What is an area in your life that you’d like to change?
Clients come to see me because they want to change something in their life. Some of them want to change careers, grow their business, perform at an even higher level, or have more balance in their life. What they all in common is they are really seeking to break through old patterns of thought and behavior that are not aligned with what they want to achieve- and the reality is that most of these old habits are outside of their conscious awareness.
Most of us are aware of the existence of a “subconscious” mind — but we don’t necessarily know what it does or how we master it. The truth is that your subconscious mind is an amazing ally when you master it. Yet, if it stays untamed, it can steer your life in undesirable ways.
“The reason man may become the master of his own destiny is because he has
the power to influence his own subconscious mind.” – Napoleon Hill
The fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind. It is like a supercomputer that is in place to help you create your life experience. In fact, we operate 95 percent or more of our adult life from subconscious programming formed often during the first seven years of our lives!
Our thoughts have the power to determine our reality. Let’s understand more about how the conscious and the subconscious run our daily lives.
Think of your total mind as being made of a conscious and a subconscious portion. Your conscious mind is the part of your mind that analyzes, criticizes and thinks logically all day long. It is where your desires and aspirations reside and where you put your attention. Research shows that we use our conscious mind only about 5 percent of the time.
Some people think of their subconscious mind as something mysterious or unusual. This is not true. The subconscious mind is simply the part of your mind of which you are not aware, right now. Your subconscious mind is a very important part of you. It runs your body, from your heartbeat to your breathing and digestion, and to the trillions of other bodily functions that perhaps you had never even considered. It is also where all your memories are stored and where your wisdom, creativity and problem-solving capabilities reside.
Throughout your life, you have programmed your subconscious mind with certain thoughts and behaviors. Just like any of your other habits, the thoughts that you have repeated to yourself over and over have become habits. There is no difference between a habit such as walking or tying your shoelaces and the habit of thinking about yourself in a certain way.
The subconscious mind is the source of all learning, behavior and change.
In my coaching practice, I use powerful techniques that work directly with the subconscious mind. For example, I use Time Line Therapy® and hypnotherapy to help my clients enter into a deeply relaxed state, also called “trance”, to access their subconscious mind so they can better understand their negative patterns and create change easily and quickly within the trance state. I use Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help clients gain self-confidence and change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that have been holding them back.
All Learning is Subconscious
Your subconscious mind is the part of you that learns, not your conscious mind. Although your learning has to go through the conscious mind, it is your subconscious mind that remembers everything. Everything, once learned, resides in the subconscious mind. For example, think about your home address. I imagine that you could recite that to me if I asked, correct? Now, before you thought about your home address, where was it? It was stored somewhere – in the part of your mind of which you are not conscious, right now. All your learning – everything you have ever learned – is stored in your subconscious mind.
All Behavior is Subconscious
All behavior is generated at the subconscious level. Think about how you drive. How conscious were you the last time you drove? Do you clearly remember the whole trip? Or do you remember none of it? It is scary to think about, but most of us drive and do most tasks automatically, without conscious thought. Every day, we get up, check our phone, drive to work in the same way, and pretty much do the same things, which means we are operating on automatic pilot most of the time! We have actually lost our free will to our habitual subconscious programs!
All Change is Subconscious
Think of a bad habit that you wanted to change in the past. Maybe you wanted to eat less junk food or exercise more or get more sleep. Was it easy? Most likely, probably not as most people find it hard to change a bad habit. Here’s why: Although your conscious mind changes easily, your subconscious mind is designed not to change very easily. The reason for this is simple: once you learn an important behavior, like learning how to drive or eat with a fork, it becomes a program. If that program changed every day, you would have to re-learn how to that every single day. Imagine having to re-learn everything you know every day! That would take a tremendous amount of energy.
For this reason, your subconscious mind is designed is to maintain and keep your habitual programs, both the positive and the negative ones. In other words, the brain does not like change. It resists doing anything new or different. It prefers to run on automatic habitual subconscious programs so that it can preserve energy. The brain’s resistance to change is why it can be so difficult for you and others to change!
The bottom line is that for you to create lasting change in your life, you must reprogram your subconscious mind. How do you do that? I’ll share a couple of tips below, but there is one more thing you need to understand about your subconscious mind before we get to these tips.
Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys. Your subconscious mind is like a young child. It likes to serve, needs very clear directions, and takes your instructions very literally. So if you say, “This project is a pain in the neck,” your subconscious mind will figure out a way to make sure that your neck hurts when you’re working on that project!
In other words, your subconscious mind is like your genie. It works day and night to fulfill your wishes. It will grow either flowers or weeds in the garden of your life, depending on what you tell it to plant by your habitual thoughts. The problem is that most people are not aware of the “seeds” that they are planting. Instead, they habitually think about what they don’t want, and therefore give their subconscious minds mixed instructions. The outcomes are inconsistent and can generate poor results. For example, if you repeat the words, “I don’t want to be late” (either out loud or in your own mind), your subconscious mind will generate a picture of you being late and will create opportunities for you to sabotage yourself and actually be late.
Tip #1: Say it the Way You Want it
Be mindful of the thoughts you think and the words you speak. Make sure they are stated in the positive. Specify what you dowant, not what you don’t want. Here’s why you want to be aware of using negative language: Your subconscious mind cannot process negatives. Let’s test this theory for a moment. If I said, “Don’t think of a yellow banana,” what are you thinking about? Unless you were semantically trained, you probably just thought of a yellow banana!
Most of us go through life telling ourselves (and sometimes others) what we don’t want. For example, when you go to a networking meeting, do you think, “I’m terrible at networking”? Or, how about a salesperson going into a meeting with a potential client and thinking, “I hope I don’t blow this sale.” Do you do that? Most of us subconsciously focus on negative outcomes. But, when we focus our attention on what we don’t want, we are creating negative thought habits and sending the wrong signal to our subconscious mind.
“Once the subconscious mind accepts and idea, it begins to execute it.” – Joseph Murphy
Be sure to consistently give empowering instructions to your subconscious mind. For example, switch your thinking to the positive by saying to yourself, “I’m doing everything I can to arrive on time,” or “I’m interesting to talk to,”or “This client loves doing business with me!” When you repeat such positive phrases (mantras) with positive emotion and energy, you will reprogram your subconscious mind to feel more empowered and get better results!
Tip #2: Start Your Day with a Simple Question
To become even more conscious and change your old patterns, ask yourself this question every morning when you wake up: “What is the best ideal of myself that I can be today?” Reflect on who you want to BE that day and write down three intentions that you want to focus on (e.g., “I am patient,” “I am assertive,” or “I go through my day light-hearted and carefree.”). Look at this list often throughout the day to rehearse who you want to be. The physical act of writing down an intention can help accelerate it manifesting.
When you consistently challenge your negative thoughts, you will condition your body to focus on the PRESENT MOMENT and on WHAT YOU WANT. You will install new neurological hardware in your brain. Over time, this ritual will begin to feel more and more comfortable, and you will start thinking and acting in new ways without even having to think about the change seek to manifest. You will reprogram your mind!
If you would like more information or have any questions, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to speak with you! In my next blog post, I’ll share some tips from my training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to help empower you to leverage the power of your mind to create even more of what you desire. Until next time, be well!
To your success and fulfillment!