You Can Be Amazing: Transform Your Life with Hypnosis by Ursula James

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You Can Be Amazing: Transform Your Life with Hypnosis by Ursula James

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Category: Home and Family
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sharon Hall
Reviewed by Sharon Hall
Summary: This book and CD aim to transform your life by helping you to dissolve the barriers which stop you from achieving your goals, and replacing old and familiar negative thoughts and messages with positive ones. The book is clear, well written and supportive, and is highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Buy!
Pages: 288 Date: January 2007
Publisher: Century
ISBN: 978-1846051975

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Ursula James is a hypnotherapist who has written this book to help you to instigate changes in your life, whatever they may be – career, relationships, your physical self. It is accompanied by a CD of hypnotic suggestions which reinforce the messages and exercises in the book.

I have tried a hypnosis CD/book combination before. Written by a well-known hypnotist often featured on the television (you know who I mean), I found the book dull and unhelpful and the CD to be ineffective. I thus approached this book with some scepticism, but a real desire to change various facets of my life spurred me on to work through it.

The book is centred on unravelling and dissolving the barriers which we put up and which unwittingly stop us from achieving our goals, and replacing these old and familiar messages with positive ones. In order to do so, James points out we must clarify what we want and set out steps to achieve these goals. Self-esteem, confidence and motivation are the obvious keystones of this approach, plus the notion that success can become an unconscious habit which we can take to all parts of our lives.

The text is clearly written and very readable and is structured to reinforce the salient points. James makes it clear from the off that the hypnosis works through the text as well as the CD and that we simply don't need to worry how this is achieved – this provides a big bonus of making you feel relaxed as you work through the text. Hypnosis is all about planting positive suggestions in that part of the mind where they can work automatically. You are always in total control of this, and only take on board what you want to from the process. It is a very useful tool in supplanting negative suggestions and comments which we have acquired (from ourselves and others) over the years.

There are three main sections to the book: Know What You Want, How To Get What You Want, and Get On With It. Each section is broken down into reading and activities such as note-making, visualisation, and listening to music and to sections of the CD. The note-making helps to make things more concrete and to make mental connections with the topics covered. The CD has six tracks: Confidence, Amazing You, Motivation, Habits of Success, Focus and Get Started. Each track is approximately ten to fifteen minutes long.

Fears and concerns such as self-sabotage, guilt, competition and other barriers to success are discussed, and the importance of physical health in terms of nutrition, water and exercise is stressed. The section on confidence is reinforced by the first CD track, which is designed to be listened to at any time during the programme.

The book talks you through how to find out what it is you actually want and what it means to you to be a success. This is a big step as the more closely you define what it is you want, the easier it is to then put steps in place to achieve it. If like me you have a seemingly never-ending list of goals, James explains that this may be overwhelming, so listing them and then picking the easiest goal to concentrate on first helps to sow the seed of success – you can then revisit the rest of the list later, using the same techniques. This process also helps you to overcome the problem of unrealistic or improbable goals, which keep you from trying to achieve real success. James shows that the way to achieve the goal is through the development of successful habits, to replace the negative and useless ones which have held you back. Having defined your goal, and developed habits to achieve it, it is also important to have in mind how you can measure the success when it happens, in a realistic time frame.

As repetition is an important part of the hypnotic process, the sections of the book each follow the same format. Suggestions and ideas are also repeated through the text. This may sound like the text is dull, but interestingly, this isn't the case as you consciously notice this less and less whilst at the same time it does sink into the unconscious mind. James explains that we learn most effectively in sets of three, so that when you read or take action for the third time, your unconscious mind registers the idea or suggestion as one which the mind knows already, and so becomes permanent.

The book has a good section on how to fit all of the above in with what is already going on in your life, and the programme is designed to be used as part of that life, recognising that at times, doing nothing at all about your goals can be the best thing to do, as long as it isn't to do with lack of motivation or as an excuse. You take the programme at your own pace; James makes it clear that you may skip through sections of the book which you do not feel are applicable.

I have not finished the programme yet, but I am still working through it. My experience of the book so far is that it is well structured and interesting to read. I am enjoying the process of looking at what I really want to achieve (which centres on fitness, career and creative activities) and breaking down these big areas into smaller and specific goals. These I can attack individually, working out how I can achieve them and then just going for it. I feel more in control and by going through these processes, I am finding I feel much more positive and optimistic, rather than being overwhelmed, miserable and stuck in the old negative patterns. There are some very useful tips about breaking bad habits and destructive thought processes. The CD works very well for me. James' voice is clear and warm and very, well, hypnotic! Her voice draws me in and is soothing and relaxing (quite often I fall asleep).

I would recommend this book to anyone who would like to tackle a part of their life they are unhappy with. It is both supportive and motivational, with good examples, guidance and helpful insight.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For the same approach applied to weight loss, you may like to try You Can Think Yourself Thin by Ursula James.

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