Have you ever experienced that wondrous moment when you’re focusing on a manual task, like doing the washing up or taking a shower, and an amazing idea comes to you as if from nowhere? Would you like to be able to control when this happens and what the idea is about?
Well, according to author and hypnotherapist, Steve Bowkett (someone my human, Annie, met at a writing festival years ago), you can.
Say you have a prompt for a writing competition and you’re having trouble coming up with an idea. What Steve suggests is that you ask your subconscious crew a question and set a specific time and date for them to give you an answer.
Take a moment to think about the prompt. Then say very definitely to yourself, preferably aloud, “When I sit down to write tomorrow, I will gain some insight into my competition entry.” This technique can easily be framed more specifically – eg “When I wake up tomorrow, I will know how the story I’m working on will end,” or “At 6pm tomorrow, I will find out why my character is doing [a particular thing]”.
The answers are always there in your head. It’s just a case of you giving the crew the time and space to dig them out, and then prompting them to hand those answers over to you at a convenient moment.
This technique isn’t likely to work perfectly right away – Annie’s been training her crew for years and they still sometimes ignore her or present her with enthusiastic new ideas at 3am! But practice makes perfect.
Successfully training your subconscious crew is all about the presupposition of success (which we talked about in last week’s blog post). If you assume the crew will come up with the requested answer at the set time, it’s much more likely that they will.
And you can adapt this technique to all sorts of things – not just writing.
So, next time you need to come up with an idea for something, or you’re not feeling enthused about getting on with your latest project, get your subconscious working harder on your behalf.
As Steve Bowkett says, “Whatever we think we consciously know, subconsciously we know a huge amount more.”
Your crew can help and they will respond with better ideas the more you ask them to do so. But don’t neglect them. Always remember to thank them for their help. You won’t regret it.
And don’t forget to let me know how you get on, or if there’s anything in your life you’d like my thoughts on!
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