You have probably heard a lot about subconscious mind. Many people use the “iceberg analogy”: your conscious mind is like the tip of the iceberg, and the rest is your subconscious. So, what is this subconscious mind?
Before I talk about the subconscious mind, let us define the conscious mind: Simply put, our consciousness defines our thoughts, logic and actions within our awareness. When you think, or when we are solving a problem or make a logical argument, you use your consciousness. This is your awareness. It is great to have it because it keeps us aware of our surrounding environment.
Our subconscious mind, on the other hand, is a combination of brain and the neurological system; our 5 senses. In psychology, it is considered as a part of our consciousness which is not in current focal awareness. It is like a storage room that whatever we know but not thinking of (or we do not know that we know), is there. That is our memory. But we are talking about something much more than that:
Besides memories and learned experiences, there are more things stored there. In fact, our subconscious mind is the platform on which your values, believes, habits, skills and competencies, and emotions exist and run. So, if you have powerful values and believes, you will be guided to do things that create great results; however, if you adopt inappropriate values or limiting believes, your behavior and habits will be totally different.
In most situations, we react without being fully aware; this is because these automatic responses are being controlled by the subconscious and unconscious mind. Let us explore the subconscious a bit further:
Consider driving a car; at first, you need to be aware of everything and learn step by step. You need to find the gear, gas pedal, break, and many other things in the car; however, after driving for some time, things become automatic. You don’t even look at the gear, horn, or the break; you just use them.
Our conscious mind, however, is like a processor: it processes thoughts and uses logic within its limited capacity. At the same time, whatever is observed or done by the conscious mind, is being recorded by the subconscious. As we do something new and carry out tasks, the subconscious learns from the mistakes, adjusts our actions and tries to set a modified pattern through which those particular tasks are being done without a mistake. It’s just like auto-correcting mechanism.
Here is an important point:
Your subconscious mind is designed to help you become successful; and it helps you through a goal-striving and auto-correcting mechanism that leads to that goal. BUT it is not able to define the target for itself. It is your job to define it.
Consider a sales man who is learning about sales. Let’s say that he approaches a list of clients and he gets rejected by all. Now he has two options: to feel sad and get disappointed or to to analyze what have gone wrong and improve.
Many people choose the first option: they get disappointed in these situations and do not want to continue anymore. If this salesman chooses that first option, a load of negative emotions will run through his body. He will tell himself things like “I cannot do it”, “I have no luck”, “I’m a failure”, “What am I dealing with all types of crazy clients?” and so on.
By saying so, he will program his mind to be a failure because his subconscious will define “failure” as its target. As a result, he will get what his mind is programmed to get.
Now consider the second option, he says to himself that there should be something wrong: “Am I targeting the right person?” “Do I know how to sell?” “Do I know effective selling techniques?”
In this scenario, his self-talk will program his mind to learn from failure and correct it so that he achieves success (One of the most famous NLP Presuppositions says: there is no failure, only feedback). When he does that, his subconscious mind will be programmed to look for success rather than failure. Thus, it will explore the experiences, memories, values and believes to find ways to correct undesired behavior in order to achieve good results.
NLP Tips from This Article:
- You are in charge of your mind, and therefore, your results.
- There is no failure; only feedback.
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