In this article I want to share a very personal story about how chronic blushing influenced my life, held me back in my 20s and 30s and how I stopped blushing.
I share my story to show others who suffer from chronic blushing that it is possible to stop blushing and reclaim your life. When you stop trying to hide or runaway from situations, when you are no longer afraid to be the centre of attention or to be asked a question in a meeting. When you can talk to others without the fear of blushing crushing you down.
My Chronic Blushing story
From my early twenties until my mid thirties blushing ruled my life. Blushing felt liked chains that restricted my life, movement, communication and happiness. It influenced the choices I made, the jobs I accepted, how I communicated and the social events I attended.
Underneath the physical aspect of blushing I suffered from low anxiety, insecurities, fears, anxieties and a feeling of not being good enough. On a deeper level it was a sense of shame of who I was as a person - which all manifested into blushing. I hid my light from myself and the world. I feared being judged or being criticised.
Blushing became a narrow lens in which I viewed the world and it restricted my life and how I was as a person. Important life decisions and choices were made based upon whether I would blush or not. I played small in this game of life and made small decisions. It felt so incredibly frustrating because I knew I had more to give to the world and had the ability to create the life I wanted - yet the blushing was weighing me down.
How I stopped blushing
The more I avoided, created my own inner drama, listened to the anxious thoughts and tried to push away the fear the blushing became more intense. I was tired of fighting the blushing so I decided to simply accept the blushing.
I worked on changing my mindset, how I responded to my thoughts and belief system. I learned to love myself and felt more confident within my own body and around other people. I started taking risks and started showing up more. My communicated improved as I broke the physical and emotional blushing behaviour pattern and created a new response of love, strength, calmness and confidence.
I started living again
Once I learnt how to stop letting the fear of blushing control my life and created acceptance the blushing naturally reduced until it stopped completely.
As the chains of blushing released my life transformed. I stopped holding myself back. I stopped hiding. I stepped forward with confidence, self love, freedom, and a deep sense of self-worth.
I began to live again. I became aware of many opportunities and possibilities and made decisions out of love rather than fear. Ten years ago I left my job, studied and retrained as a hypnotherapist and coach. Since that time I performed comedy sketches on stage, done public talks and presentations, and when I am attending courses and workshops I speak freely without any fear of blushing.
My experience can help you to stop blushing
When clients tell me about their experiences I get it. I know what's it like to fear the fear of blushing. I know what's like to want the ground to open up and shallow me when my face is burning red in embarrassment. I know what's it like to restrict my life so I keep "safe" and don't blush.
It's through my own experiences of blushing that I created the powerful Stop Blushing Hypnotherapy Programme for executives - as many therapies, coaching and hypnosis simply focus on the mind. I work with the mind, body and heart - all of you.
I am fiercely committed to helping others to break the chains of blushing and live life to the full.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver
This beautiful line from Mary Oliver's poem This Summer's Day reminds me that this is the one life that we have. Each day that we breathe and live upon this earth is precious - much more precious than blushing. We all have a choice on how we spend each day - what is your choice?
About Linda Connors
London Hypnotherapist and Coach Linda Connors works with stressed out executives and professionals who want a better life, more happiness and freedom in their life. Since 2007 she has helped many professionals to stop blushing and start living.
You are invited to contact Linda and book your stop blushing session in London Harley Street or on Skype. Call 075 3421 3557
Following on from my previous article about how I overcame blushing and reclaimed my life back I want to share with you today how to overcome blushing through my three step process. Through my personal experience of chronic blushing in my 20s and early 30s, I know the full implications of blushing and how it can hold you back. I see it in my clients too. They live half a life and invest their energy into fear and anxiety about blushing - when they will blush, who they will blush in front of and what will other people think. Rather than moving ahead in life they are held back. Does this sound familiar?
Through these three steps you can start a new journey and reclaim your life back from blushing, connect with your potential and live fully and freely. When I blushed I tried counselling and therapy and nothing helped. These steps are the steps I took myself to stop blushing and I am so happy to share them with you.
Step 1 - Healing the shame and embarrassment of blushing
Underneath blushing, often beyond your conscious awareness, is shame. This shame is often associated with childhood family dynamics, experiences or events. Shame has a very physical manifestation as chemicals are released into the body when shame is experienced - you may feel warmer, anxious and blush. As an adult, you may not even be aware why your body is responding in this way. You go into a meeting, and it's your turn to speak and before you blink you feel your face going bright red.
The path to moving beyond blushing includes healing the wound of shame. Hypnotherapy can assist in healing the shame especially if this is all happening within your unconscious mind out of your conscious awareness.
Step 2 - Creating a growth mindset
When you are trapped in the blushing cycle, perhaps you notice you have a very fixed, critical and judgement mindset. "I can’t stop blushing”, “I am going to blush in this meeting” or "I will never be able to stop blushing". You put your whole energy and focus into these intrusive thoughts and this creates your reality and generates even more anxiety and fear.
To move out of the fixed mindset you must learn to step into the growth mindset which allows you to connect with your inner skills, resources and potential rather than focusing on the past. Rather than getting trapped in the fixed mindset of “I’m going to blush when….” The growth mindset allows you to focus on growth rather than limitations. Ask yourself coaching questions such as these:
The learner/growth mindset is about rational conscious choices and is solution focused. Ask yourself the above questions and notice what feels different in your body.
Step 3 - Changing the physical and emotional response to blushing
There are two elements to blushing. On one side is the physical conditioning of the body. The more it happens the more the body, skin and face responds to external triggers by blushing. On the other side of blushing is our inner world – which consists of thoughts, fears, restricting beliefs, previous experiences and anxiety.
Science has shown us that the body is an intellectual system and holds body memories. Dancers, athletics and even soldiers embody actions and movement into the body so it becomes a physically learnt behaviour. Blushing is very much similar. The more it happens the more the body embodies and embeds the blushing behaviour and it becomes the natural response to situations, experiences and events.
To undo this conditioning it’s essential to create a new physical and emotional response which embodies confidence, inner strength and calmness – and to practice this through a series of processes I have created based on science, mind and body connection and mindset.
Just take a moment to consider the above. What is the first step you can take today to begin to create changes in your life and becoming blush free?
About Linda Connors
Linda Connors is a Hypnotherapist and Coach offering Chronic Blushing therapy in London Harley Street, Bath and Skype.
Is blushing holding you back? You can change your life starting from today by contacting Linda on 075 3421 3557
As part of being human we have been gifted with the ability to feel and experience life fully - from joy, happiness, fulfillment, love through to anger, depression and anxiety. In our "must have now" society many people are shutting themselves half down. They want to feel the joy and happiness of life but but don't want to deal with the shadows of our existence - the emotions which lurk in the darkness.
But here's the thing. To feel joy and happiness we must also learn to open the gates to the other emotions and that also includes anxiety. For when we attempt to hide, ignore or push away anxiety it will come back bigger and more intense and we also block the deep level of joy and happiness in our life.
Throughout my childhood until early thirties I experienced a lot of anxiety. The anxiety that is so overwhelming it feels like it is consuming your life. It was difficult. I tried to ignore it. It came back stronger. I tried to argue with it - its voice became louder than mine. I tried to push it away it pushed back harder. It was relentless.
I tried counsellors and hypnotherapists nothing helped. Some wanted to mask the anxiety through tools and techniques. Others wanted to over analysis my childhood without the focus on the here and now. Then I discovered something when I went to a meditation retreat in Scotland over ten years ago. It was so simply yet very powerful - acceptance and I would love to share it with you as well as my own healing journey from anxiety I developed as it truly helped me to break free from anxiety and also allow me to step forward and create the life I wanted - without anxiety holding me back.
1. Acceptance of anxiety
Anxiety is a natural part of our life and the way our bodies are designed. When we begin to accept anxiety there is no inner conflict and no fight for power in our inner world. It's a letting go of the old ways and begin to embrace a new relationship with anxiety with the focus on acceptance. Just begin to notice the difference when there is acceptance of anxiety over inner conflict.
2. Learn from anxiety
Our bodies has it's own innate intelligence. It offers a way to communicate which goes beyond our conscious mind and thoughts. Sometimes anxiety is telling you that there is something that you need to let go off. To heal. To change your mind-set. To learn more about yourself. The anxiety is the voice of your body that something is unresolved and it's giving you a clear message it's time to resolve it. Learn to listen to it.
3. Anxious mind-set
Thoughts have a huge impact on the body. When people are stuck in their anxious mind-set it becomes fixed and is more critical and judging it creates more anxiety. Know you can step out of this anxious mindset and into something more powerful - the growth and learner mind-set. This allows you to use this an opportunity of learning, growth and development rather than being stuck in the cycle of anxiety.
4. You are not your anxiety
I see this a lot. People use anxiety to form their identity. You are not your anxiety. It's something you experiencing. It may feel like it is part of your personality but it's not. You are so much more than anxiety and when you realise this you will see how small anxiety actually is. It's easy to make anxiety a big part of your life and I am speaking as someone who has personally experienced this - but it's not. It's simply how you respond to your anxiety. When you change that you will change your relationship with anxiety.
5. Grow from anxiety
See the anxiety as simply an opportunity to grow, develop and become more of who you are. When some of my clients first came to see me were so afraid of anxiety, they hid in their lives and created a life style which kept them safe and out anxiety's way. They allowed anxiety to restrict who they are and how they showed up in the world. When you use this as an opportunity to grow and develop a whole new world emerges for you to live from. You will stop hiding and allow yourself to fully show up in the world. Just think for a moment the how much difference that will make in your life.
6. Move your body
Sometimes anxiety is just an energy and it gets stuck in your body so it's essential to move your body. Walk, move your body, exercise and even dance! Just move. If you can't get to a gym there are some excellent online fitness programmes. I use fitness blenders and can highly recommend them. Movement helps the body to release and to let go. As humans we are simply not designed to sit in front of our laptops 8 hours a day, then the TV a night. Move your body at every opportunity you get.
7. Let anxiety flow
Anxiety at times just flows in and out of our lives. It's not a lesson. It's not an opportunity for growth. It is just there. Just let it flow in and out and soon it will be on its way. Sometimes I feel anxious as all humans do. Now rather than holding on it, fearing it and making it bigger I simply accept it's there and allow it to flow through. Sometimes it's a little messenger other times it is just flowing in and out.
8. Taking action
It's easy to revert back to our old ways of being. It is what we know and feel safe with despite how it makes us feel. Now is the time to take action. Begin to live your life without anxiety holding you back. Show up more. Step up more. Use your voice and allow yourself be heard. Focus not on anxiety but how you want to live your life.
Breaking free from anxiety
I wonder if you noticed that breaking free from anxiety is actually not about anxiety its self - it's about you and your response to anxiety. Change truly comes from within and through this change the anxiety will begin to change the way it shows up in your life.
This may take practice as the way you respond to anxiety has become habitual and your mind and body has got accustomed to responding in the old way. But know you can change the way you respond to anxiety and through this a new way will begin to emerge which will offer a new experience of life, deeper understanding of yourself, and experience more clarity and calmness .
Here is a beautiful poem from Rumi to remind us of this beautiful journey we call life.
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Begin to see anxiety as not something to fear but to learn, grow and develop from. If you know someone who experiences anxiety please share this blog with them.
Many put hypnotherapy into the box for simply working with stop smoking, phobias and weight loss. Yet, hypnotherapy is suitable to work with many complex and challenging situations (as long as the Hypnotherapist is trained to do this).
I have trained and studied for over six years - and that doesn't include all the additional training I have undertaken - to be able to work at the level I do. I also have attended many training retreats, workshops, been mentored and coached by some of the world's (in my view!) best. I am driven, hungry for knowledge and passionate and only want to learn from the best!
Hypnotherapy is indeed a powerful process to use - as it dives in deep to the unconscious (it's not as scary as it sounds!) and enables you a deeper understanding of yourself and how to take the appropriate action to resolve the issues in your life.
It's not a magic wand where you come in for a session, close your eyes, be hypnotised and then leave and your magically transformed! Creating change is on one hand simple and on the other hand complex - as we are a system of mind, body and heart. So it's essential to address all parts of you when we work together. This creates a sense of feeling more whole, grounded and centred. You will learn not only how to think differently but also to embody the changes in your body so you actually get a sense (and create new body memories) of what confidence feels like within.
Hypnotherapy is a wonderful process to use for many of life complex problems - from sexual dysfunction, addictions, and the journey of learning to love yourself.
If you are considering working with a hypnotherapist - ensure the person you are seeing are suitably qualified and experienced to work with the issues you are presenting. Especially with sexual issues, addictions, relationships and other life challenges.
I wish you all the very best - and if you want to ask me any questions on hypnotherapy and how it can help in your life get in contact my number is 075 3421 3557.