What is our Subconscious made of?
Does it influence our current actions?
If yes, then how do we know what is in store there?
The subconscious mind is a compilation of…..
We are what we repeatedly do! We hear that all the time, don’t we? What we repeatedly do become our habits. Over a period of time our habits begin to define us as they become our automated behaviours. Even if an individual has not received any theoretical knowledge on a task, by practically doing it repetitively, he can develop mastery on it. Be it learning of a language, cooking a dish, driving a car or using gadgets with evolving technology.
Fake it until you make it, this English aphorism is followed by many Cognitive Behavioural Psychologists suggesting the relevance of the impact of one’s conscious actions on habit formation, emotional regulation and finally goal achievement. No wonder that researchers in the domain of Positive Psychology and Emotional Intelligence encourage people to smile, as they believe that smiling can influence change in the neurochemical activity of the brain and ultimately make a person feel happy and think happy thoughts.
….Our wishes, desires and dreams
That human mind is a blank slate, with the potential for writing anything on it, this concept of tabula rasa was introduced by John Locke way back in the seventeenth century. Each individual has the power to program his own mind to accomplish his desires, wishes and goals. As per the American biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, more than 95% of our lives are being lived on the basis of the programs that have been created in the subconscious mind. Only 5 % of our lives are based on the conscious programming.
Self-Programming: When, Why and How?
When does the human mind programming actually begin…..when he begins to understand the world, when he is an adolescent or an adult or when he has lived his life long enough to be called a wise old man?
To this question, Dr. Bruce Lipton says that most of the human mind programming happens in the first 7 years of his life. The child sees and learns from his environment subconsciously or without any conscious effort. Whether it is learning one’s native language or learning to walk and run, all of this is stored in the subconscious. This subconscious learning forms the basis for the child to live the rest of his life. As a result most part of our life is lived on the basis of the values, beliefs, norms that have been programmed into our subconscious minds very early in our lives. Thus, the present life of an individual definitely has its origins in the past or in the childhood years.
Why does it influence our day to day behaviours?
The subconscious programming is an accumulation from the past.
The psychoanalyst Carl Jung said that humans are born with certain blueprints which are strongly influenced by the archetypes i.e. one’s parents, teachers, relatives, culture and major life events during one’s childhood. All of these find expression in the present life of an individual. Even Sigmund Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis, focused upon the influence that repressed unconscious memories had on the present behaviour of human beings. Hence, the mushrooming of Hypnotherapists and Neurolinguistic trainers as professionals who can bring us in touch with our subconscious mind is only justified. However, do we necessarily have to undergo Hypnotherapy session or NLP program to master our subconscious and conscious? Can’t we introduce some changes in our habits and actions to reprogram our minds?
Surely we can!!
How does one become a Self-Programmer?
Step 1: Identify what needs to be reprogrammed
The area of life in which we see an individual struggling the most, whether it is finding and sticking to a job of your choice, finances, relationship building and management, health, self-control, temper and emotional regulation; is the area that needs re-programming. The struggle is the clue that one is trying to rewrite the program (or work against the naturally inbuilt program or subconscious memories of the past) and that is exactly where one needs to necessarily work.
Step 2: Repetition
When you repeat an action again and again consciously, it will give enough practice. For example when you begin driving, you consciously remind yourself of the steps; ‘Put the car in neutral’, ‘press the clutch every time you need to change the gear’, ‘change the gear to second and then third etc.’ However, after you have driven for 50 odd days continuously (repeated enough) you may not need to give yourself conscious reminders. By virtue of repetition, you begin driving from an autopilot mode. Thus any behaviour when repeated over time helps you to rewrite your program. So, in case as a young person is struggling with making his career decisions independently, he needs to go back into the past and re-assess his childhood experiences. He may have been raised as a kid to authoritative parents, who have always dictated terms to their kids without letting them make their choices. As he grew he became clearly dependent upon his parents as making any decision independently meant an increased risk for failure and associated anxiety on the thought of prospective failure. Thus, this person needs to work upon his ability to take independent decisions and the ability to fight back the anxiety.
Step 3: Positive Self-Talk
It is important for us to give positive instructions to our subconscious mind. Positive self-talk is like giving positive affirmations to the self. Positive affirmations are actions that create changes in the neurochemical activity in the brain thus motivating it to positive goal directed action. The power of the ‘Secret’, the power of ‘The Law of Attraction’, or the power of ‘creative visualisation’ each of this would make complete sense in leading us to the process of reprogramming our subconscious mind and ultimately lead us to our goals.
Step 4: Use Bedtime Wisely
Whatever we go to sleep with at bedtime remains active in our subconscious, even during sleep. Hence we need to be wise in feeding our mind with information at bedtime. Thus, meditating, or relaxing our minds, giving positive self-talk to ourselves while going over our life goals at that time is helpful. Putting the mind to rest and then making it imagine the best possible scenario of achievement and optimism, will certainly program the subconscious in a positive manner.
So, all of who we become is actually a cognisant synergy of well thought actions based on our subconscious programming. It is thus useful to reprogram our minds in a manner that the mind is free from the burdens of the past. The past is only a weight that we carry on our back, a weight that victimizes us and limits us into its trap. Reprogramming of the subconscious mind reaffirms one’s belief in the achievement of one’s goals.