When talking about hypnosis, most people get the wrong idea about what pacing is. The system in question consists of a pattern of pacing (matching) and then leading (sameness and then difference). As I mentioned in the first video, a pacing statement is commonly reduced to one which matches the obvious perceptions of the hypnotic subject, such as “you are aware of the sounds in the room” or something similar.
I’d suggest a broader definition may be more useful, as it would be better to be able to get things moving towards where you want them straight away, rather than all this tedious and unnecessary business about how things are right now.
I define pacing as “matching aspects of their model of the world.” Notice that I didn’t say anything about ‘statements’ and that I’m intent on focusing them only on certain aspects of the way they think the world works.
You see, you don’t need to ‘pace’ overly much when you’re making suggestions within their model of the world. You can work within their model of the world while asking questions which focus them on relevant and useful parts of it.
How do you know, then, what they suppose is true about the world, without making stupidly obvious statements or outright guesses?
Firstly, questions are better than statements, because they reduce the need for mind-reading, or for tediously stating things which are obvious.
More interestingly, we can ask questions which focus them on aspects of awareness that begin to lead towards where we want them to go.
A ‘formal’ example of a focus question would be “where in your body are you feeling most relaxed right now?” You can immediately understand how much more of an effect that would have than “you are feeling relaxation somewhere in your body”. The question sends them on a search for relaxation, while the statement can, at most, be a loose confirmation of a fact.
It’s self-evident that they’re feeling relaxation in some areas more than in others, even if they’re somewhat tense overall, so the question is partly a pace. It also will have the effect of focusing them on relaxation and causing more of it – a lead.
So the focus question (especially one which uses a comparison) is the most effective form of an indirect lead.
This form of indirect lead is a powerful substitute for the old pace – a smarter form of pacing.
If you want to know more about smart pacing, or to be led through the hypnotic process in detail, with plenty of examples and practical exercises, get my book Hypnotic Conversations: The Secret Structure Behind Everyday Hypnosis.
Or if you want to know even more first, then watch my next video – The best way to practice Hypnotic language without wanting to slam your head in a door.