*I want to state that I am not a hypnosis professional and I am not certified. My statements and opinions come from My own experiences and light research.
I think there are a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis. Well, that's more of a fact really. Media and fantasy depictions of hypnosis often give people thoughts and expectations of hypno that usually aren't accurate, even to some in the community.
One of the things I see frequently is people not being sure if they are going into trance. The biggest obstacle with this is people's expectations with what they will be feeling. You think you'll be instantly out of control, like a puppet, feeling like you have a spell on you. And sometimes it can feel like that. But trance itself it a very natural feeling we experience all the time.
When I explain this to people, ask them what kind of things they enjoy doing. What do they like to spend time doing. Often within these passions it's easier to point out the sensation of a light trance. To then let it happen intentionally and feel the effects of trance easier.
The popular example I use is from reading (including the script I did here) as in My own personal experience, getting lost in a book you enjoy is such a nice form of light trance. Being so focused on what you read that external factors don't distract you. Where hours seem to fly by so fast but you don't notice because you just keep reading and reading.
Sometimes I'll also use the example of "highway hypnosis" as people tend to know it. Where while driving for long times or distances your mind zones out a little. Sometimes it causes people to drive faster without realizing because they got used to the speed. It can also feel like they don't quite remember the majority of the drive.
Now, both of those examples are fairly passive but even in more active passions like going to the gym and working out associations can be made. In active sports people can "get into the zone" where they are purely focused, Not thinking, just feeling their body work as they move.
Trance is a state of focus, either focusing intensely on one thing or on nothing. That's a very loose interpretation, however often when I help people realize this it helps them relax and let the trance feel easier to slip into.
In addition to knowing this, letting go of expectations when in trance can help as well. Sometimes people try too hard to get into trance, trying to force themselves to feel it. Trying to make yourself feel it in this way often prevents you from being able to let go as you are meant to.
The advice I give for this is to stop trying to expect something. If you're listening to a file, just relax and enjoy the voice, the words, the feelings. Don't worry about if it is "working" or not. Just relax and let go. Even if you don't get where you think you should be the first time, going into trance is a skill. Keep doing it and simply enjoying it each time without worrying about if you're doing it right.
Besides this common problem, hypnosis affects people differently and each hypnotist has such different styles and approaches. Keep exploring and find what works for you!