Use your subconscious mind to your benefit

By Carli Uys

Industrial Psychologist (PS 0151149) Head of Design, Research and Development (MCom Industrial Psychology and MCom Communication studies)

Are you happy? Do you enjoy your life? Are you doing what you love? If the answer is no to any of the three questions, then keep reading.

We as humans are capable of so much more, but we are so focused on our current reality, that all we see and believe is our current reality. We often blame our current reality on our past experiences, painful childhood trauma, or lack of advantages in your life.

Your circumstances (past or present) do not (have to) define you.

You should rather see everything going on around you as an opportunity and not as a roadblock. It depends on your perspective on your life. You can either view an opportunity as the ability to overcome, or to stay stuck in the reality you created. When you change your perspective about your life, you change your character and see roadblocks as opportunities to improve, to better yourself. You then stop blaming other people, you stop focusing on what you don’t have and the opportunities that passed you by; you then take control of your life and what you want to achieve.

When you only focus on using your conscious mind – only focus on using reason and emotion – you are limited in space, time and circumstances. You then are not able to see the many layers of the world out there, and only focus on what you can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. You are bound by the limitations of your senses.

In our day-to-day lives we often only focus on making use of our conscious mind (our thinking mind). Our thinking mind does not have the ability to hold more than one thought at a time and it does not hold any memories. The conscious mind only has four essential functions:

  1. To identify incoming information: receiving information through your senses. It is continuously observing and categorising what is going on around you.
  2. Compare information: the information you receive at the present moment is compared to information that is stored in your subconscious mind.
  3. Analysing information: it analyses information to either accept or reject the information to make choices and decisions that are best for you.
  4. Deciding about the relevance of the information: the conscious mind is continuously sorting impressions and then deciding what is relevant to you and what is not.

Our conscious mind limits us as we become a product of our specific circumstances. This means that we view life only based on the things we know. We only focus on a shared set of ideas and the mindset that was created by the times we live in. We are also products of our culture. Your culture impacts how you view life, your attitude in general, how you get along with other people, and what you would define a good life as. Fitting in with your culture, makes you feel safe and like you belong to something bigger than yourself. Culture provides tremendous value in providing a sense of belonging, but it also causes limitations. We live within this idea of safety that our culture creates, but we forget that these limitations of our culture shrink our minds and removes our ability to move to the next level and expand our minds. When we only make use of our conscious mind, we restrict our sense of possibility, and only shape and constrain our ability to become whoever we want based on the terms of the world we live in.

Your subconscious mind on the other hand is always working in the background, but you are not aware of it. Your subconscious mind contains all the information you have stored over time of everything you have ever experienced. Your subconscious mind then, because of all this information it has stored, influences how you react, behave and respond. This can be either positive or negative depending on your past experiences. Your subconscious mind also affects how you motivate yourself, how confident you are, successful you want to be, and how hopeful and cheerful you are.

Your current reality (conscious mind) can either positively or negatively impact your subconscious thoughts. Your mind constantly filters information and brings information to your attention and stimuli that affirms your pre-existing beliefs. It also presents you with repeating thoughts and impulses that mimic or mirror your past experiences. Your subconscious mind then controls your expectations, and the actions you will take based on your current experience. Once you are willing to change your mind, and you will end up with a different outcome. The first step to fundamental change is to change your mindset.

The life you are living is a product of your mindset. The way you look, talk, think, who you hang out with, your values, what you strive to achieve, and your experiences. Once you take ownership of your mindset, you will quickly realise that you have control over your mindset and that you can chose your mindset. Once you have decided on the mindset you want (positive or negative), you will start viewing your reality in a different way. As with most choices in life, it may start out small and lead to big differences along the way. This will then impact the decisions you make, your emotions, behaviours and how you act.

Once you empower your subconscious mind, you allow yourself to override emotions, as you better understand where your emotions are coming from, and what experience in your past is controlling that specific emotion.

According to Brianna Wiest, you can train your mind to be your ally, and not your enemy. She recommends that you focus on the following:

  1. Be willing to see the unchangeable change: You need to be willing to see what can possibly happen, and not focus on what possibly could go wrong. Focus on the possibility that whatever you want to change personally, can have a positive outcome.
  2. Give yourself permission to be successful: Focus on the good and allow yourself to be happy and successful, without feeling guilty about it. Change your subconscious mindset where you allow yourself to be happy, healthy, grounded and live a meaningful existence without focusing on the negative, such as viewing success as being amoral, or corrupt.
  3. Don’t allow other people to cast a shadow of a doubt because of their fears: Other people’s fears are projections of their situations. This means that how people respond to news of your success will tell you how they are really doing in their lives. Other people have absolutely nothing to do with what you are or are not capable of. Your success should not rely on how it will make other people feel. Focus on how your success will make you feel.
  4. Surround yourself with positive reinforcements: Create a positive environment around you, as it will reinforce positivity and hopefulness. Remove negative people and things from your life and fill your days with positive affirmations, beauty and hope.
  5. Speak your success as a present fact, and not a future plan: Speak about what it is you want out of life, and not in the context of things you will one day pursue, but rather as if you are already living it.
  6. Create a vision space: To be able to imagine what it is you want out of your life is absolutely essential for creating it. By knowing where you are going, allows you to determine the road you need to take to achieve it.
  7. Identify your resistance: Identify what conflicting belief you have that goes against what you want to pursue. Determine what is holding you back, then find a way to meet those needs before you can proceed.

There are various benefits when you harness your subconscious mind:

  1. Helps to enhance your relationships
  2. Enhances your creativity levels
  3. You can become more composed and relaxed in different situations
  4. It helps to improve your overall health and well-being
  5. The ability to transcend limiting beliefs
  6. You find a greater sense of happiness, control and empowerment
  7. Your problem-solving capabilities increase

Focus on your thoughts, emotions and experiences, then take control of your life. Decide what type of life you want to live and how you want to achieve it. Move away from the negative that your subconscious mind has experienced and focus on how you can rewire your brain to think about a life you want and then achieve it.

Until the next blog, cheers.