’s dictionary is “not genuine; imitation or counterfeit”.
Is hypnosis fake then?
No, not at all. Hypnosis is very real but you don’t get there through gimmicky inductions.
If you are a hypnotherapist reading this then please give up the idea that inductions do anything. Your career and your client’s results will skyrocket once you finally discover how hypnosis truly works.
This video explains more about hypnosis inductions being a myth. It starts playing at part 3 about inductions but run it back to the start to watch it all.
Hypnosis on TV and on stage
What about when you see hypnosis inductions done on TV and in shows? What about the videos on this page?
If you watch them carefully you’ll see that the induction is doing just one thing – making people believe something is happening.
A hypnosis induction is nothing more than a magic trick. It just convinces someone’s mind that something special is happening and then they trip into hypnosis.
The induction itself does nothing. It’s the expectation, the belief, the build-up and everything else that does it all.
If you walk up on stage with a world-famous hypnotist in front of hundreds of people then of course it’s going to work! You’re going to go along with it anyway even if it doesn’t because you don’t want to stand out and look like an idiot who’s ruined the show.
A no-name hypnotherapist working in an office doesn’t have that advantage,
Do you understand why hypnosis isn’t working for you? It’s not that it can’t work and it is real but you don’t get to it in the ways people think.
Here’s a quote from Derren Brown who is one of the world’s greatest hypnotists. Except he isn’t because he describes himself as a psychological illusionist and speaks very openly about his use of misdirection and mischievous ways. The funny thing is, that makes people think he is really hiding the truth which makes it work even better as people are convinced he has magic powers!
You have to realise that hypnosis doesn’t exist: it just works on people’s natural suggestibility, their expectations and capacity to unconsciously role play. You can’t make someone do anything they don’t want to do.Derren Brown
Are hypnosis techniques not working?
Another common issue among hypnotherapists is that their techniques aren’t working.
A technique is when you follow a set procedure to fix a problem. It may involve getting someone to imagine a house and then having them walk around the rooms and take part in an interactive story where they find things or do things.
When they don’t work it’s for the same reason that inductions fail: techniques do nothing!
It isn’t the technique that works, it’s the principle behind it which you sometimes happen to hit on by luck when using a technique.
You can learn more about this on my page when therapy doesn’t work.
One of the worst examples of hypnosis is scripts.
Scripts are useless stories that people read out in the hope of fixing a problem. You’ve probably heard them if you’ve ever used YouTube hypnosis videos.
They start off telling you how relaxed you feel before talking nonsense about magical lands full of mystical beings and waterfalls.
The stories usually involve things such as walking along a beach and finding a cave with a table in it. As you reach the table you see a box on it and when you open the box the answer to your problem lies inside…
Except all that happens is you can’t see any of this stuff and get frustrated thinking that hypnosis doesn’t work.
Scripts are not hypnosis!
Many therapists will just go online and search for “Script for x” with x being their client’s problem. They then sit and read out the story thinking that is what hypnotherapy is.
No, no, no!
This is nonsense because the problem is never the problem, it’s just a symptom. The chance of you fixing a problem with a script is slim to none. Yes, they do work for a small number of people but that is through luck and not skill.
Learn more about scripts (yuck!)
Summary so far
I understand that this page can be confusing so let me sum up what’s been said so far.
Hypnosis isn’t what you think and you don’t get there in the way you think.
Hypnosis is purely a state of focus. All you need to do is and focus on any one thing without other things getting in the way and you’re in hypnosis – that’s it!
Here are a few bullet points to make it simple:
- Hypnosis is a state of focus – that’s all. Don’t expect magic.
- Hypnosis has nothing to do with controlling someone else’s mind. You can’t use hypnosis to make anyone do anything they don’t want to.
- You don’t need to have your eyes closed or go into a dramatic-looking trance for it to work.
- Inductions and methods of going into hypnosis only work because of your expectation that something is going to happen. They do nothing without expectation and just following a step-by-step procedure alone will not result in hypnosis.
The following text explains the traditional way of entering hypnosis.
I wrote this when I was a beginner but have since spent years training and working with hundreds of clients.
I know far more now than I did when this was written and while most of the following points are true, there are much more effective ways of using hypnosis.
This is where I started and I went on to achieve great things. Maybe if you start the way I did you’ll also discover what I did.
This video is a bit old but still has some useful information in it to get you started.
How to enter hypnosis
There are 3 parts to entering hypnosis as covered in the first video on this page:
Establishing selective thinking (Part 2)
All hypnosis is self-hypnosis (Part 3)
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 misbeliefs 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. These include 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 can tick yes to all 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.
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. That’s what conversational hypnosis can be used for.
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 who 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 refusing to accept that he is in hypnosis!
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 works
You can see hypnosis works 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.
Conversational hypnosis is great because even if you tell someone you’re going to use it and they do everything they can to resist, it still works because they have no idea what they have to resist!
! 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 are the opposite and don’t like being told what to do then you may find it hard to enter hypnosis.
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 then that’s the problem.
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?