But I’m not a non smoker yet was the response I received from a client hen I gave her some instructions prior to her hypnosis session.

The instruction was simple, it was for her to think of herself as a non smoker. Of course she was still smoking so this may sound ridiculous but there was a point to this.

She had made her appointment to quit smoking with hypnosis, she needed to quit and she knew it was time to take action but, a part of her still wanted to smoke, she even liked it.

At this point she was a person who had set a date to quit but she still saw herself as a smoker, that was her identity and it had been her identity for over thirty years.

We all have multiple identities, such as wife, husband, father, daughter, carpenter, nurse, lawyer, football player etc.

Some of our identities are useful and fun, but some aren’t. Smoker, drinker, angry, workaholic etc.

When you want to make an important change in your life, a great place to start is to firstly recognise the identity you are displaying to the world.

If you want to stop smoking, then you need a new identity. At the very least you should shift from smoker to soon to be ex smoker. This starts to change the way your brain thinks about your habit.

Even better is to just jump in and declare to yourself that you are a non-smoker and that you don’t smoke. For a few people this may be enough to help them quit. But for most it is an excellent lead in to a structured hypnosis programme.

I’m not trying to get all deeply psychological but when you start to change an identity, which is at odds with a behaviour, it causes a little short circuit in your brain.

This starts the process of doubt about your old identity. The more consistently you drive this new identity home the greater the doubt is about holding on to the old problem.

Now when she came in for her hypnosis session she easily made the switch to non-smoker because she was well on the way before she arrived. After the session she locked on solidly to her new identity as a non-smoker.

She now easily states that she doesn’t smoke if offered one with no conflict. Anyone who wants to make change can do this, so why not try!

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