In my last blog I explained that the best road to feeling more empowered is through self-enquiry. What does self-enquiry mean? How it can be used to empower you and give you insight into your life?
Self-enquiry, in its simplest definition is ‘getting to know yourself’. Beyond this it is building up a positive relationship with yourself; and moving towards accepting yourself as you are, loving yourself, and becoming your own best friend and teacher.
The Negative Voices we hear
So many external influences drip fed us negative information about ourselves, which can fill us with self-doubt. This can be very disempowering, not to mention, exhausting! It is the nature of the subconscious mind to take those external messages and reinforce them through negative thinking and worry. Over time we can create a very negative relationship with ourselves, where we constantly tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, we’re not attractive or intelligent enough; and we’re not worthy of the good things in life. Unfortunately, because this part of the mind is very good at repetition, after a while the mind starts to believe its own negative propaganda.
The first step to changing this dialogue is to see it as an actual relationship. Would you speak to your friend, lover or child in the way you talk to yourself? If you can imagine yourself as a child, and think about the people who inspired and nurtured you, was it the kind, encouraging and inspirational adults around you? Or was it the school bullies and the unfair disciplinarians? Now think again about how you speak to yourself and see whose voice you are hearing.
A personal trainer for your brain
The starting point of getting to know yourself is going to be different for each person. I personally discovered self-enquiry through yoga, and then through my therapy training. In my younger years I had a very negative relationship with my body and my mind. Years of struggling with a learning difficulty had made me very doubtful of my abilities; and awkwardly fluctuating weight in my teens and twenties – including disordered eating patterns – gave me a very negative body image. Subsequently I didn’t have a lot of self-esteem.
Yoga taught me to look inwards and begin to marvel at the relationship between my mind and my body, and to see what it was capable of. I learned over time to accept, and then to appreciate and love not just my strengths but my weaknesses too. Once I started training in Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy then everything I was learning in yoga was explained and explored further through studying neuroscience and applying it to my own brain and through the natural self-enquiry that often arises during trance work.
I could not have done this without having amazing teachers, tutors, supervisors and coaches. There is a long-standing tradition through many cultures to have the guru or guide to aid self-enquiry. Of course the aim is to become your own guru in time, but it can be really useful to have someone to guide, prompt and support you when you start on the journey.
There is a still a bit of a stigma about seeking therapy, especially in the UK, but there absolutely shouldn’t be. We will spend time and money getting people to help us fix our cars, or show us how our computers work, but when it comes to learning how to keep our brains running smoothly we somehow feel uncomfortable seeking help. There are people who will happily pay for a personal trainer to get their body fit, but wouldn’t dream of finding a therapist or coach to train the mind to work at its best.
The right person to help
I love to help clients with self-enquiry work, especially if it’s to help them feel more empowered and confident. Some people come to see me because they are making a life change and want to be in the best frame of mind possible, some come just because they feel ‘stuck’ in life and want to explore solutions to help them move forward. Often people haven’t found what are the best tools to aid their self-enquiry, and that is something that can be worked out in hypnotherapy. Therapy can also be used to remove any blockages to self-enquiry.
To find a good yoga or meditation teacher, counsellor, a life coach or a hypnotherapist ask around and do some research to see what is the best fir for you, a good therapist or teacher will be happy to discuss how they can help you. Once you have the tools then you open yourself up to building that positive relationship with yourself, which can last a lifetime.
To book a consultation with me to see how I can help you with self enquiry, get in touch via the contact page.