The ‘Bottom Line’

Helping clients in my Melbourne Hypnotherapy clinic, I am often confronted with highly skillful and resourceful people who have created a ‘limiting belief’ that holds them fast in their ‘problem’.  Hypnotherapy is a great way to help them explore these beliefs and to break the problem down.
Very often, the fundamental belief goes something like “Im not good enough”, “Im a fraud”, “I am too (stupid/ugly/fat/old…..)”
This belief, which I call the ‘bottom line’, is the basis of the rules that the person creates about themselves.  These rules often entrench the problem.  Rules such as ‘I have to be perfect’ or “I have to be right’ can rigidly drive behaviour in all aspects of a persons life, globalising the problem for them and keeping them dissociated from their resources.  The biggest fear may then be that they can’t meet their ‘rule’, or else it will prove that their ‘bottom line’ belief is true (example:  “If I am not perfect in having the house cleaned each week then it proves that I am useless”). 
Often the scariest thing is that we may prove our own worst fears to ourselves.
One of the most effective questions for testing the nature of beliefs and rules is ‘how do you know?’.  For example, “how do you know that you are not good enough”?, “how do you know that you have to be perfect”? and then test the connection “How does not being perfect mean that you are not good enough?”
Often the answers from the client are not based in evidence, or based on the present.  When you start hearing the client’s past as the reason for a current rule (“in my family as a kid…”, or when there is a lack of evidence (“I dont know, it just is”) – then you have a fair idea that the ‘bottom line’ is not really supportable.
In clinical hypnotherapy, these beliefs and rules can be investigated and modified and the client reconnected to their skills and resources – making the problem diminish or disappear.
What is your ‘bottom line’?  What rules have you created in your life?  What would happen if it were not true?