Hobbled by my emotions, public speaking was a horror for me.

We all have our demons. Some of us have a few to choose from. The one that really bugged me, especially in the last few years, was being unable to give a speech without becoming a nervous wreck. My face would break out in twitches, like it had a very erratic mind of its own. My throat would tighten, making it a struggle to get the words out. A couple of times I even started crying in front of my embarrassed audience. Public speaking became a source of dread – a real problem as, since co-founding Audrey I’ve needed to stand up a number of times and talk about Generation Restart and why we launched Audrey. It comes with the territory.

So when I was invited to be a speaker at a major media event, to sit on a stage with other entrepreneurs and influencers and express my thoughts and my story out loud, I knew something had to be done. This opportunity of a lifetime filled me with both excitement and dread. Because sitting on stage in a huge arena in front of a paying audience, being filmed for posterity – well twitching and crying just couldn’t be part of the deal, could it? No indeed.

Understandably I was genuinely desperate to tackle it. Remembering that my hypnotherapist friend Chrissy successfully helped another pal tackle her overwhelming anxiety, I gave Chrissy a call. “Of course I can help,” said Chrissy. And lo and behold – she really could.

We all have our demons. Some of us have a few to choose from.

I was apprehensive about being hypnotised, but having spoken to Chrissy I felt reassured. With a long NHS career in mental health she was herself initially pretty dubious of the treatment (also known as Rapid Transformational Therapy) – until she saw how incredibly well it works. Now with a successful and popular practice at she explains the technique and its effectiveness below.

Being hypnotised really didn’t feel like being hypnotised, but it worked. During the course of a three hour Zoom call, Chrissy first asked me some questions about my present day experiences and my childhood to locate the issue that needed tackling, then took me through a series of non-scary steps to put me under, guided by her gentle voice. I was still aware of my surroundings throughout and kept trying to switch my mind off so it would work better – but this isn’t necessary, says Chrissy.

Once hypnotised she got me to think back to significant incidents in my young life when I have been silenced, such as being told to ‘stop showing off’ a lot as a loud and show-off-y six year old, and getting punched in the face at age nine by a school bully for speaking when it wasn’t my ‘turn’. Once I’d identified a few ‘shut up, don’t speak’ moments, Chrissy pointed out that I’d learnt as a child that speaking about myself wasn’t welcome and my subconscious had since taken to preventing me doing so, as a form of protection. Hence the self-sabotaging facial twitches and tears. She firmly told my subconscious that it was time to stop.

I’d learnt as a child that speaking about myself wasn’t welcome and my subconscious was preventing me doing so

I came away from the three hour session with a 15 minute recording of Chrissy’s voice. Playing it back every night meant my subconscious mind was reminded that this self-protective behaviour is no longer needed – and that I’m free to speak up. Over time her words would appear in my mind at odd moments, like on the escalator at Waterloo station or in the Sainsbury’s queue. Something was definitely getting through and my confidence soared.

So by the time of the panel event I was primed and ready. Far from twitching and blubbing when it was my turn to talk, I just spoke. I opened my mouth and the words came out, exactly as they would if I spoke to a friend (but without the swearing). It was the best feeling, to be able to do myself justice without fearing that my body would sabotage this crucial moment. A feeling that was such a joy, it was worthy of the Rocky theme music. I genuinely enjoyed myself and a week later did a second panel discussion, which went just as well. Amazing.

So if there’s a demon in your life that’s holding you back, unleashing and having a few strong words with it could be a game-changer. It certainly was for me.

Says Chrissy:

“Our subconscious is always listening to everything we say, and it believes it all. So if our minds are running a soundtrack of “No-one wants to hear what I’ve got to say” our subconscious goes along with this, accepting it and, what’s more – looking around to provide us with evidence that it’s all true. The subconscious is like a recording device, it remembers everything from our whole lives, where the conscious mind only has space to hold onto the important things as it’s so busy. In fact 95% of our lives is actually run by our subconscious. Helpful to know.

What it does though isn’t always that helpful, as the subconscious can generalise and put things into categories that don’t always support us to live our best lives. The ONLY job of the subconscious is to keep us alive on the planet – it is not concerned with how happy or successful we are: these are conscious states of mind that we desire, and nothing to do with our survival.

I’d learnt as a child that speaking about myself wasn’t welcome and my subconscious was preventing me doing so

There are different types of hypnotherapy, but in Rapid Transformational Therapy, one of the key parts of the treatment is to go back and review scenes or events from the past that have reminded the subconscious of the current situation, as it is these memories that are creating or supporting the negative thoughts. These scenes or events can be things that we consciously remember, or things that were so far back or seemingly insignificant that we don’t consciously remember them.

Usually we are going back to things that happened before the age of seven, as it is in these early years that the subconscious is developing and the beliefs we have about ourselves firmly set in. Knowledge is power of course and through developing the understanding about these beliefs and where they came from in hypnosis, it is quite possible (in fact quite easy!) to change the meaning that our subconscious has attached to these scenes or events and make them more relevant for our adult lives.

This is supported by a personalised hypnotic recording to really ensure that the desired change is happening, with the neural pathways being healthily rewired as the mind is reprogrammed to not only keep you alive on the planet, but to make that life happy and successful.

Even without having RTT everyone can start to do this: tell yourself you are enough, you are significant, important, that the world wouldn’t be the same without you. Tell yourself that you like yourself, love yourself, appreciate the good in every day: start a gratitude journal. All of this is beneficial, because YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS BELIEVES YOU! Even if consciously you don’t feel it at all – doing this will start to bring about change”.

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