FOR Krystyna Lennon, life is all about taking control.

The motivational speaker, leadership development coach and hypnotherapist helps people to overcome fears and anxieties, and tackle the emotional blocks of what she calls ‘self sabotage’.

Krystyna, of Guiseley, works with many businesses, using her ‘Take Back Control’ coaching and hypnosis techniques to help everyone from nervous interviewees to top CEOs achieve more clarity, direction and success.

Voted the World’s Best Hypnotist by US TV network CBS, Krystyna has worked with stars such as Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore and Simon Cowell. Last year she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent with her “hypnodog” Princess, sending Ant and Dec to sleep onstage... More of that later.

Her work with business leaders has seen them achieve extraordinary success. Her practical, transferable techniques lead to instant results and better business performance.

“Someone might be making £6 million but they don’t feel that they’re worth it. If you think you’re worth much less, that’s what your going to get,” says Krystyna, whose aim is to help people become “the best possible version of themselves”.

“Fears and anxieties get in the way of business. Negative habits we develop are conditioned at a deep-rooted level, which causes emotional blockage. I’ve had clients who have made and lost millions. The old conditioning comes into play and they think they’re not worth it. People stay in the lane of where they believe they should be.

“It might be that someone told you at school that you’d never amount to anything. We end up doing the same things again - following the same patterns in jobs and relationships. It’s my job to change those patterns.”

She adds: “I look at where people are going wrong and try to change habits. There are so many ways in which those small changes can make huge differences in our lives.

“One man I worked with kept making money then losing it. During an emotional clearance session it turned out that a small event in his past had led him to self sabotage throughout his life. As soon as we cleared that event, he was able to move forward.

“You don’t always realise that something is holding you back on a subconscious level.”

Krystyna has been doing executive coaching for 20 years, working with some of the world’s top brands to initiate change, inspire innovation and deliver growth.

Though hypnotherapy, training and one-to-ones, she works on areas such as discipline, focus, productivity and confidence. She helps people in business to deliver successful pitches and develop interview techniques and other career advancement tools, and has helped people with depression and anxiety to start working again.

Self awareness, she says, is key. “It’s the first step in any self improvement process. You can’t move on without first knowing where you are right now,” says Krystyna. “You need to be self aware to know what you need more of, less of, what you need to stop and to change.”

We hear a lot about anxiety and mental health issues today. Krystyna believes our diet and lifestyle has a direct influence: “What we put into our bodies creates anxiety - fizzy drinks, alcohol, smoking, it all has an effect. The first thing I do with people is discuss what they eat and drink.”

What impact does technology and social media have? “Well people don’t talk to each other like they used to,” she says. “It’s too easy to send a text, rather than have a face-to-face conversation.

“The most hypnotic time of day is first thing in the morning. And what do we do first thing in the morning? We scroll through social media, and see that so-and-so has bought a new car, or a new dress, or is on a fancy holiday. It’s not real life, but we compare our lives to theirs. The rise in anxiety goes hand-in-hand with that.

“What we should be doing first thing in the morning is feeling positive about the day ahead. There are great resources online, and I teach people to record their own motivational sessions - inspiring words, or a piece of music that empowers them.”

Krystyna knows all about anxiety and how it can hold you back. “It’s something I used to suffer terribly from when I was younger, until I realised how to deal with it,” she says.

Pregnant at 17, Krystyna ended up in an abusive relationship and became homeless. Her father had died when she was 15 and by the age of 25 she was looking after her mother, who had dementia.

She started studying counselling - “I was being a victim and I wanted to heal myself” - and went on to study psychology and psychotherapy at university.

“Five years ago I got the sack as a sales rep. I was doing coaching and hypnotherapy part-time and it was time for a make or break decision - to go fulltime or just get another job,” she says. When a friend suggested she tried stage hypnotism her response was: “Absolutely not”.

“I thought, ‘I can’t speak in public’. Then I realised I had serious limiting beliefs here, and they needed to be addressed.”

She gave it a go, booking gigs in Australia, learning stage techniques from a video. Her first ever show was filmed by a national newspaper and went viral. Krystyna went on to appear on TV’s Loose Women, Lorraine, Alan Carr’s Chatty Man and James Corden’s US chat show, where she hypnotised him and Drew Barrymore.

After appearing on a German TV competition, she was approached by the producers of Britain’s Got Talent. “I said ‘No’ initially, then dealt with my confidence issues using hypnosis,” she says.

It was Krystyna’s dog, Princess, that appeared to be doing the hypnosis when the pair went on the show. Krystyna got the front row of the audience on stage, along with Ant and Dec, and all of them fell instantly asleep after looking into the dogs’ eyes. When they woke, Krystyna managed to convince them that the number 7 didn’t exist.

“All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. We do things by what we believe - even if we believe a dog is capable of hypnosis,” she says. “Every single day we’re hypnotised, by the media, marketing companies, advertising. But you can take back control.”

Through hypnosis she has helped people to lose weight and quit smoking, but most of her work is in the business world.

“I wake clients up from a trance they’re in, of patterns of behaviour. Once they’re rid of anxiety, and they start to see opportunities,” says Krystyna. “Eighty per cent of anxiety is cured in one session, and I have a 98per cent overall success rate.”

Working in Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate and Harley Street - and flying out to Los Angeles to see clients - she runs one-to-one sessions and a two-day Take Back Control workshop. “Hypnosis is something people are turning to more and more,” she says. “People have a choice. If you take medication for anxiety it makes you numb, to everything.

“When coaching a client, I can very quickly see their patterns, and change them. A woman landed a £400,000 contract after seeing me. She would never have done that without waking up to her potential. Using a different mindset, and with increased confidence, she went into her pitch and smashed it.”

Krystyna has used hypnosis to help her three children - Leah, 27, Joel, 23, and Tallulah, 13 - over the years. “It’s helped them overcome fears and achieve things like exams and driving tests. I’ve been hypnotising them since they were little - much more useful than a bedtime story,” she smiles.

* Krystyna Lennon is the guest speaker at the T&A’s Bradford Means Business Awards at City Park on July 18.

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