FEAR factor faced

Conquer fears with hypnosis and coaching.

Conquer fears with hypnosis and coaching.

WRITTEN BY Gisele Arnaud, DDS

Have you ever felt that you were in a job or practice that you really disliked? Are you afraid you will work so much that you won’t find balance in your life? Scared to get on a plane? Perhaps you’ve had a patient or two (or maybe hundreds) who are afraid of dentistry?

You can become aware of your fears, face them, learn to live with them (because they will always be around) and, most important, walk through, climb over, and overcome them. No matter what your circumstances, you can do it with some motivation and specific processes along with faith and trust.

What we all have in common - no matter who or where we are, how rich or poor we are, or how educated or not we are - is fear. This might not sound like an epiphany, but for me, this awareness has been transformational. Almost all that I have done and accomplished has been motivated by fear. Perhaps you’ve done the same?

You can design your thinking and life to get through these fears and blossom. As May Sarton said, “Now I become myself. It’s taken time, many years and places....”

None of us gets through life without fear, and this is as it should be. Fear can either:

1. prod us on in a positive direction to achieve our most joyful and fulfilling life; or

2. stop us dead in our tracks.

When you think of fear, don’t you think of constriction? Your muscles contract, you pull in and your mind and heart close up a bit, or even a lot. This is just the physical discomfort of fear. We haven’t yet mentioned the mental, emotional, and even spiritual pain.

You might feel that in one part of your life or another (personal, professional, or spiritual), you’ve gone off course. External influences (parents, religious communities, society) cause us to let the logical side of us take over. This side contains the ego, which controls fear, as opposed to the higher self, or more intuitive side of us, which controls love, joy, and peace.

When a client comes to me with one fear or many, there are several techniques from which I can choose. If they want to deal with test anxiety or fear of flying, they might come to me for hypnosis.

Hypnosis help:

Hypnosis is a state of inner absorption, focused attention, and concentration where a person enters into a trance state. Each of us has been so absorbed in thought - think of reading a book or seeing a play - that we don’t notice what is happening around us. While we’re zoned out, another level of consciousness, our unconscious mind, takes over. These focused states of attention are similar to hypnosis.

In this state of inner absorption, suggestions compatible with the patient’s desires seem to have a more powerful impact on the mind. Hypnosis avoids the censor of the conscious mind, which is often quite critical.

There are myths and misconceptions about hypnosis. Hypnosis will not make you lose ­control or surrender your will. You do not lose consciousness while in a trance, and the majority of people remember everything that occurs.

Hypnosis can be used for smoking cessation, weight loss, phobias, habits, skin and other ­medical disorders, and even irritable bowel syndrome. In dentistry, it can be used for dental phobias, nail biting, tongue-thrusting, analgesia, and, in some cases, even anesthesia.

Conscious coaching:

When a person’s fears are more compatible with coaching, we relate to these fears on a conscious level. A coach supports the client in identifying, organizing, and prioritizing his or her goals, values, passions, and dreams. Together they figure out how to pursue them, step-by-step, in an action- and results-oriented way. A lot of this support comes in working through barriers and limiting beliefs - often fears.

Goals may be:

1. professional: career transition, stress management, increased profitability;

2. personal: divorce, lifestyle change, spirituality; or

3. both.

No matter which process is involved, I always ask the person to call upon his or her intuition first to figure out what he or she wants. Then, the rest consists of working to get there (and this is often the easier part).

Jean, a fear faced:

Jean is a coaching client. She’s a psychologist who came to me hating her full-time university position. She had several fears, but one overriding one. The left side of her brain - the logical and rational side - talked to me about her being a single mother and needing to support her daughter and herself. She also wanted to be home with her daughter more and act and feel less stressed. In addition, she needed to save for retirement. She was constantly running from her university job to her private practice and was burned out. She dreaded her job each morning, which gave her a steady, not large salary, but security, nonetheless.

The right side of her brain - the intuitive, creative side - knew what she wanted, and I heard it. It said, “Get me out of this job immediately. It’s bad for my mental, emotional, and physical health, and for my relationship with my child. But, I’m scared that I won’t have enough.”

Being a single mother and coming from a first generation, immigrant-parent background, I ­relate to this client.

Step-by-step, we created an action plan. Within a short time and with pride, she quit her job. She completely changed her lifestyle. She added hours to her local private practice and now has a flexible schedule with time to relax with her child. Between her expanding private practice and small jobs she takes here and there, her income has increased.

Her fear of scarcity kept her in a job that she hated for a long time. Once she saw this with clarity, she could and did find ways to climb through her fear and live with it. These fears haven’t disappeared completely. They will probably be with her for the rest of her life. The difference is that she knows how to work with them.

Each of us is endowed with a natural set of skills, talents, and gifts. A lot of the work of our lives is to listen to our gut or intuition so we can get through our barriers and fears to live our lives to their fullest potentials. Once we find these gifts, we can construct our life visions or missions to find joy and be of service in the world.

In the Fearful to Flowering Technique for coaching, we go over several steps and corresponding exercises to guide people in proper directions so they may flower in all parts of their lives. Exercises include a life balance inventory, visualizing and writing down ideal future scenes, and listing negative or false beliefs about oneself.

With coaching, people can learn to:

balance demands of work and home, along with the pursuit of dreams

decrease physical, mental, and emotional stress

identify, organize, and prioritize goals, thoughts, and ideas

work through barriers, limiting beliefs, and fears which can hold people back

clarify and reach goals faster and more easily

maximize performance and potential at work and home

manage constant change and conflict in life

develop focus, drive, and self-confidence

develop and pursue life vision and take charge of own destiny.

This personal, professional, executive coaching is safe, empowering, confidential, and enlightening.

Living with fear and change is part of a healthy life. Hypnosis and coaching are two ways to face, live with, and overcome fears to push people in a positive and fulfilling direction.

You can live a life of joy, success, and prosperity. It takes an open mind, open heart, and guts - intuitive and courageous guts. Enjoy your life in full bloom.

Gisele Arnaud, DDS
Dr. Arnaud is a life coach, clinical hypnotist, and cosmetic and restorative dentist in New York City. She has worked at Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery and has practiced and taught abroad.E-mail giselearnaud@optonline.net, visit her Web site, www.giselearnaud.com, or call (201) 410-0064 or (212) 759-6679.

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