Overview: Negative self-talk makes it difficult to feel confident. This negativity resides in our subconscious. Hypnosis for self-esteem works by removing and updating these negative filters and making them more helpful and positive. 

The subconscious mind – our “inner voice” – controls how we feel about ourselves.

Our unconscious thoughts can be ardent supporters, telling us to feel good about the way we look and our abilities. Or the subconscious can be a fierce critic, filling our minds with negative, unhealthy thoughts about ourselves.

Overcoming negative self-talk is a real challenge.

These thoughts are automatic and deeply embedded in our minds. You look in the mirror – and bam! – the subconscious tells you not to like what you see. It happens unconsciously, automatically.

In other words, low self-esteem is often the result of flaws in our subconscious. Our automatic thoughts aren’t rational. They aren’t based in fact, and they’re overly critical and unhealthy.

Hypnosis helps us overcome and reframe these negative thoughts. Using hypnotherapy, we can access these unconscious, automatic thoughts, and through the power of suggestion, we can begin to unseat and reframe them.

Simply put, hypnosis can be a very powerful tool for targeting the root cause of low self-esteem. 

Low Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence: Can Hypnotherapy Help You?

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The terms self-esteem and self-confidence tend to be used interchangeably, but they represent two very different ideas.

Self-confidence, for example, can be thought of as that inner judgement we make about our abilities or our qualities. I’m good at public speaking, but I'm not a great singer. Therefore, I’m a self-confident public speaker.

Self-confidence can change based on situation. That person with plenty of self-confidence prior to a public speech might be a nervous wreck at karaoke night.

Self-esteem, on the other hand, tends to remain constant, and it’s a measure of our feelings of self-worth and self-love. If you have low self-esteem, whether you’re public speaking, or singing karaoke, you feel negatively about yourself.

If you want to see how it works, try this quick hypnosis for self confidence meditation:

What Causes Low Self-Confidence?

Psychologists suggest past experiences influence our self-esteem and self-confidence. Throughout life, we receive a lot of negative and positive messages – which can have a significant impact how we feel about ourselves.

This feedback can come from our peers, our family, or the media.

Unfortunately, we’re more responsive and receptive to negative messages. 

Negative messages are more likely to get filed away in the subconscious.

Trauma too can have a significant impact on our self-esteem and self-confidence. Traumatic experiences can diminish our feelings of self-worth and our sense of trust.

Ultimately, self-esteem presents itself on a scale. Some have an abundance, while others might struggle in certain situations. But people with low self-esteem tend to feel a constant level of low self-worth. They’re likely to experience and feel:

  • Hopelessness or depression
  • Boredom or a lack of motivation
  • Being overly sensitive to criticism
  • Lacking assertiveness
  • Hearing negative, overly critical self-talk
  • Feeling like their life’s a failure

Hypnosis has been shown to alleviate many of these symptoms as well, including depression, anxiety, and a lack of motivation.

You Can Improve Your Self-Esteem

There’s hope. You can fix your mind’s negative thinking patterns.

In fact, low self-esteem is a lot like a glitch in your mind. You’ve taught yourself, through repetitive thinking over your lifetime, how to feel about yourself and your abilities in certain situations.

But it's very possible to build and increase self-esteem and overcome these automatic thoughts.

And that’s the key to improving your self-confidence and self-esteem.

How Negative Self-Perceptions Form

We can develop negative perceptions about ourselves, sometimes very early in life. A negative social experience, a bully belittling our looks, failing a test.

These experiences tend to have a lasting impact on our self-perception, and these experiences and the emotions attached to them get buried in our subconscious.

Our subconscious mind wants to protect us.

After negative experiences, the subconscious develops defense mechanisms to prevent us from feeling the hurt, shame, or failure that we might have experienced.

This defense manifests as those automatic thoughts.

After that negative social experience, for instance, your mind might have started to tell yourself that you don’t like social situations. And the negativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We expect so convincingly to fail at talking to new acquaintances – that lo and behold – we will ourselves into having a bad time, letting our shyness take hold, and pushing ourselves to avoid meeting new people.

If left unchecked, this low self-esteem and confidence persuades us to have these negative experiences over and over again.

That’s why they’re so hard to remove.

Because we’ve allowed the subconscious to dictate how we should feel about ourselves and our abilities over a lifetime, we allow these thoughts to be continually reinforced.

Why Behavioral Therapy and Coaching Doesn't Always Work

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How do we overcome those negative thoughts and prevent them from controlling our actions and feelings?

A common approach suggested by therapists is repetition.

Behavioral coaches say you need to do the thing you fear over and over again, whether if that’s public speaking, mingling at parties, or looking in the mirror and learning to love what you see.

In other words, we push ourselves to try and fail, and try again, until we consistently find success.

But here’s the problem with that approach: Those negative thoughts still exist in our minds!

Sure, we can work to tamp them down through repetition, but they still affect how we approach facing our fears and how we feel about the results.

In other words, many find it challenging to work up the courage to overcome their fears in the first place. And even when they discover the nerve to practice over and over again, they’re still expecting failure or a negative outcome.

If you’ve ever earned praise from a friend, only to feel inside that “they’re just being nice” or “they don’t really mean that,” you know exactly how that feels. Sure, you quieted those thoughts enough to perform, but those negative beliefs are still informing and making up a part of our self-perception.

Simply put, proof and fact do very little to sway our unconscious thoughts.

We might experience success. Our conscious thoughts might tell us that we’re improving. But those irrational, unconscious thoughts are still there, telling us how to really feel.

Confidence Hypnosis: How Hypnotherapy Can Help Us Overcome Low Self-Esteem

Repeatedly facing our fears can certainly be a tool for improving self-esteem and self-confidence.

Yet, it’s a challenge. It’s difficult to stay on course, and do something over and over even though the mind is yelling at us that’d we’d rather not.

Negative self-talk is like an addiction.

We might feel the pain our addiction is causing, we might see the effect it’s having on our relationships, we might literally see that it’s destroying our emotional health or our performance at work, or in social situations, or for whatever our mind is telling us that we can’t do.

But yet, we can’t stop. We can’t seem to shut those thoughts off.

It’s just like the urge the addict “hears” telling them to use again.

Hypnosis can be so successful for low self-esteem, because its goal is to repair the mind.

Hypnosis helps to re-teach the subconscious to be a supportive partner in our day-to-day lives. We’re taking out those irrational, negative thoughts, and repopulating the subconscious with more helpful information.

How does hypnosis work for improving self-esteem?

You can think of hypnosis as meditation with a goal. For centuries, meditation has been used to help people learn to tame the mind, to find inner peace, and quiet automatic thinking.

Yet, hypnosis takes this one step further – hypnosis adds a goal.

During a hypnotherapy session, you relax your body and mind and reach a state of heightened relaxation and awareness. (It feels similar to the state you reach in deep meditation.)

In this state, the way we process information changes. Our minds become completely relaxed, and we’re able to access our subconscious. In fact, we can bypass the critical mind and go straight to that inner voice and speak directly to it.

What’s more, when we’re in a state of hypnosis, our brains become highly receptive to suggestion.

Therefore, when we hear mantras in this state like, “you will feel confidence in everything you do,” they’re much more likely to stick. We’ve bypassed that critical conscious layer that’s always so quick to qualify and analyze suggestions.

Now, you might be thinking: Is that really all there is to it? And the short answer is yes.

Sure, hypnosis for low self-esteem can be highly complex. A hypnotherapist can use numerous techniques for empowering and repairing the subconscious mind.

But whatever the technique, the idea is the same. In a state of hypnosis, we add newer, more helpful and more supportive information to the subconscious. And at the same time, we can work to release the negative thinking patterns that are causing our self-esteem issues in the first place.

Getting Started with Confidence Hypnosis

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You want to try it. You want to see if hypnosis can empower you to overcome your negative self-talk. So what options do you have?

In general, there are three ways you can pursue hypnosis: Self-hypnosis, visiting a hypnotherapist, or following guided hypnotherapy sessions.

Which option should you pursue?

Well, the short answer is that all have their benefits, but they’re all effective if you’ve made it up in your mind to make a change. Here’s a look at each method:

  • Self-Hypnosis for Confidence: Self-hypnosis is self-guided. In self-hypnosis, you listen to recordings on a hypnosis app to induce the state of hypnosis, and then to provide yourself with suggestions related to improving confidence. (You'll find plenty of great confidence hypnosis recordings in our store!)
  • Hypnotherapy Books: Books teach you self-hypnosis techniques and ways you can practice building confidence on your own. These books include scripts, affirmations, and visualizations you can follow to improve your self-esteem and confidence.
  • One-on-One Hypnotherapy Sessions: A one-on-one session offers you the chance for a completely personalized experience, and you can ask questions about the process and what to expect. A hypnotherapist will also work with you to determine a plan of action for overcoming your esteem issues.

What to expect during a hypnotherapy session

A session will begin with thinking and talking about what you hope to achieve.

Additionally, you’ll work with a hypnotherapist to learn root causes and triggers for your emotions. Then, following the hypnotherapist’s instructions (or those on a script or recording), you’ll be guided into a highly relaxed, hyper-aware state. Your hypnotherapist will begin to speak directly to your subconscious to challenge your negative beliefs.

What happens after the session. After a session with a hypnotherapist, many experience improvements almost immediately. Yet, typically, individuals continue to work, using recordings and self-hypnosis techniques to reinforce the suggestions, and following up for maintenance sessions.

Ultimately, the type of hypnosis you use to improve your confidence comes down to preference. What works best for your lifestyle? What’s aligned closest to your goals?

Yet, the key is persistence. Overcoming deep-seated negative self-talk requires commitment. In fact, research suggests at least 6 hypnotherapy sessions are required for long-term results, while additional studies have found that regular self-hypnosis offers significant benefits.

Does Hypnosis for Self-Esteem Work? A Review of Research

Is hypnosis for confidence effective? That’s the question that almost everyone wants to know.

When you look at hypnotherapy research, the data suggests it can be a powerful tool for overcoming negative self-talk. From improved feelings of self-worth, to reduced levels of depression, many studies show promising results.

Here’s a look:

A 2008 South African study looked at hypnosis for improving the self-perceptions of college students. Following two tests, the researchers concluded that hypnosis was effective at improving self-esteem.

In 2004, researchers examined the effects that self-hypnosis had on 261 U.S. military veterans who struggled with substance abuse. Ultimately, the veterans were asked to use self-hypnosis 3-5 times per week, as a means for relapse prevention. At a 7-week follow-up, the group that had consistently used self-hypnosis reported the higher levels of self-esteem and serenity.

A 2013 study examined the effect that hypnosis could have on patients post-surgery, in particular in pain management and for improving self-esteem. The results suggested that hypnosis could be a useful tool for improving self-esteem after surgery.

Want to learn more? See our guides to hypnosis for smartphone addiction, hypnosis to reduce stress, hypnosis for social anxiety, and hypnosis for chronic pain management