Coaching Principles for success | Holistic Edinburgh Hypnotherapist and Coach

Coaching Principles for success

If you want to succeed in overcoming difficulties, you need to have the right attitude. To do so, I would suggest you adopt the following mindset:

The Right Mindset for Success

  • Challenge the myth that others can rescue you; only you can save yourself.
  • Take responsibility for change.
  • Be convinced that you really have a choice.


Although I shall be your trustworthy guide every step of the way, ultimately, it is you who must do the work. If you expect a quick fix, you will be disappointed. But if you put in the work and take responsibility for your success, you will make huge progress quicker than you anticipate. You need to believe in your capacity to do this, because doubt is self-sabotage. Here’s a metaphor I often use to describe the process of taking control:

Imagine you are an adult living in a house ruled by undisciplined kids. If you do not believe you are the one in charge, the kids will do whatever they want to—run amok, and make a mess of things. The first step in getting them to recognise your authority is to believe you are in control and act accordingly. It might take a while to educate the kids on this new status quo, but over time, firm boundaries and commitment will do the trick.

Your thoughts are a little bit like those unruly children. You need to first decide you are going to be the rightful master of the house, and then consistently and patiently practice your authority by focusing on the thoughts you want to stimulate. As you repetitively engage in the hypnotic sessions, your mind will become your best friend rather than your enemy, and you will be truly in charge of a harmonious and peaceful household.Here are some principles I would urge you to abide by so you can be fully in charge of your success.

I am the coach and you are the expert on you


Remember that you—not I—are the expert on you. I am a coach and hypnotherapist; not a guru, a sage, or a superior being with limitless knowledge about how to be happy and successful. 

I am not here to fix you. You are already okay! I am only here to help you find your own answers and generate your own perfect solutions so you can be the best  you can be. Our sessions are not about being passive or placid, and the measure of your success is equal to your capacity to actively engage in the process.

Imagine you wanted to build a wardrobe in your house, but you’d never done it before. You could attempt to do it on your own and you may succeed, but it would probably involve many mistakes, a few headaches, some money wasted, and a quite a bit of time. If, on the other hand, you asked someone who had done it before to tell you what materials to get, how to go about building it, and what mistakes to watch out for, it would end up being faster, easier, and probably a more enjoyable project.

I am that person for you. You still need to do the work yourself, but by the end of it, you get to feel good about yourself having learnt a bunch of new skills and knowing you can use them again for other projects.

When you are motivated to change and you have positive expectations, you are already half-way there. View the whole process you are embarking on as a project you are undertaking with the help of a supervising expert who has done it all before.

Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want

Imagine you are planning a trip. You first need to think of where you are going. What is your destination? Maybe you want to go to Paris. If so, it makes sense to focus on going to Paris, rather than spending all your time thinking about the fact that you don’t want to go to Moscow! If you were a skier and wanted to get down the slope during a slalom, it would make sense for you pay attention to the route, not the poles on the way.

So, focus on the destination you have chosen, not the obstacles; pay attention to the solution, not the problem; think of what you want, not what you don’t want.

Trust the process

It’s night and you are in a car. Your headlights are on, but you can only see a few meters ahead. You are going quite fast, but you trust that all you need to see is only what is in front of you. There is no way for you to know what the road is going to be like in one, two, or ten kilometres. You just trust you will deal with it when you get there.

This is the attitude that is going to help you the most while working through our sessions. Don’t try to figure it all out in advance. Just trust that all you need to know is the next step, and then the next, and the next. All shall be revealed in time. Your car will take you there. You don’t need to know how. You just need to pay full attention to the present moment.

Expect success

The subconscious is a goal-striving mechanism that is image based and emotion driven. This means that when using hypnosis, we want to use words that are highly evocative of strong, positive emotions and avoid analytical reasoning. The subconscious will follow your commands, provided you consciously approve of them. This ensures that no involuntary actions are possible.

The success formula for harnessing the power of our subconscious is to use the imagination in conjunction with positive emotion and expectation. In other words, you need to imagine what you want; imagine success, and expect it. Picture what it would feel like to have success already in your life and fill in the details until you are really connected to the emotions that would emerge when your dream is a reality. Believe success is not just possible, but a certainty. You cannot fail until you quit, so don’t give up until you succeed!

Don’t test hypnosis

If you try to test the effectiveness of hypnosis, you are effectively giving yourself a suggestion that it may fail to work. Your subconscious will take this cue and produce the very results you fear.

When you are in doubt or indulge in anxious thoughts about results, you are expressing a pattern of your fear, of powerful negative expectations which will tend to be realised. If you indulge in thoughts of resistance, you are once again giving yourself the suggestion that you are resistant, and of course, your subconscious will play up to your suggestion until you give yourself a strong and definite counter suggestion. 

While it is normal to be doubtful or scared at times, indulging in these patterns causes trouble. You can decide how much energy and attention you give these thoughts. You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you don’t have to build it a nest!

So, do yourself a favour and express confidence in the power of your subconscious and in the power of hypnosis. Positive expectation, anticipating positive results, getting excited about them, and trusting the process are good ways to help hypnotherapy work for you.

Plan, engage, and commit

Be honest with yourself about your progress. It’s okay to take your time and go at your own pace. Do not put yourself under too much pressure to get somewhere quickly, but also commit to a specific amount of weekly practice. Once you know what is reasonable given your other commitments, you will have a general timeframe by which you will have completed your process. 

Surrender to each stage of the journey

Surrendering to the present is essential if we want to be able to move forward. Accepting where you are at during each stage of the journey, accepting your situation and the way you feel about it, is a stepping stone to creating a better future.

Trying to avoid what is happening right now by focusing on the past, what should be, or what you don’t want, means that you are wasting energy that could be better used in becoming open to the possibilities for change inherent in what you are experiencing in the present moment.

Let go of judgement

With judgement of ourselves and others comes shame and blame, which will only keep you stuck in the negative. The invitation here is to become aware of when you become caught up in judgement, so you can focus instead on what is helpful.

Take responsibility to empower yourself

It is important that you become honest and accountable to yourself and acknowledge your flawed thinking.

Do you prefer complaining about problems rather than looking for solutions? Do you frequently blame other people for what is not working in your life, or do you face up to what needs changing? Do you complain that life isn’t fair or can you acknowledge your own influence in creating situations?

Taking responsibility is not about self-blame. It is about realising that nobody is going to save you or give you the answers you seek. It is about moving away from helplessness and victim mentality. It is shifting away from the mindset that life is something that happens to you and towards being in charge of your own reality, with the power to create and reinvent yourself. Use our sessions to help you do exactly that.

Be willing to introspect and engage with the process of inner discovery

I sometimes joke that my clients are only allowed one ‘I don’t know’ per session. If you find yourself saying it after a question I pose to you, I encourage you to go beyond it. Pause and look deeper within. Take a breath and listen. Be patient and as you look within, you will discover what is behind the ‘I don’t know’ answer.

Be accountable for keeping your own agreements and carrying out the set-out tasks

You are your word. You are the measure for how much you show up. Your commitment is the measure of your success. Commitment means giving a task 100%. When engaging in homework tasks, it is important to be aware of your expectations.

 As an active participant, you are invited to either agree or disagree with a suggested task or to re-negotiate a task with yourself in a way that fits your needs.

Be willing to stay with the discomfort and challenge yourself

Discomfort is sometimes necessary to achieve goals. Challenges are opportunities for growth. Problems contain an inner gift that allows us to go beyond what we thought was possible. Stepping out of your comfort zone is necessary to move towards your dreams. 

When you relish pushing yourself forward while at the same time remembering you can manifest your goals step-by-step, you ensure you will achieve them without overwhelm.

Reward yourself

Every time you stick to the program, give yourself a reward. For example, you could put a coin in a jar for each session you have completed. At the end of the program, you could use the money to treat yourself with a gift!

Every time you stray, just get back in line. Starve distractions and create a routine so you make it easy for yourself to listen to the audio recordings. For example, you could listen to the sessions at the same time every day. Alternatively, you could set a reminder on your phone so that you remember to do so every day.

Motivate yourself by keeping your benefits in mind

Always keep in mind the benefits you are going to experience from engaging fully in the process. Your mental health and wellbeing are at stake!​

If I told you I would give you a million dollars if you did a hundred star jumps a day for twenty days, wouldn’t you make sure you’d remember to do it? Well, this is easier than doing star jumps. And the reward is your own happiness and life satisfaction. How much is that worth to you?

If you find it easier to connect to your negative motivation, think of the price you are going to pay for staying where you are. Is that worth your comfort? Give this process all you’ve got and you shall reap your rewards a thousand-fold.

Celebrate mistakes

Remember to always celebrate mistakes. They are the only way to learn. If you were born already perfect, all-knowing, and doing everything right, what would there be left to do?

A baby is not born knowing how to talk, walk, or feed herself. She must try and will get it wrong many times. Does she give up? No! She has no concept of mistakes. She is just here to explore and learn. See if you can take on the attitude of that baby. If you have children, you can learn a lot from them!

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