All in the mind

6 September 2010
Alison Smith, procurement professional and life coach and Supply Management guest bloggerIn the first of a series of blogs, facilitator and coach Alison Smith warns us not to get inadvertently hypnotised by the messages of others I picked up the phone yesterday and it was a recorded message, which included the words “do not hang up” – which of course I did.
This reminded me of a friend who regularly stayed in a hotel with a sign in the bathroom asking, “have you forgotten anything?”. She also regularly forgot to take things home with her. These are both examples of how easy it is to become “hypnotised”, where our unconscious picks up on certain cues and takes action. I’m not sure the phone message intends us to hang up but that’s certainly what they’re saying to our unconscious. I wonder how many times my friend had to read the note for her unconscious to pick up she should forget something? Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, brought out another last year titled Hypnotizing Maria. He opens with a great story about the main character on stage with a hypnotist who “places” him in a room with no doors or windows. The description of believing you couldn’t get out of such a room is very compelling. The fear and panic is easy to empathise with and yet what the hypnotists reminds the character is something we should be aware of in life: “The walls of the room are in your mind, they are not real.” We’ve all seen similar examples where people truly believe they’re in a locked room – just like we truly believe all the things we often tell ourselves; I can’t, it’s impossible, it’s hard, it’s difficult, they don’t or they won’t.

 We just have to remember that sometimes we’re simply hypnotising ourselves, or being hypnotised by others. It’s not based on reality. We’re just playing out a script on the stage.
Which scripts do you need to change today? * Alison Smith is a consultant at Future Purchasing, facilitator and coach working on getting individuals and relationships in procurement back on track. Click here to visit her blog
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