Getting to know me

Write a personal biography just for yourself. Make a full accounting of yourself, to be read only by you. It is surprisingly hard to do.


Okay, let’s not write it down. Let’s just assume you know who you are, without the exercise of writing it down. It is still surprisingly hard to do.

Getting to know me - differentiating the public self from the private self

Imagine the politician who comes into office promising disclosure and transparency. When push comes to shove, remarkably little change is evident. The eventual explanation usually revolves around some excuse about ‘national security’.

And so it goes with a client sitting in my hypnotherapy chair. She has lived most of her life with certain assumptions about her inner self. There have been lingering concerns that those assumptions are flawed, but she resists inquiries into deeper truths out of fear that it may disrupt the level of security she has become accustomed to. 

She is in my chair because she finally realizes there are secrets she has kept from herself that put her security at risk. Submitting to hypnotherapy is like making a Freedom of Information request to the subconscious mind.

So, if you were to write that personal biography, let’s use national security classifications as a way to direct inquiry.

A general outline

  • Start with information you easily share with other people.
  • Move to information you would not share with just anyone.
  • Then add the parts of you that you don't share with anyone at all.

Take a look at your initial biography

  • What would you be comfortable making public?
  • What is personal enough that you would exercise some discretion in sharing with other people?
  • Which is so private you would not share it with anyone; or only under very special circumstances with someone you trust implicitly?
  • You might use the following as a guide to expand on the obvious things that come immediately to mind.

National security classifications


Name and credentials; things you are comfortable sharing with anybody. This includes your personal ‘identifiers’, the things that make you special—education, skills, experience, and accomplishments—that, in fact, you want to share with others, because these are the things you think make you, you.

It is information you probably share regularly with people you meet in social settings, such as a dinner party.


‘Unfortunate’ information shared in public that should, more appropriately, be Confidential or Classified. At best, for example, a description of your recent bowel movements will simply make others uncomfortable; i.e., grossed out. At worst, truth-telling without sensitivity generally creates a big mess.


Age, weight, and personal habits or preferences; things generally reserved as personal and private. You might divulge these if asked specifically, but they are private enough you would not volunteer them outside a relevant context.


A level of privacy shared only in close, intimate friendships or with a spouse. The implication is that anyone with whom this information is shared has a more comprehensive understanding of who you are, and is therefore in a position to interpret it accurately, with empathy and compassion.

Top secret

Things you simply refuse to divulge to anyone at all. In fact, you may go as far as obfuscation or outright lies to prevent this information from being uncovered. It may or may not be true you are motivated by a desire to ‘protect’ others via this strategic lying.

Sensitive Compartmented Information

Lies you tell yourself. We like to think this is limited to addicts who refuse to acknowledge their ‘problem’. But most people have an aspect of their life where they attempt to ‘live crooked and talk straight’.

Top Secret and Sensitive information reveals the most about who you truly are. It is the level of information you struggle with as you seek relief via hypnotherapy. It is not so much that such information is based on negative energy as that you struggle to understand contradictions; why do you think one way and act another.

It is only when you have access to the really secret stuff that you can contemplate and initiate change.

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