by Hillary Evans, Clinical Hypnotherapist
Picture this. You are on a mission to buy your spouse’s birthday present. You know exactly what you want, and you know exactly where to find it. You look for – and find the ideal parking spot. You head into the mall with one thing in mind: Buying that gift. A mere half hour later, gift in hand, you exit the mall and you realize that you have no idea where you parked your car. That has happened to you, hasn’t it? Here’s the curious thing. You found the ideal parking spot. If it was ideal, why can’t you find it now? That doesn’t make sense, does it? Actually, it does.
It’s got to be here somewhere.
Making Sense Out of It First, be assured that this is normal. It is not the early onset of Alzheimers or a sign of senility. It happens to people all the time. There is a simple explanation for why it happens. When you arrived at the mall, finding the ideal parking place was not your priority. Your mind was focused almost entirely on getting that birthday gift. It’s not that you weren’t conscious of where you parked. It’s that landing that spot was not nearly as important as purchasing the gift. You didn’t forget your overriding priority. You forget the relatively unimportant parking place.
What Does This Have To Do with Golf? Some people believe that our mind plays tricks on us. That’s not really true. The fact is that we teach our brain how to think by the patterns we establish with our sensory input and our actions. “Unfortunately a lot of what we experience doesn’t always teach us the things that help us.”
Occasionally, as in our story, our brain does precisely what we have trained it to do, but not necessarily what we want it to do. According to Tara Swart, a senior lecturer at MIT, in her book Neuroscience for Leadership, “Our brain is inherently lazy and will always choose the most energy efficient path.” We call these neural pathways. Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is appropriate: “Doing things the same way, expecting different results.” Think of neural pathways as the way we always think or do things. They are well-worn paths. Well-worn paths are “the most energy efficient path.” In our story, the most efficient path – in your mind, the single, most important path – was buying the gift; not remembering where you parked. We tend to do the same things the same way. If you put your left shoe on first this morning, you have probably been putting it on first for years. You don’t do that by happenstance. You have established a neural pathway. Try putting your right shoe on first tomorrow. See how uncomfortable it feels. Your brain is not used to taking that path. Unless you maintain the practice of putting your right shoe on first, you will, invariably go back to the original left-shoe-first path. It is simply the easier path. You may call this breaking a habit, or establishing a new habit. Creating a new habit is really a matter of establishing new neural pathways in your brain. Changing Paths If you are a hacker, in golfing terms, a lot of the reason that you play the way you do is because that is the way you have been accustomed to playing. Ergo, you have trained your brain to approach your game as a hacker. It’s not that your brain thinks that you are a hacker. It’s that it is guiding your play according to the neural pathway that have been established over time as the path to follow. It is the easier path to take. The good news is that it is possible to create new neural pathways – ones that don’t even exist right now. Some use the non-scientific, colloquial phrase ‘mind hacking’ to describe changing how we think and act. Regardless of what some call it, we have to change our thinking before we change our actions. Always – without exception. That is the way the body and the brain work. Hypnotherapy “enables you to get to the root cause of almost any issue. It’s a truly unique way to achieve results through the power of the mind.”
Our conscious mind only makes up a small portion of the total mind. Our subconscious mind is in control the majority of the time. My practice is focused on helping people create new, healthier neural pathways that can improve the way you hit a golf ball, deal with stress (including the stress of hitting a golf ball), approach relationships, and overcome negative behaviors or thought patterns. Using proven techniques, I can help you ‘change your mind.’ Changing your mind can change your life, whether on the golf course or in the mall parking lot. Whether you schedule a consultation at my office in downtown Charleston or arrange for a session via phone or Skype, the benefits of hypnotherapy are waiting to be discovered. Call 843-252-0573 or contact me atwww.truehypnosis.com to start today.