One of the principles that underlies therapy is the principle of honesty. Most of us think we are honest most of the time, don't we? But how many of our coping mechanisms are based on those little white lies that allow us to escape doing things we don't want to do or feel better about ourselves when we feel bad, or support behaviors that work for us most of the time to the point that we don't remember that we lied a bit to cover ourselves?
It's natural for us to want to look good to others and for others not to feel ill of us, so it's also natural to create some social fictions so that we can let others down or let ourselves down without too much additional stress. However, when we decide that we want to make changes in our lives and our behaviors, we need also to be willing to look honestly at who we are and what we do so that we can get to the bottom of whatever is bugging us. After all, why pay for therapy if we aren't willing to do the work honestly!?!
When I work with weight loss clients, regardless of the means that we are using to deal with their weight, I ask them to fill out daily food intake forms and cravings forms. The purpose of these is to bring to conscious level - in the moment - what they ate, craved, wanted to eat, wanted to drink. Frankly I don't care what foods and drink are listed as long as it is honestly what they had. So if they are starting from a Twinkies, pizza, and Mountain Dew diet, then that's where they are. If they are drinking a bottle of wine every other night and don't list it in their intake, then they are undermining their chances of success because their action plan won't address this intake. I know that clients are reluctant to trust because they want me to think well of them. The reality is, I am giving them tools to do their work, I want them to succeed, and honestly using them will help their success. I feel neither better or worse about my clients for what they write on their sheets - it's just a starting point after all. But I wouldn't do the exercise if I didn't know it would start the ball rolling on them being rigorously honest with themselves and with them committing to do whatever it takes to make habitual changes that will help them be thin for the rest of their lives.
Alcoholics Anonymous and 12 step programs use the principle of rigorous honesty because it works, and they seek progress not perfection. Hypnotherapy, if it is to be ultimately effective, requires the individual to get to know his or her true self, to learn and work with his or her true feelings, to address his or her real and imagined issues. All of these have a basis in truth. In addition, as one learns that they can be honest with themselves, they develop a greater self awareness, self love, and self confidence because they become internally consistent in their thoughts and actions.
So take a moment to think about the little lies you use in your life and whether they really work for you or not. You may be surprised how few of them fool anyone, and how much easier life becomes when you are truthful with yourself and others.