When you know how to access your subconscious mind power, you will tap into your true potential.
Evidence suggests that the subconscious mind constitutes around 90% of your brain power (source: Noah St. John says on Huffington Post). That’s 90% of your brain that can be used either to make you a success or a failure.
That’s why spiritual leader Florence Scovel Shinn said,
“You will be a failure until you impress the subconscious with the conviction that you are a success.”
We’ve known about the subconscious mind since the 1800s, when French psychologist Pierre Janet penned the term “subconscious”. (source)
Since then, millions of people have tried to harness the power of their subconscious, or “pre-conscious”, mind.
They suspected then what we know now: the subconscious mind is the most powerful force you’ll ever know.
Sigmund Freud said:
“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.”
By which he means that the subconscious mind is so much more powerful than the conscious mind.
To be specific:
- The conscious mind is capable of processing 40 bits of information per second.
- The subconscious mind can process 20,000,000 bits per second.
Freud taught that there are three minds:
- The conscious mind, which is our awareness in the present moment.
- The Subconscious, or Pre-conscious mind, which consists of hordes of information which you can be made aware of.
- And finally the Unconscious mind, which relates to our most basic instincts like the need for sex and food ( SimplyPsychology has a great article on Freud’s mind theories).
But this theory cannot be proven.
It is impossible to really prove that the subconscious exists.
There is evidence, but no proof.
And if we can’t even proof the subconscious exists, how can we possible make use of it?
It is not east.
Why it is hard to use your subconscious mind
In my guide to the 40 best brain training activities, I revealed ways to train the brain.
We can train the brain with exercises, games, meditations…
Training the brain is relatively easy. Training the subconscious mind is much harder.
To work with the subconscious we need to communicate with it.
This is a challenge.
Talking to your subconscious is not easy because your subconscious is not a very good listener.
Have you heard the story about the genie who granted wishes? One man asked the genie for heaps of money. The genie granted the wish and created such a colossal weight of money that when the cash fell from the sky it crushed the man to death.
That’s the subconscious mind.
It doesn’t use logic.
It interprets what you say precisely as you say it.
It’s worth understanding precisely how your subconscious mind works.
So bear the following facts in mind…
Facts about the subconscious mind:
- It is always alert and awake.
- It has no verbal language.
- It speaks to you in dreams.
- It is unable to process negative words.
- It takes everything literally.
- It is not bound by time and space.
- It has the cognitive level of a young child–it is immensely creative but often lacks reason.
- It runs 95% of your daily life.
Unbound Spirit has a good article that expands on this.
How to train your subconscious
1 a. Communicating with the subconscious mind
Positive thinking is one of the main ways of communicating with the subconscious.
But a caveat:
It is very important that when you communicate with the subconscious mind you communicate very clearly.
For instance, let’s say that you’re currently trying to lose weight and you would love to find the motivation to get to the gym.
Normally in this scenario you might think to yourself, ‘I have to go to the gym, but it’s going to hurt.’
This sentence is what we may consider realistic – because let’s face it, our muscles may well hurt as we exercise, so the statement is true.
The problem is that if we tell our subconscious mind “Going to the gym will hurt” the subconscious mind will react by making it hurt when we go to the gym.
That’s right. The subconscious mind is basically that really annoying kid from your high school debate team who took everything far too literally. That’s your subconscious mind. If you wish to communicate with your subconscious, you have to do so very carefully, using the right technique.
A better way to express our aim would be to say to ourselves, ‘I am having fun at the gym and am pleased I am still fit.’
To some, this statement might seem unrealistic – fun… at the gym…? But just say it, realistic or not.
When you think positively like that, you make your subconscious mind create the reality implied by your message. In other words, by telling yourself that the gym will be fun, your subconscious mind will start to make the gym fun.
Follow this process to communicate with the subconscious
- Write down what you want to do (exercise so you lose weight)
- Write down what you’re worried about / feeling negative about (“I want to exercise but my body will ache”)
- Turn the negative into a positive (“I want to exercise and it will feel good.“)
- Restate it in the present tense (“I am at the gym exercising and I feel great.”)
1 b. Think Positively
We communicate with the subconscious constantly. But a lot of that communication is negative.
Take a look at this guide to how to stop negativity. This will massively boost your positivity.
Now let’s continue from where we were.
We have stated our objective positively and in the present tense, “I am at the gym exercising and feeling great.”
Next you need to translate your goal into a language the subconscious mind can understand, a language of images and senses.
Abigail Brennar M.D. says, “The subconscious utilizes symbolism and imagery to express itself. The devaluing of the image in favor of the word may have done more damage to the way we think as a collective humanity.”
So let’s continue from where we were.
- Take your positive message from the above (“I am at the gym exercising and feeling great”)
- We now have to translate the message into images.
- Visualize positive images, sounds, feelings and scents as though you really were having fun at the gym.
- While visualizing, repeat your positive message to yourself. This will get your subconscious mind working towards your conscious goal (to enjoy working out).
- To make this exercise even more powerful, read our guide to training your imagination. This will make your visualization more realistic, and thereby more effective.
1 c. Meditate to access your subconscious mind
Here’s what we’ve done so far. We have chosen a positive message to communicate with the subconscious. And we have communicated that message in symbols via a visualization.
But we need too make this more effective.
When we communicate with the subconscious there is usually noise in the mind. For instance, we try to think “I am happy” but we also think “Am I really?” and “Actually I’m a little stressed”.
To exercise the subconscious mind we need to start by being calm and peaceful.
We need the mind to be quiet so we can talk to it.
The best way to quiet the mind is with meditation.
Take a look at this guide to 31 meditation techniques. Choose one technique to try. Practice it. It will quieten your mind. Then repeat the steps above. This will make the exercises extremely effective.
1 d. Chill: You got this
Once you feel that the process has taken effect – it will be evident – simply open your eyes and immediately think of something different.
Remember, our conscious thoughts can stir our subconscious.
By focusing our conscious mind entirely on something different, we allow our internal representation of the gym to take place in our subconscious, where it will change form towards the desire we expressed.
So, once you’ve finished the exercises, stop and do something totally different.
2. How to use the subconscious to achieve your goals
As a meditation teacher I have witnessed the power of the subconscious mind in action many times and with many different people.
Two of these people have particularly amazing stories.
Tom, one of my meditation students, was a 27 year old man who lived a secluded life, spending around 25% of his time on Facebook and Twitter. Tom suffered from depression and felt extremely lonely.
When I was training Tom to meditate I had two intentions in mind:
1) To give Tom control of his subconscious mind
2) To improve Tom’s social life, something he wanted to do very badly.
I taught Tom three very specific exercises for the subconsciousness mind.
And I would like to share those same exercises with you.
Let’s take a look.
Subconscious mind exercise #1: Perceiving the reality you were born for
You were born for success.
Trouble is you might not see it.
That’s where this exercise comes in. It’s a powerful visualisation exercise.
We all visualise. Whether or not we intentionally use visualisation techniques or not is irrelevant. We all visualise things in our mind, most notably when we daydream.
Your daydreams matter a lot (read that link, it is very elucidating). Your daydreams pass information to your subconscious, and thereby influence your reality.
But you’re not in control of your daydreams. So the information that is being passed to your subconsciou– the information that is controlling your life,–is out of your control.
You need to take control of your subconscious by taking control of the information you pass to it.
With Tom I wanted to know what he was already visualising.
I led Tom through a mindfulness meditation (read that link if you haven’t done a mindfulness meditation before) and asked him to let me know what was going on in his mind as pertained to his social life.
Meditation is great for insight. By meditating we learned a lot about what was going on with Tom.
Within five minutes of meditating it was very clear what was going on in Tom’s mind: He saw Facebook and Twitter as the basic foundation of his social life. When he thought of talking to people, he saw himself chatting on Facebook and Twitter.
The point here is that Tom wasn’t talking to people he was in actual fact talking to Facebook and Twitter.
This might seem like a minor point, the fact that he was talking via Facebook and Twitter rather than directly to people. To his subconscious mind, however, it was very important.
The subconscious mind is a bit of a lawyer.
What I mean by that is that the subconscious brain is picky. If you’re constantly seeing yourself communicating via Facebook or Twitter, that is the reality your subconscious mind will create. You wont be meeting people in person because you’re telling your brain to use Facebook and Twitter.
The solution to this is painfully obvious: Tom needed to visualise himself talking directly to people. I got Tom to do a visualisation meditation for 20 minutes a day, imagining he was talking directly to people.
Tom’s next meditation training session was a week later. I was not surprised when he told me he had already starting talking to people in person a lot more.
The subconscious mind is that powerful: use it correctly and it will change your life.
What actually happens when you access your subconscious
Let me share another story with you.
It’s the story of Sam, a 36 year old corporate executive and friend who has always known that her ability to manage her mind is the key to successful living.
Sam’s story reveals three more subconscious brain training techniques.
Sam is a corporate executive working for an international company. She is extremely successful both in her personal and professional lives. I once asked her how she did it. “It’s about management,” she said.
“You mean your company management?” I asked.
“No, I mean my brain management. I’ve always known one thing: my brain can be my best friend or my worst enemy.”
“Yours is your best friend,” I stated with certainty.
“Yes, but having a best friend also means being a best friend. I’m always amazed by people who say to me ‘Your lucky you have such a good brain.’ They tell me how they wish their own brain were more positive, that they were more supportive to themselves. I always respond with one question: How good a friend are you to your brain.”
“Being a best friend to your own brain means taking time to listen to yourself, it means giving yourself a break—“
“And knowing how to use your subconscious mind,” I said.
“Yes, that too. That’s most important. You have to adopt the mentality that your brain is an asset and you need to adopt some asset management strategies.”
Sam goes on to state that there are three key subconscious brain training techniques that she uses in her asset management.
Sam’s subconscious exercise #1: Listening
Sam and I discussed the importance of listening to the mind.
“This is so simple but it’s also so very very important,” says Sam. “You must listen to your own brain. And you also must respond to it. Being best friend to your brain means just that: being a best friend. What is your brain saying to you? Are you listening to it? Are you acting on it?”
So, how do you listen to your brain?
“It’s the little things,” says Sam. “You tell yourself you need a break, take a break. So many people say ‘Oh, but I don’t have time’ or ‘I haven’t done that much, I shouldn’t need a break already.’ If your brain tells you you need a break you need a break, it’s that simple.
“Another example is when you’ve constantly got something on your mind. Let’s say you’re thinking you should call a friend (just for example). Your brain keeps telling you, “I should call her, I should call her. . . “—it goes on and on. Most people, however, will tell themselves, “But I don’t have time” or whatever. This is very ineffective. The most effective thing you can do is 1) Listen to your brain, 2) Act upon any requests. That way, you get the distractions out of your mind and you’re able to focus.
Sam’s Subconscious Braining Training Technique #3: Valuing Information
Sam and I discussed how Pratyahara Yoga can make a huge difference to the subconscious.
“You know the number one reason people fail to use their brains properly?” Sam asked me.
“Because they fill themselves with too much junk—junk information, I mean.”
“It’s amazing, people think they can fill their minds with all this rubbish—Twitter, Facebook, TV, games—they think it doesn’t effect their brain; they think they can take all this information in without it affecting them.
“Really, information is like water, it flows freely, you don’t get to say to yourself “This information is just junk, I’m not going to take it in.” All that information enters your mind and it doesn’t leave until it’s flushed out. If you’re constantly on Twitter and Facebook, watching TV and so on, that’s what’s in your brain. Simple.”
“So how does that affect your subconscious brain exactly?”
“Think about it like this. You’re trying to get your brain to make more money. Your message to your brain is “Make more money.” This information is like water: it can be pure or it can be polluted. If you have a clear mind and you say to yourself, “Make money” the message is clear, you make more money. But if you take that same message, that same pure water “Make money” and then you chuck in a bunch of junk information from Twitter, Facebook, TV and so on, you pollute the message, it’s no longer clear, you just end up with this muddish slush.”
The advice here is simple: stop taking in too much information.
Sam’s Subconscious Braining Training Technique #3: Mind Cleaning
“You always seem to be relaxed,” I said to Sam. “Even when you’re working a high pressure job, you’re still relaxed. How do you manage that?”
“That’s my third brain training technique,” said Sam, “which I call Just a Thought. The point of this technique is to remove all negative thoughts by reminding yourself that they are just a thought.
“Let’s say, for instance, that a person is worried about their finances. They keep seeing a mental image of their bank account with a big fat ‘0’. Now, if I ask this person “What is in your mind” they will say “I see my bank account with no money in it.
“This is wrong. The person is not seeing their bank account with no money in it, they’re seeing a thought. That’s all.
“People tend to mistake thoughts for reality.
“This is a huge problem.
“99% of people live their lives in their minds because they mistake thoughts for reality. But thoughts aren’t realty, they’re just thoughts. You have to get out of your mind and connect your brain directly to reality. Remove all thoughts. Once you get rid of thoughts you get rid of the biggest barrier in your life and you live more in the moment, more positively, more effectively.
It’s as simple as this. You are immensely powerful.
Your subconscious mind has the power to make your life a life of legend, or to ruin you.
Govern your subconscious.
Take control and you will become master of your own destiny.
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