15 Nov

I have sometimes been accused of being a bit “woo-woo”. I gladly accept that accusation because I believe that we are all very complex and our personalities are not simply a demonstration of what you see is what you get. We are all so much deeper than the image we portray to the world. 

We have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. Our conscious mind is the part of us that holds the veto power. You may think: ”I want a cookie.” Your conscious mind tells you: “No, that’s not a healthy choice.” 

The original thought came from your subconscious mind and when you became aware of the desire for a cookie, your conscious mind took over and stopped you from having that cookie. It is the rational part of your brain.

Why do I think your unconscious mind is so powerful? Well, it is said that only 4 percent of your thoughts come from your conscious mind and 96 percent of your thoughts come from your unconscious mind.

By now, some of you may be thinking: “Oh, come on! That’s ridiculous!” Well, I ask you, do you ever have to tell your heart to beat or your lungs to breathe, or your digestive system to work, your eyes to see? Have you ever run into a person you haven’t seen in years and their name comes to you instantly? Can you remember a phone number you haven’t used in years? 

Of course, you can because your subconscious mind stores all of the data you have ever needed. The other amazing thing about your subconscious mind is that you can program it. No, you can’t get your heart to beat in a different pattern, but you can, with your words program powerful shifts in your thinking.

Do you need to take an extensive training program to retrain your brain? There are certainly lots of courses aimed at retraining your thoughts and actions tied to a particular issue such as smoking cessation, weight release and the like, but not everyone is struggling with such problems. If you are lucky enough to not have an addictive personality, you can still benefit from programming your mind to look at things in a more positive way.

As we are all faced with the reality of a pandemic this year, we might all spend some time programming our thoughts to up-level our moods. The process is fairly simple. Start by listening to the way your normally talk. Do you emphasize situations by making them sound more dramatic than necessary? Do you get angry at situations and say things like: “that pisses me off”? Do you use expressions like: “You are breaking my heart”? Well, research has shown that expressions like those actually can lead to illnesses such as bladder problems or heart disease.

The more you choose negative expressions you use on a daily basis, the more you are programming your subconscious mind to stay in that negative space.

Your words are so powerful, oh not just the words you speak to others, but the words you speak to yourself. Every time you make a statement, your subconscious mind pays close attention to what you say. For example, when you say “I am” you are making an identity statement. The words that follow form your reality. You are telling the world, and your subconscious mind, how you see yourself.

Have you ever been guilty of making statements that diminish your self-worth? Some common statements are: I am too old (or too fat, or too lazy, or too poor) to move my life forward. You can easily fill in the blanks and be aware of how you program yourself to believe that you are actually any one of those negative statements. We tend to make all decisions based on our level of self-worth.

Can you change things if you find you are always saying critical statements about yourself? Of course, you can. The first step is awareness. Pay attention to your “I am” statements. If you tend to follow it with some self-deprecating statement, change it. Instead of saying: ”I am too old to get a new job” you might say, I have so much experience from my former job and my education that anyone would be happy to hire me.

Another way to up-level your thoughts is to surround yourself by positive people. If you spend most of your time with Debbie Downer and Walter Whiner, you might want to consider finding some new friends. Think of something that you love to do and find a Meet-up group or rekindle an old friendship that was once rewarding that you let slip away. If your family, also known in some circles as the “Doubting Committee”, is always telling you that you were never good at something that you really want to try, give yourself the chance to break free from those thoughts and try it anyway.

As a matter of fact, before you venture out to try something new, envision how it would feel to be successful at doing it. How would you feel if you tried something new and you accomplished it? Seeing yourself in a new way helps you to become successful.

There was a study of basketball players. They divided the team into thirds. One third was asked to skip practice all week. The second third was asked to practice all week. The last third was asked to visualize practicing all week, dribbling the ball, making successful passes, and making baskets. The end result was that the group that did nothing didn’t improve at all. The group that practiced all week, increased their abilities by 24 percent. The group that only used visualization increased their abilities by 23 percent. The power of the mind is amazing!

Here is a challenge: spend a week using positive thoughts and statements about yourself and others. Look at every situation, no matter how difficult and think of it as having a good element attached to it such as, if you were just laid off, you can find the good that comes from that is having more time to enjoy your kids, or more time to take your ailing parent to the doctor, or even more time to finish the projects at home you always complain that you have no time to finish.

Pay very close attention to the people you surround yourself with. Are they positive or do they always bring you down? Visualize your success before you even start something new. Lastly, and most importantly, pay very close attention to the “I am” statements you make. Are you honoring yourself or creating a situation that diminishes your self-worth?

The happier you are, the more you will become a magnet that attracts other happy people. You deserve to live a happy life because you are a unique gift to the world…let yourself shine!

As always, I am rooting for you!

Angela Schutz

Driven to Succeed Consulting LLC

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