Your mind is a retrieval and storage resource. Its role is to make sense of the present and future while remembering the past. For some, reliving their childhood as adults is quite common.
“You can build radiant health, success and happiness by the thoughts you think in the hidden studio of your mind.” — Joseph Murphy
Your mind is a retrieval and storage resource.
Its role is to make sense of the present and future while remembering the past.
For some, reliving their childhood as adults is quite common. One need only look to the male species to see them behave like children in relationships. They lack the awareness to make sensible decisions at times and are blinded by primal urges.
The female species don’t get off so lightly. Some women choose the wrong partner often, because they hold on to unresolved childhood issues which get in the way of finding happiness. We all carry uncomfortable pain from early childhood, yet when these pain points emerge we are at the mercy of our unconscious thoughts.
Motivational psychologist Dr. Shad Helmstetter states, “A subconscious mind which has erased the old negatives and replaced them with new positives is the most fertile ground for growth and achievement we will ever find.”
I wish to outline two methods for awakening your Subconscious Mind’s (SM) potential for success.
To work with the SM, it’s important to appreciate how your environment influences your thoughts. For example, when driving to work consider why Adele’s song Hello creeps in to your mind later that afternoon? This is because your SM is attentive to your surroundings which include the lyrics of the song.
The SM is influenced by repetition and stimuli. To be aware and awake to your surroundings is essential for success.
For this reason, be mindful of the music you listen to, the TV programs you watch, the people you spend your time with and the material you read, if success is your goal. If you don’t believe me, I urge you to read the highly praised book by Robert B. Cialdini titled, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
People are puzzled why they repeat the same destructive patterns in relationships. They act out childhood behaviours or unconsciously pick up negative traits from previous relationships. Like a virus, it infects your SM to assume control of your behaviour in future relationships.
“Your subconscious mind controls your behaviour and causes you to react rather than respond,” states Suze Casey author of Belief Re-patterning: The Amazing Technique for "Flipping the Switch" to Positive Thoughts.
So, how does one prime the SM for success? There are many techniques available, though I wish to focus on a couple that are effective:
Guided Imagery: Guided imagery is grounded in using your visual senses to imagine a situation, whilst in a relaxed state. It’s important to visualise the goal or task as real, while calling on other senses. Your SM mind cannot distinguish between an imagined state and a real one. For example, when you call a person an inconsiderate name, your SM interprets the insult as self-directed.
Despite being able to interpret a wealth of information, the mind lacks competence in differentiation. This is due to the SM not challenging thoughts received by the Conscious Mind (CM). The CM processes thoughts while the SM takes a back seat in the process. Questioning and analysing is the domain of the conscious or analytical mind. The SM’s task is to receive directives initiated by the CM.
“The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.” — Sigmund Freud
Author Honoree Corder states in her book Vision to Reality, “Visioning encourages openness to unique and creative solutions. As you hold your clearly defined vision, the ways to make that vision happen become clear. Your subconscious mind works on your behalf to spot potential opportunities, prospects, and possibilities you might otherwise have missed.”
Ok, let’s get started on a quick exercise. Find a comfortable seated position, since this allows you to maintain open channels within the body and you’re less likely to fall asleep in this position.
Take a few deep breaths to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest system), which signals the body to relax. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Imagine a goal or accomplishment you wish to undertake. If its weight-loss or to be in a loving relationship, imagine yourself having attained this goal.
What’s it like? What are you doing in the scene? Where are you? Visualise the image as best you can. Are there sounds? Can you get a sense of smell or taste? Don’t imagine something you’re unwilling to accept. Allow your SM to guide you through the mental rehearsal. If you don’t see images, try again later. I like to listen to sounds of waves crashing or rain falling before rehearsing guided imagery. It allows me to get into a comfortable subconscious learning state.
Guided imagery requires discipline and practice, so ease your way into it. Don’t advance too quickly, since you’ll become disillusioned with the practice. Experiment and note the images that emerge. Note their intensity and the associated emotions that arise. Guided Imagery is learning to connect mind and body while becoming mindful of the sensations that arise.
Affirmations Before Sleep: The second technique is using affirmations before sleep. Prior to falling asleep, your SM is most impressionable. This is because the conscious mind becomes weary processing thoughts and is less likely to challenge the affirmations. If you’re in the habit of analysing thoughts before sleep, try meditating for a short period. This should help ease an agitated mind.
Author Honoree Corder states, “Perhaps you didn’t realize that every single time you say “I AM” in a sentence, you are simultaneously sending a direct order and a confirmation to your brain exactly how you truly feel about yourself and what you expect. You are actually sending a command to your subconscious mind and telling every cell of your body how to respond.”
Compose the affirmations you intend to use. A well composed script is the key to effective affirmations. Be attentive to your words, afterall if it’s repeated often they must resonate with you. They should be affirmative, instead of passive: “I am now my ideal weight” or “I love and appreciate my lean, fit and healthy body.” Wording is paramount because if they are vague, your mind will find it difficult to accept. Consider the words of the Adele song that flooded your SM while driving home earlier. Song lyrics, harmonised with the right music, can influence your mind and so too with affirmations.
How will you know they are the right affirmations? When reciting them, note the sensations in your body. Is there tension? Are you aware of certain emotions that radiate from your chest or elsewhere? This is a sign the affirmations are suitable, because your body is your subconscious mind, according to the late neuroscientist Candace Pert.
“With Self-Talk, we have a way to give new directions to our subconscious minds by talking to ourselves in a different way, consciously reprogramming our internal control centres with words and statements which are more effective, more helpful to every part of us that we would like to improve,” avows Dr. Shad Helmstetter.
Choose two or three affirmations to begin with, as more will involve committing them to memory. We are trying to impress our intentions upon the subconscious mind, not commit words to memory. Repeat the affirmations as you drift to sleep, during the Hypnagogia phase. This is the impermanent phase between wakefulness and sleep where you are groggy. Continue to repeat the affirmations until you succumb to sleepiness.
In short, experiment with the techniques to find the one that works for you. I suggest you read books and take courses to help you advance your knowledge. If you give up after several weeks because you find it boring or difficult, you’ll fail to yield long term gains. It requires time and patience to see results. You’re training your brain, similar to exercising which requires commitment and dedication.
Afterall, if you wish to achieve anything of worthiness, your subconscious mind is your partner in success.