Belief Systems – how they influence.


As we grow, we’re exposed to many types of belief structures ranging from believing blue is the colour blue; to how to behave in public; to what religion we follow (or not) and what practices we do or don’t take part in. We’re influenced by our parents, our society, our culture, our generation. We receive information from television, the internet, our teachers and figures of authority, to name but a few.
There is overwhelming support for certain belief systems and overwhelming criticism for others depending on where and when you grew up.

Think about some of the things you inherently believe – maybe it is to do with birth, maybe it’s something to do with your beliefs in yourself. Can you pinpoint exactly where they came from or are they simply a part of what makes you, you?


Every experience gets stored in our subconscious in the form of memories. Some we can easily, consciously remember just by casting our minds back. Some are triggered by a song (ever caught yourself singing along, word perfect, to a song on the radio you last heard 20 years ago?) or a photograph or a certain smell. But there are some memories our subconscious has kept hidden – maybe because they are considered too insignificant or because they are so significant, it would be ‘dangerous’ for us to remember the actual event. This is often (although not always) the cause of phobias and anxieties.


These are part learnt and part instinctive. In other words, we’ll have a natural instinct to feel a particular emotion connected with a particular situation or incident but a lot of the time our parents/ teachers/ people around us will let us know whether that emotion is ‘acceptable’ or not. For instance, if a baby falls over it’s more often the parents’ reaction that tells him to cry or not. Or, if a parent is scared of dogs or spiders or flying, for example, it’s often the way they behave when exposed to those triggers that inform the child they need to be frightened too. Ever been told not to cry when it was a completely instinctive response to what you were feeling at the time?

Emotions also tie in with language.
Words can become so much more significant when we can attach emotion to them, the word ‘risk’ for example becomes so much more of an issue when there are emotional factors at stake. So if you were told there was a ‘risk’ you could fall of the pavement and twist your ankle you’d be less emotionally stimulated than if you were told there was a risk your baby.

Learnt Behaviours

When we learn to do something, we process it consciously. Once it’s learnt and is something we do on a regular basis, we no longer need to think about it because it’s stored subconsciously. Driving is the best example – at first the process requires a lot of thinking.  Once you have passed your test and you drive regularly, the process becomes automatic and you simply put your key in the ignition and off you go.
However, there are, in fact, several stages of learning we have to go through before behaviour can become automatic:

Stage 1 – Unconscious Incompetence.
We’re not even aware of a particular ‘skill’ and have no idea how to do it. (Being a child passenger in the back of your parents’ car)

Stage 2 – Conscious Incompetence.
We’re now aware of it, want to do it, but have no idea how to go about it. (Our first few driving lessons and trying to co-ordinate ‘mirror, signal, manouvre’ with having three peddles and only two feet!)

Stage 3 – Conscious Competence.
Now we can do it, but we really need to concentrate, focus and think through the process. (Probably ready to take our test by this stage, but it is so necessary to concentrate)

Stage 4 – Unconscious Competence.
It is now so familiar to us it requires no thinking, our subconscious takes over and we go through the process automatically. (Once we’ve been driving for a while) Once we’ve reached the state of Unconscious competence, our behaviours have been learnt and they can be consigned to the subconscious. We have to store behaviours this way because otherwise it would take us a long time to re-learn and work our way through a process every time we went to do it.


Language is all in the subconscious. From the moment a baby is born they copy the sounds they hear from their parents. All the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ is them mimicking the noises they hear and when a parent repeats it back to them it reaffirms that these sounds are good sounds to be making. If parents are bi or multi-lingual, then this is the best time to teach them other languages – a baby will pick it up so much quicker than waiting until languages are taught at school. However, as well as emotions, language also feeds into our belief systems, and gives ‘direction’ on how something is viewed.
For example; a woman in a position of power is often described as ‘cunning’ and ‘manipulative’ but if she was referred to as ‘clever’, then it puts a very different emphasis on the situation. A student could be labelled ‘argumentative’ and ‘obstructive’ or he could be identified as ‘intelligent’ and ‘questioning’. It’s very difficult to change all of these pre-existing and, in many cases, long standing beliefs and behaviours etc., just by talking to a conscious mind. By using intended hypnosis we’re able to create new beliefs and memories and better responses to emotional triggers in the future because hypnosis allows access to the subconscious when all our frames of reference have been temporarily removed so it is much easier to make changes. This is done via the use of post-hypnotic suggestions.

Post-Hypnotic Suggestions

Every action has a reaction – if we’re hungry, we eat; if we’re thirsty, we drink; if we’re stressed, we might bite our nails and so on. So much of our unwanted behaviour is down to triggered responses based on our past experiences. On a conscious level, we may not even be aware of why we do certain things or why we have certain responses to a particular object or situation, which is why we may find habits, phobias, addictions etc. so hard to break or change. However, by using hypnosis, we can re-train the mind and create new and better responses to the trigger in the future, as long as the new responses are beneficial to us.

Hypnosis scripts are the method by which a person is taken into an intended hypnotic state and within that script will be two types of suggestions. There are direct hypnotic suggestions which are related to the things you’re told to do during a hypnosis session, making it more likely it will be a success, such as “close your eyes”, “focus on your breathing” etc.
There will be post-hypnotic suggestions, the ‘magic’ behind hypnosis, and what makes it different from other relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and meditation. They work on the basis that when you’re faced with the situation currently making you anxious, you’re unlikely to be lying down in a trance-like state, so a post-hypnotic suggestion is one given to a person whilst in a hypnotic trance, for an action or response to take place in the future after the hypnotic experience has ended. Anything which would have previously caused anxiety is re-worded into a positive trigger that can promote calm and relaxation. The more these post-hypnotic suggestions are heard, the more the mind accepts them as reality. In fact, the brain will create new neural pathways to show this new (and preferred response) has become learnt behaviour. So, when faced with the situation which was previously causing distress, we don’t have to think what to do to make ourselves feel better, it will just happen automatically, i.e. we’ve reached the state of unconscious competence.