Tapping into our inner guidance is a birthright. While there are many ways to access altered states of consciousness such as through dreams, plant-medicine journeys, and vision quests -- this article is all about the non-drug psychedelic experience of self-hypnosis.
I've observed a pattern of blocks, in both myself and my clients, that have a negative effect on the depth and vividness of the self-hypnosis experience. When it comes to tapping in, I've identified 10 common reasons why you're not connecting with your inner guidance. In the following list, I'll share these blocks and offer insights on how to overcome them.
1. Doubt and Skepticism This is probably the most popular block people experience when first opening to the possibility that they can connect to their Higher Self on-demand. Our culture has instilled in us a dismissal of imagination, a discrediting of people who have unpopular opinions, and a belief that if there isn't science behind it then it must not be real. The key is to understand what limiting beliefs you have and ask yourself how to get around them. For instance, can you open to the possibility that maybe there is more to the imagination than what you've been taught? Can you see how you may be influenced by a way of thinking that didn't originate with you and perhaps needs to be reexamined; such as "if I do something like this I will lose my credibility and people will dismiss me as foolish or crazy"? Does it feel true to you that our scientists know everything there is to know and there is nothing outside of that, or does it feel more true that there are still things that science hasn't been able to explain and that our understanding of the universe 500 years from now will look drastically different from today? Take your skeptical thoughts, one by one, and work through them. Open your mind, and expose yourself to things that seem far fetched. In my own experience of doing this, the elastic stretches and where you end up is always more expanded than when you first started. You just need to prove to yourself that first it's possible, and second, it's also possible for you. The most famous psychic of the 20th century, Edgar Cayce, emphasized the power of belief in his work. Belief serves as a catalyst for the manifestation of insights and guidance from the subconscious mind.
2. Attachment to a Specific Outcome There are a few ways this one can show up. This block is all about dependence on certain results; a gripping-so-tight that you unintentionally block information from coming through. This happened when I met my a spirit guide for the first time. I was expecting a beautiful angel or wise wizard but instead saw a plastic toy goat trotting out from the grass. I completely resisted it expecting to get a different image but nothing ever came, it just vanished and I lost the connection. This light-hearted example taught me a lot. If I was resistant to something as low-risk as an image of a toy goat, how would I react to a information I didn't like that I was actually invested in?
When we're resistant to something happening outside of our expectations, our attachment to the outcome going a certain way can kink the hose, so to speak. That can lead to even more frustration and disappointment, negatively impacting your motivation to keep up with the practice. The way through this is to reflect on the underlying reasons for your attachment to a specific outcome. What needs would the outcome you want meet? What would it mean to you if the result isn't what you're wanting? Are you willing to let go of things that are no longer serving you? Do you have a fear that things aren't working out in the highest good? Do you have a resistance to change? These questions are a good starting point to gaining an understanding of your resistance. Working through your resistance before you go into meditation will help create the space needed to deepen your self-hypnosis experience.
3. Unrealistic Expectations Managing assumptions is a big one. How do you think you'll experience the psychic downloads? If you close your eyes and expect a movie to take over the back of your eyelids, you're in for disappointment. You're required to allow yourself to relax more deeply until you reach a state where you begin to do something similar to daydreaming. If when you're in that state and you don't see anything, but you start to just know what's going on, or feel body sensations -- you're doing it! It may be subtle but you are doing it. Don't box yourself into the expectation that it has to come a certain way to have validity. You may get images, hear messages, get impressions, feel emotions, sense things happening in your body, or just know certain things to be true. I suggest practicing some warm up exercises to understand your own unique way of connecting, so you're not jumping in the deep end before you know what you're doing. Take some time to reflect on what other assumptions are at play. Do you anticipate your connection to improve in a linear fashion? Do you expect that after you have your first success at self-hypnosis, it will be easy from then on? Do you expect the strength of the connection to be the same quality each time? Although I wish this was how it worked, the reality is each time is different. While you will absolutely see improvement over time, the experience won't feel linear or predictable.
4. Fear of Surrendering Many people experience a fear of losing control, or a fear of handing over the control to someone else. First, it's important for you to understand there is nothing that can happen against your will. You're never too far gone that you completely lose control. There's one story I share about a client popping out of hypnosis here in the "What if things get too intense?" section of the FAQs. With this client example, we just took a little break and resumed a few minutes later when he felt more ready. Since this isn't a drug-induced altered state, when you open your eyes you're not intoxicated, the room isn't spinning, you're you just like you are when you wake up in the morning. I didn't have to tell him to open his eyes, he did on his own because you never lose control over that ability. Secondly, there certainly is a requirement for you to trust your practitioner, but not for reasons you think. It doesn't matter how many sessions they have under their belt, if you don't feel like your practitioner can handle whatever is thrown at them you're not going to be able to fully let go.
By using the fear of giving up control, your ego gets to do its job of protecting you by preventing you from going deep in a situation you don't feel safe in. That's a good thing!
In order for you to successfully access an altered state with a practitioner, you have to feel safe and you have to be able to relax. So if there is something getting in the way of that -- talk about your hesitations with your practitioner to give them a chance to address those concerns with you, so you can feel safe letting go. If you still feel off about the person you're working with, there is probably a reason and it's important to trust your gut that he/she isn't the right practitioner for you.
5. Mentality Self-doubt can undermine your success. Edgar Cayce often used the phrase "mind is the builder" to convey the wisdom that thoughts and beliefs shape reality. In his work, he emphasized how crucial it is to overcome negative self-talk, doubts, and limiting beliefs on your way to spiritual growth. One of the common fears people have is that they can't be hypnotized, or even a fear that they can be. If you've read this far, you probably understand that hypnosis isn't what most people think. It's a means of accessing an altered state for communication with your Higher Self. Every single person can do this. I have had people struggle at first, but I have never had a client who couldn't eventually connect if they stuck with it and put the work in. There's a popular disempowering belief out there that many people have at first, it's the "I can't do this, I've never been intuitive" fear. Intuition isn't just for a select few "gifted" people. It's a skill that takes practice, just like building muscle. With a society that values thinking over being, busyness over downtime, and logic over imagination, our day-to-day lives rarely support the balance we need to easily connect. You're not set up for success, and whether that's by design is a topic for another day. What's important for you to understand is that you've been boxed in by default; the limits you've experienced so far are not indicative of your potential whatsoever. If your environment isn't conducive to self-hypnosis, cut yourself some slack. It's normal to feel impatient, frustrated, and even doubtful at times. Developing this skill takes practice, patience, and determination. An empowered mental attitude accelerates your ability to work through limiting beliefs, challenges placed on your path, and develop psychically.
Just like learning to ride a bike; it's not pretty at first but as long as you don't give up you're guaranteed to find your balance. Connecting is a birthright. You absolutely will get there as long as you don't give up on yourself.
6. Physical Needs Physical discomfort, like being too hot, too cold, or in an uncomfortable position, can make it difficult to drift down into a deeper brainwave state. The key to all hypnotic states is relaxation. Our bodies can keep us from fully relaxing if we're hungry, need the restroom, or physically uncomfortable. On the contrary if we're tired and our bodies need rest don't be surprised if all you do is doze off when you try tuning in. Whether you're practicing on your own or with a practitioner, make sure you're not hungry, you've used the restroom, and you're well-rested beforehand. That doesn't mean you won't tap into information if you're uncomfortable, but it does make it a lot harder than it has to be.
7. Distractions Let's first talk about internal distractions. Achieving an altered state requires concentration and focus. There are some days I personally have no trouble concentrating, and other days where I need to take action to intentionally clear my mind. Even low levels of caffeine are shown to keep people in an active brainwave state, so be aware of the impact substances can have. I find that it really helps getting physical movement and proper nutrition to support memory and brain function. If you're someone who experiences a lot of stress and anxiety, that can also make it more difficult to tap into an altered state of consciousness. It's important you do whatever helps you relax beforehand. For some that is taking a salt bath, for others that is working on a puzzle. The more centered you are before getting started, the easier it will be to connect when you're ready. External distractions can also make it harder to connect, especially when you're first learning. It's important that when you're practicing self-hypnosis you find a distraction-free environment where you will not be interrupted. Try to find as peaceful of an environment as you can as well, ideally with little to no noise or sounds that would support relaxation.
8. Inconsistent Practice Like any skill, intuitive development requires consistency. When you're first starting out, figure out what time of day works best for you. Do you feel that mornings are easier for you to tap in or nights? Are you more clear-headed before or after eating? At what time is your home and neighborhood less noisy?
"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities" - Stephen Covey
For me, this means one intuitive development session per week (30+ minutes), with at least two shorter sessions (5-10 minutes), and ongoing mindfulness of intuitive hits throughout the day to strengthen my connection with my guidance team. Once you figure out the formula that sets you up for success in whatever you're looking to accomplish, commit to making this a new habit in your life. It's one of the most important things you can do.
9. Chakras If you're working through belief systems, fears, have your physical needs met, and are in a distraction free environment yet still struggling to connect, the issue may lie in from your chakra system. Many times working through the above blocks will help boost your chakras on their own, or in the very least foster more resilience in the future. However, one or more of your chakras are shut down, it does take intention to get them functioning properly again. One of the books I first read when learning about chakras was Chakra Healing: A Beginner's Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras by Margarita Alcantara. What I enjoy most about this book is the examples given to describe the perspective you'll have when the chakras are in harmony vs. the perspective experienced when the chakras are out of alignment. You can learn to rebalance your own chakras using a pendulum or reach out if you're interested in having them rebalanced for you.
10. Lack of Guidance When I first started with self-hypnosis, there was a huge learning curve I had to get through. I was pretty good at following those little nudges and trusting synchronicity, but I hadn't quite gotten to a point where I could tap in on-demand. I searched YouTube for guided meditations so I could practice visualization but I couldn't find what I was looking for. As a result, I now offer self-hypnosis tracks to anyone looking to strengthen their connection with their inner guidance. When I work with clients one-on-one for QHHT/BQH, I look for and help guide people through all of the blocks on this list. For self-study, I highly suggest checking out my blog articles to support you on your path, and listening to the free recordings at the bottom of the RESOURCES page. I offer monthly events on Meetup which you can find by visiting the EVENTS page. Besides group meditations, I also host in-person socials, as this path we all walk can feel isolating and overwhelming at times.
What Lies Ahead
Connecting with your Higher Self through hypnosis is a personal journey that holds unlimited potential. In this article, we've talked about common blocks that can interfere with tapping in and connecting with your inner wisdom. From doubt and skepticism to physical needs and distractions, these hurdles are on your path to strengthen you spiritually. The good news is you can overcome them with a willingness let go and grow.
By facing these challenges head-on, you can support your self-hypnosis experience to unlock the secrets of your inner wisdom. It's a journey of self-discovery and personal growth that's well worth the effort.
Katie Christensen is a past-life regressionist, trained in BQH and Level 2 QHHT. She also practices Crystalline Soul Healing for clients, and hosts the Meetup Group Awakening Through Explorations of Consciousness. To find out more, visit ConnectedFromWithin.com