What it Really Feels Like to Be Hypnotized (Hint: It’s Not What You Expect)

First it was a 21 year old frat guy running around the crowd yelling “I’m a rock god!!!”

This was immediately followed by the 17 year old girl who ran over to him and made a Justin Bieber fangirl look tame.

“Dragonboat!”

Immediately three VERY awkward 20 somethings stood up covering their fully clothed bodies and started yelling at everyone around them to “stop looking at me!” (they thought they were naked).

“Fire Fighter!”

Upon hearing the man on stage utter those words, a 14 year old girl grabbed the recently lit cigarette from the man next to her, stomped it out and started screaming “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!”

Finally, to end it all, a random guy got down on one knee and proposed to the girl next to him, whom he’d never met.

Sounds like one extremely messed up dream right?

No actually it was just the hypnotist show I’d happened to stumble upon at the State Fair this past summer.

My Past Experience with Hypnosis

I’ll start out by saying that as skeptical as so many people are, I totally believe in hypnosis.

When I was at my day job, I was experiencing weird stress and anxiety for no apparent reason.  Maybe it was because I was so desperate to leave, or didn’t know what to do, but I didn’t really know how to solve it – and the last thing I wanted were drugs or pills.

This is when I first discovered self-hypnosis.

I’ve always believed in the benefits of visualization and positive thinking, but I really believed that through deep meditation of self-hypnosis you could make dramatic changes in your life.

Having no clue what I was doing, I got a couple books, read up on the subject, and a couple times a week practiced hypnotizing myself.

Up until about a week ago, I had no idea if I’d ever really succeeded with it.  I figured maybe some of the benefits I’d received were simply the placebo effect.

After all, if I’d been properly hypnotized I’d be a rock superstar or deranged second hand smoke activist, right?

Wrong.

So very wrong.

Not How I Expected This Ski Trip to Unfold….

One of the most interesting and cool dudes I’ve met this year is Peter Shallard.  Peter has built a remarkably successful business as ”The Shrink for Entrepreneurs”.

He’s the guy that high level CEOs, New York Times Best Sellers and others go to in order to get their head right and catapult their business to the next level.

Seriously this guy is no joke (and he’s not cheap).

Well last week we had the opportunity to further our friendship while carving lines at Breck and downing expensive scotch (Thanks Dan!) in the hot tub.

About halfway through the trip it came up that he was a licensed hypno-therapist.

Bingo.

As soon as he said this, I knew this was my chance to make my lifelong dream of getting hypnotized a reality.

After talking about it for a couple days we finally decided to make it happen on our last night.

I roped my buddy Andy into doing it with me, because let’s face it, venturing into the unknown like that with 10 of your pseudo drunk friends looming over,could only end poorly for me.

Erasing Thoughts of What Hypnosis Should Be

Visions of running naked through the hotel while screaming at the top of my lungs were quickly turned into extreme relaxation.

“Pick a spot on the wall in front of you, and focus intensely on that” – Peter’s voice said as I tried to quell laughter and skepticism.

The skepticism slowly subsided over the next five minutes as he told me to be acutely aware of everything around me.  My eyes slowly started closing in on me and it became almost impossible keep them open.

“Am I hypnotized? Is this it? I can’t be hypnotized, I wouldn’t be asking myself if I was hypnotized if I was really hypnotized. Wait, would I?”

I distinctly remember saying that to myself in my head.

That’s when he tied a few helium balloons to my wrist – or at least thats what he told me to think.

I always knew they weren’t there. I was well aware that there were no balloons on my wrist.  Yet a minute later my hand was raised all the way above my head.

“What the hell? But I can still open my eyes. Or at least I think I can?”

One of the things I learned about hypnosis is you can’t hypnotize anyone against their will. They have to want to have it happen.

Since I was fully on board for this little experiment, I apparently was very easily suggestible.

This is evidenced by what happened next.

After awakening me and putting me back to “sleep” a couple times to really get me under, he setup two chairs 5 or so feet apart.

I then proceeded to go fully cataleptic. While I was standing there my body was completely rigid and firm.  They then put my head on one chair and the edge of my feet on the other – with nothing in between.

It’s amazing what the body can do under these suggestions.

I distinctly remember all of this happening, which was totally contrary to my idea that I’d be left wondering “what just happened?”

After a few more suggestions he left me with an “anchor” that would allow me to get back into a similar trance more easily when doing it on my own.

More than a week later it still works. When I relax and work to put myself in a state of “self-hypnosis” I’m able to quiet my mind easier and my eyes become immediately droopy.

The Difference Between Self and Regular Hypnosis 

Those times when I’d put myself under, I was definitely hypnotized.  As evidenced by the significant behavioral and emotional changes that happened after just a few sessions.

I always thought however that because I was aware I must not have been doing it right.

What I found when Peter did it was the ability to go into a deeper trance state, which then makes the suggestions that much more powerful.

He used to offer services where you’d come in for a 2.5 hour session, and when you’d leave your smoking habit would be gone.

Of the dozens of people that he treated, only two ever came back to say it didn’t work.

I get asked a lot about behavior change.

How do I stop procrastinating? How can I eat better? How do I create more time for my business?

There are all sorts of ways to answer this question, but to be completely honest, a totally realistic option is meditation and hypnosis.

Sure it takes some regular practice, the willingness to feel kind of stupid for the first few times, and an open mind – but the effects as I’ve experienced first hand are nothing short of remarkable.

Hypnosis really isn’t about a swinging pocket watch and a bunch of silly actions.  It’s just an intense form of meditation that allows you to tap into the type of things your mind is really capable of.

When done properly and regularly, it’s almost like a natural version of the movie Limitless.  Sure the effects may not be that drastic, but the things you can accomplish after shifting away from even one of your bad habits will make your options, well, limitless.

Have you ever been hypnotized? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments!

Jamie Alexander December 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

Yep, I do it every day.

I usually meditate, but I use hypnosis to go deeper into the trance state.

Once inside I usually just imagine I’m spinning around in circles or moving up and down with waves while lying in my bed.

I just do it for lucid dreaming which is easier when you spend more time in higher levels of awareness. But it’s definitely a fun thing to do.

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Sean December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for sharing man. Always interesting to hear other peoples experiences with things like this. Meditation is one of the common threads of most of the successful entrepreneurs I know – yet it’s one that rarely gets talked about.

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sharon ogle December 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

You are SO my son. :o )

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Anon December 28, 2012 at 11:32 am

Sorry man, but Location 180 has been going downhill recently. Your post are increasingly worthless, self-centered, and impractical. Hypnosis? Really? Come on. I’m a longtime subscriber, but it’s time for me to hop off this train.

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Sean December 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I always appreciate opinions, especially when they involve criticism. However, if you’re going to post criticism at least be willing to reveal who you are. It’s easy to throw stones when hiding behind a mask.

I wrote this post, because it’s honestly been a great way to overcome things like procrastination and stress – something all entrepreneurs face.

Thanks for reading, but if it’s not right for you, then I wish you all the best in finding something that is.

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Scott Nelson December 30, 2012 at 4:51 am

I’ve got to disagree. So many blogs focus on business business business, it’s easy to forget that there are many other aspects of ones life that leads to success. For me, it’s the balance of work, health, social, education and spirit. I’ve been meaning to do an NLP course for some time now, something that I understand to be a more scientific take on hypnotism.

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Randy January 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

Yuuuup. I co-sign that. Forget that guy – I think its great that you dabble in random topics, Sean. It’a what keeps the blog interesting! It’s a good glimpse into the other types of things that successful people such as yourself use in order to achieve the success you have.

I mean, obviously things like hypnosis aren’t mentioned without merit. It DOES seem like an off-topic subject, but in my head, I know that there’s specific reasons for it.

I always appreciate the great insight. Whatever the subject matter. Keep it up, bro.

David Damron December 28, 2012 at 1:11 pm

2002 High School Grad night.

I had always questioned yet wanted to be hypnotized. At about 3am during the grad night celebrations, there was a hypnotist that performed. I was down from the start. Luckily, I was picked along with about 10 others of 300 people.

Mind you, I was exhausted along with everyone else. It didn’t take long at all.

Now, the one I was in was more for fun as I saw the video after and let me just say that I have never seen a better Michael Flatly and Irishdance then the one I put on that night.

But regarding how I felt…I slept amazing for about 2 months. Completely out of it. Loved that benefit. The hypnosis was a very relaxing event. I doubt I have ever been that “weightless” or “clear in the head”.

I definitely will do it again.

it’s crazy how everyone (inc. myself prior to being hypnotized) thinks its a scam and trying to convey that it really works to those that have not been hypnotized is practically impossible.

David Damron
BecomeaBeast.com

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Pablo December 28, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Awesome post!

I was like you in the sense that hypnosis always held my curiosity.

Years back I checked out some books on the subject and did some research. At the same time I arranged a couple of brief interviews with some hypnotists that would come through the local universities to learn more. I ended up picking it up as a hobby and learned how to effectively use it to help out some friends.

A few times a year I’ll get together with a group of friends and people that want to change something in their lives. I’ll put on a show and before bringing the people out of it I’ll leave a suggestive command to slowly improve a certain aspect of their life.

One friend went from near failing his college classes to ending the semester with a high g.p.a. Another friend started working more efficiently which freed up more time to spend with his wife and daughter.

It’s pretty amazing what it can do for people who are open-minded to it. That’s awesome that you were able to finally go under!

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Corey McMahon December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I found this post very interesting. I’d also put myself in the camp of being incredibly skeptical about this kind of topic, but intrigued by personal accounts like this that tend to imply that there’s something worthwhile there.

Of the books you’ve read on the topic can you recommend any?

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Sean December 28, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Its one of those things I think you need to have an open mind about, try at least twice, and then make a decision on whether or not its for you. The one thing I’ve realized is that the mind is way more powerful than people give it credit for – and when you’re open to seeing just what is possible, you may be surprised.

The first book I ever got on the topic and the one that stands out in my mind is “The Everything Self Hypnosis Book” http://amzn.to/YVF7qY – pretty basic, but a good intro to it.

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Supernerdo December 31, 2012 at 10:13 am

great post Sean, It’s also an amazing niche to get into. I actually was able to persuade a close friend of mine to become a certified hypnotist since after some research we found out that there was only 2 certified hypnotist in my town. He focuses a lot towards smokers and people with OCD… (easy money even if he makes his rate really low)… for an enlightened human being, the person would realized that hypnosis is really just NLP, anchoring, reframing, meditative skills and etc. being projected by another person towards you. But for regular people, it’s quite unique, engaging and magic…. adios.

- Ian

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Kayvee January 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

This was a great post…I like blogs better when an entreprenuer talks about all the journeys of his life…not just the business side

So here is my question

How many sessions do you need for hypnosis to bring about a change?

Is it 30 days? less or more?

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Adventurous Andrea February 13, 2013 at 8:19 am

Hypnosis is an incredibly fascinating field!

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Michael March 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hypnosis is just a myth.

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Tim February 5, 2014 at 4:47 am

There’s scientific experiments that suggest it’s real. One inducing people to see visual hallucinations that a shape was a different color and measuring their brain response I remember. It’s not all magic crystals and feeling the energy.

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Tim February 5, 2014 at 4:45 am

It would be very interesting to know the suggestions that were used and the effects they had

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