Our subconscious mind is the most powerful weapon you have in your arsenal to succeed or fail in life. It is a true double-edged sword. A single-edged sword is generally used for slashing and cutting – there is only one direction in which to cut or to slash. The double-edged sword can be swung with equal devastation from one side to the other.
Most people don’t realize the power their subconscious mind has over their life. They think that their conscious mind is in charge. The best description that I have heard comparing the conscious mind with the subconscious mind comes from Vincent Pocente. He tells a story in which your conscious brain is equivalent to a mouse sitting on the back of an elephant (your subconscious mind). The mouse is trying to tell the elephant where to go and how to get there. The elephant does not understand the mouse’s language, nor can it even feel the mouse running around on its back.
You know what you want, what you desire and what you need. These words describe the language of your conscious mind. However, your conscious mind does not control you future. You future is controlled by expectations – not wants, desires and needs. Your future is controlled by your subconscious mind.
How is it a double-edged sword? You can use it to help you get ahead, to achieve goals, to develop your self-esteem, to protect you from additional failure, etc. It is the productive edge of the sword – cutting and slashing away the obstacles preventing you from attaining what you seek. If you use it as most people do – they ignore it and allow it to run their lives of autopilot, then you get status quo or less in life.
The prime directive of your subconscious mind is to defend you against failure and embarrassment. It will do everything it can to uphold that directive. Let’s pick something simple – you want to learn to play an instrument or learn a new language. You begin and find it difficult. You have never done something like this before. Your subconscious cannot decide if this is good or bad for you. There is not enough historical data to make a decision to support or thwart you.
As you progress you build a history. If the history is success – you learned to play an instrument well, or learned to be proficient in a foreign language; your subconscious will continue to help you with additional instruments or languages. You have built a history of success. But, if you gave it up because it was too hard or any other reason, you are creating a history of failure.
Most of us have been programmed since birth by our parents, siblings, relatives, friends, schools, work-mates, television, newspapers, magazines, etc. to fail. Not intentionally, but we have been programmed to fail. The average eighteen year old has been told NO at least 80,000 times.
Your subconscious doesn’t have to experience failure to store failure in its data banks. Your parents can tell you that you will fail if you do that – that statement is equal to you doing it and failing. You can see someone else fail and it can be imprinted into your neurons that you will fail if you do the same thing. Once you start sliding down the negative side of the mountain it is difficult to climb back up and cover up those failure moments.
Your subconscious mind has rules that you might not know about. It doesn’t understand negative or future. It operates in the present. If you say, I’m not going to eat dessert – your subconscious mind hears, I’m going to eat dessert. You’ve done it before and it makes sense, so it will support you eating dessert.
You have to understand what rules to play by when you are attempting to reprogram your subconscious mind. The rules are simple and easy to do, but if you waver, the blade comes back and whacks off any progress you might have made.
Red, this very interesting. I have a problem, though. The article reminds me of the old TV serials and the frustration we had in Viet Nam with Marvel comic books. “To be continued”. On TV, kids had a confidence in being able to see the next episode. With the comics, not a chance.
This article ends, “You have to understand what rules to play by when you are attempting to reprogram your subconscious mind. The rules are simple and easy to do, but if you waver, the blade comes back and whacks off any progress you might have made.”
My immediate thought was, “Okay, how do I do this?”
PS: This isn’t a criticism. I think you are spot on. I guess what I’m doing is what I did in Viet Nam. Then, I wrote to Stan Lee at Marvel Comics. He responded with a personal letter (he even signed it) and a box full of all the future issues of every Marvel Comic in print at the time). I never expected this, and I don’t expect it from you. I’m only wondering if you will be following up on this with the next episode. ????
Please keep up the great work.
Great critique Ken. Really enjoy you taking time to define the problem. Yes, I was delinquent in not telling my audience ‘what’ to do next. I start out shooting for a 300 word article. I start shutting it down around 500 words and usually end up with 600 or more. In the old days, I would write 1000-1500 word blogs and go into a lot of details. Let me write tonight on ‘what’ can be done. It would be the next sequential blog post. Again, appreciate your attention to detail.