A few weeks ago, I was observing a recorded hypnotherapy session of a client who presented to a colleague with self-doubt and regret for what she had been defining as her complicity in a traumatic event. The therapist had moved the client forward to the point at which the client realized that her intentions were innocent going into the event. She saw that her experience now informed her of what to avoid going forward, but that she couldn't then have understood to avoid what she didn't yet know.
Her shoulders relaxed as she exhaled and said, "I did the best I could."
I would have left it at that, and been patting my own back, to boot.
But the therapist replied, "AND you were also doing the worst you could."
Mind blown. That retort allowed the client to see what she had not yet seen: That there WAS a worse that could be done, and that she wasn't doing it. (Hey, you're not just doing a flimsy ok, you're way above all that possible bad stuff that you not only weren't doing, but didn't even think to do. Yay for you!)
When the client stated that she was doing her best, she would have been looking upward from the bottom of the barrel. By that, I mean that the statement implies that HER best is not THE best. But, at least it wasn't as horrible as she'd been feeling it to be. Ok, but tepid.
By pointing out that HER worst wasn't THE worst, it allowed her to realize that her best was even better than she had just realized. It put a plethora of worse stuff under her level, over which she then rose even higher,