The Subconscious mind has the power to create or complicate - what determines the role our subconscious mind will play in our lives?
In my previous article we discussed the different roles that the conscious mind, unconscious or subconscious mind and the supra-conscious mind play in our daily lives.
In this article I want to discuss how we harness the power of the subconscious mind. When I began my journey of self awareness, I had created an idea that the subconscious mind was like a “gremlin” that was sabotaging my life. I had chosen to accept the idea that the subconscious mind was this all powerful “thing” that held all the past failures of my life and would pull up every insecurity and every limiting belief I had whenever I tried to create a new and empowered vision of myself.
Somewhere along the line, I had created this perception that the subconscious mind was in essence, a mind of its own that had a very specific agenda. I saw it as the part of my mind which held all my “truths”. The dirty little secrets that I would never tell anyone. But they would always come up when I was trying to become more than what I currently was and somehow stop my progress dead in its tracks. And in effect, because I had created that perception of the subconscious mind as something that would hold me back… it became my reality.
What I learned as I progressed in my understandings of human behavior and psychology is that the subconscious mind is simply a tool that we have not been taught how to use effectively. An analogy that I have heard many times is that “The human brain is the most powerful supercomputer on the planet. We just never got the user’s manual.” Without the “user’s manual” we have been letting our minds run rampant, with little to no true direction and more to the point, limited knowledge of how to correct any of the issues created by this lack of understanding.
When we look at the subconscious mind as simply a tool, not an entity with good or bad intentions or some “master plan” that it is applying to direct our lives, we can begin to understand how to use it to our benefit.
One of the things that helped me better understand how to direct my unconscious was discovering that our unconscious mind words like a storage unit, similar to a hard drive on your computer. Information is collected through our various senses, and simply stored. Another similarity is that like a computer, when the information is stored in your subconscious mind, it is “indexed” so that when your conscious mind needs specific information, there is a pathway to retrieve it.
The first thing this computer analogy helped me to understand was that my subconscious mind was simply a tool, doing a job. So that led to the question, if it is simply a tool, what has given it so much “destructive” power in the past? Further study helped me understand that the unconscious mind does not place a value judgment on the information it is given. It doesn’t look a the information and go, “Ok… this is good, this is bad, this is right and this is wrong.“ Your subconscious mind simply stores it. It also does not determine how it is stored. Just like a computer, it takes the information given to it… just as it is given. And just like a computer, if you make an error in the data you are giving it, your unconscious will simply accept the error as what you intended for it to be given.
Now that I saw understood that the subconscious mind is simply storing the information, I had to ask myself, what determines how which information is recalled? Every experience we have ever had, has been collected and stored in our unconscious mind. These experiences are available as references and resources for us as we progress in our lives. And here is where the lack of a user’s manual begins to become a problem.
Since we have not been taught how to correctly tap into those resources, we usually “do the best we can” based on the resources we have. We have heard that “You get what you focus on”, but have not truly been taught how to direct our focus in ways that allow us to get what we truly desire.
By learning how to direct our conscious mind, we can begin to gain access to the true strengths that are available to us in our subconscious “library”. So what specifically do I mean when I refer to how we direct our conscious mind? We ultimately have the capacity to choose what we focus on. It is said that we take in over 10 million bytes of information per second. And as a matter of survival and the ability to function, our conscious, subconscious and supra-conscious all have specific information that is designated to them. We also been given the ability to filter the information we are taking in bringing the specific information we are focusing on into our “dominant” are of focus, while the rest of the information is processed without giving it our attention.
As an example, at this very moment, terabytes of information is being delivered to you through your various senses. If you had to process all that information at a conscious level at one time, you would be in “system overload”. So there are things that you are specifically paying attention to right now which are held as the “dominant data” which we label as your “focus“, or the information you are focused on at that moment. I would presume, if you are reading this article, there are several things that are your focus at the moment. The computer screen, the words on this page, your own internal voice as you read the words that are on this page. There may be other sounds happening around you that you are aware of, but are not as much of your focus. Yet there are many other things that are going on, and that you are aware of, even though they are not your current focus.
As an example, the room temperature against your skin, and the different in that temperature where the skin is exposed, versus where it is covered with clothing. Possibly the pressure of the waistband of your clothing, the pressure of your arm or wrist as it rests on your table or lap. What about sounds that may be going on that you weren’t paying attention to before? Maybe a fan that is running in the background, or maybe a conversation outside. The sound of a car passing by… What about the pressure of your right butt cheek against the chair you are sitting on.
Now let me ask a question… as I began mentioning these things, and you shifted your focus to them, did you become more aware of what I was describing? Did these things magically begin happening as I was mentioning them? Or did you simply shift your awareness allowing them to become a part of your dominant focus?
By understanding that we control our focus, we can then better understand how our focus directs our subconscious mind. What specifically directs our focus? Questions. Your focus is determined by specific questions that you are consistently asking yourself. Most of these questions happen so quickly, and so subtly that you don’t even notice them. As an example, when I brought up the subject of the room temperature against your skin, and the different in that temperature where the skin is exposed, versus where it is covered with clothing; you instantly asked yourself a question… more than likely, “Do I notice the room temperature against my skin, and the different in that temperature where the skin is exposed, versus where it is covered with clothing.” By asking the question, you directed your focus to provide you with the answer and shifted your awareness.
Your subconscious was processing and storing the information, you just needed to direct your focus to retrieve it. Herein lies the problem for many of us. Rather than choosing where we direct our focus, we allow external influences, or repetitive patterns to determine what we are focusing on.
In our next article we will be discussing how these external influences play a role and how these repetitive patterns are formed.