The subconscious mind is a data-bank for everything which is not in your conscious mind. It stores your beliefs, your previous experience, your memories, your skills. Everything that you have seen, done, or thought is also there.
It is also your guidance system. It constantly monitors the information coming from your senses for dangers and opportunities. And it would communicate that information to the conscious mind, which you want it to communicate (more on that tricky topic – later).
The communication between the subconscious and the conscious mind is bidirectional. Every time when you have an idea or an emotion, a memory or an image from the past, this is the subconscious mind communicating to your conscious mind. The communication in the other way is not so trivial and is achieved using the principle of auto-suggestion.
This article will introduce the powers of the subconscious mind and how they can be used on the way to success. You will learn how to communicate better with your subconscious and how to set it on the track you want it to follow.
Time to read
Time to read: 18 minutes (based on 150 wpm).
What is the subconscious mind?
Have you ever read that humans only use a portion of their brains? Well, this is most of all, because of the subconscious mind. Scientists have never really studied it in depth and we still do not know enough about it. But we do know that it could run and control almost everything we do.
For example, when you meditate and you start controlling your breath, you get the control from the subconscious mind and give it to your conscious mind. You start breading deep and with your stomach. Then you stop controlling it and your subconscious takes over doing it. You do not have to think about it any more. Your breathing will continue to be relaxed until another stimulus changes it (stress for example). Everything is controlled in the back of your head.
Another example of the tasks of the subconscious mind is the information coming from the senses. Your brain is bombarded with hundreds of MB per second of information. It would explode if it had to review and process everything. This is why you have a barrier in between – the subconscious mind. It processes everything and it would only pass this information which is relevant for you in this very moment.
The wild monkey
The best comparison of the subconscious mind is to a wild monkey. It can run rampage the whole day as it does not tire easily. And it can bring random pieces of information to the main part of the brain. Or it could make itself busy with achieving your goals and bringing you the information that you need to succeed (opportunities). The only thing you have to do is it to give this wild monkey a purpose!
Communicating to your subconscious mind
Communicating thoughts from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind is difficult because it should be done with emotions. Only the thoughts that are conveyed with genuine emotions make it to the back of your mind. And only the thoughts that are backed up by a strong emotion stay there.
Unfortunately, this is true both for the negative and the positive emotions. And also unfortunately, the negative emotions are usually stronger than the positive ones. If you are interested in more on the topic of emotions, you can also read this article: Emotional Intelligence – 10 Ways to Improve Your Self Awareness.
Fear and negative self-talk
Your first step in harnessing the power of the subconscious mind is to eliminate the thoughts loaded with negative emotions. You also need to stop the negative self-talk or at least make sure that it is not loaded with emotions.
Your fears often tend to come true, especially when you are very emotional about them. And this is why negative self-talk could produce such harmful effects. Eliminating these negative thoughts, or countering them as soon as possible is very important step towards success.
There is story about the guardian angel that always follows you. When you say to yourself “my life is awful”, it writes down awful life. When you say “my job is boring”, it writes down boring job. And when you say “my body is ugly”, it write down ugly body. And then it goes on and grants you all those wishes, because they are filled with strong emotions (sadness, disappointment, regret, self-loathing). That angel is your subconscious mind.
Stop here and ask yourself: “Can you afford letting negative self-talk enter your mind?”
The countering technique
One of the best practices in reducing negative self-talk is the countering technique. Every time a negative thought comes to your mind, you counter it with the extreme positive counter-thought. For example if you have an important presentation and you think to your self: “I am going to embarrass myself in front of all those people”, immediately counter it with: “NO! I am going to be so good that the audience will applaud me for five minutes”. The truth will often be somewhere in between.
The delete button technique
Another power tool in countering the negative self-talk is the delete button. When a negative thought enters your mind, you press the delete button in your mind and image how the thought, written on a piece of paper, is destroyed. Or you can picture in your mind that you are smashing the negative thought with your fist.
Your subconscious mind will also act on thoughts that are conveyed with desire. Powered by desire, your subconscious mind will do anything in order to obtain the object of the desire. It would also open all available channels to the conscious mind for information on how to do that.
When your goal becomes the consuming obsession of your life and you have the burning desire to see it come true, then you will be successful. When you have set your subconscious mind on the task backed up by that strong emotion, then it would allow you to see the opportunities in life that would lead you to your goal.
The best athletes become the best only because of their burning desire to be number one. There is nothing else that they want from life, except this. This is the dominating dream of their life. They are willing to do what it takes to achieve it:
- Stay late after the training session and practice their skills more.
- Do what it takes to expand their skill set and become better than the rest.
- Set their subconscious mind to look for opportunities to achieve their goals.
How can you cultivate burning desire?
Start with defining your goal. Make it as specific as possible. Make it as realistic as possible. Write it down somewhere and feel it.
More information about setting and achieving your goals here: Fail Your New Year’s Resolution.
The bridge-burning technique
Then, burn your bridges. Destroy any safe boats that you might keep just in case something messes up. Our mind has evolved to help us survive and it is then when it achieves the best results. By burning the bridges, you set your mind in survival mode and the only way left is way ahead – towards the goal.
The small wins (or progress bar) technique
Another very powerful tool is to fill your life with small achievements (that lead you towards the goal). If you want to lose X kg of weight, start each day by looking at the graph of your progress so far. Hopefully, it is going down in general, even if there are small bumps. Put a picture on your desk of someone who has the perfect weight and look at it every day.
More information about this technique here: How to Achieve a Long-term Goal with Small Rewards.
The motivational technique
Last but not least, find what energizes you to work on your goal and use it. It could be positive people that encourage you. Or a motivational video. Or even an energizing song.
In any way, make sure that the burning desire to achieve your goal is part of your every day! Behind the scenes, your subconscious mind will be bombarded with thoughts about your goal, reinforced by the burning desire to achieve it.
Faith and love
The most powerful, positive emotions are faith, love and sex. The first two are more spiritual, the last one is more biological. When all of them are present, they empower any thought and it can easily enter the subconscious mind. Then, it will act on the thought and will translate it into actions, opportunities and ideas.
Faith is a state of mind, which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind, through the principle of auto-suggestion.
Faith is different than hope, because when we have faith, we are sure in the outcome. And when we hope, we are merely suggesting to yourself one possible scenario in uncertain circumstances.
The Visualization technique
And the next step towards achieving your goal is to visualize it. It is based on having faith in the outcome. Not hoping that the desired outcome will be true, but believing that it is already true.
One of the most powerful techniques is visualizing your life when your desire is already fulfilled. Set aside several minutes a day to close your eyes and imagine your life after you have achieved your goal. Make it as vivid as possible:
- What are you wearing?
- How do you act?
- How are you feeling?
- What are you saying?
- What are you doing?
The physical preparation technique
Another tool is a physical preparation. If you want to be famous, then start wearing those brackets to fix your teeth NOW. And if you want a romantic relationship, buy an extra toothbrush and put it in your bathroom.
The detachment technique
And last but not least, let go of your attachment to outcomes. You can never plan how exactly your desire will manifest itself. Do not narrow down on the options that you have at the moment but rather adopt an open mind and have faith in the unfolding of your dreams.
I personally practice detachment during meditation. This is how I learned to detach myself in the real life. More information about this topic here: How to Learn Meditation and Change Your Mind and Body.
Receiving communication from your subconscious mind
As we already established, the communication between the conscious and the subconscious mind is two-way. You give your subconscious mind tasks, desires and goals. And it gives you back information, opportunities and ideas.
Have you ever wondered why there are certain people who easily spot new opportunities? This happens because their subconscious mind feeds them more information on a specific subject, than what the other people usually get.
Have you ever noticed that as soon as you really decide to do something, there soon comes an opportunity that allows you to do it? This is because when you make the decision, you form a thought and imbue it with desire and faith. And you suddenly start receiving the information that you need to achieve it.
Threshold for conscious perception
We have already established that your subconscious mind receives all information that your senses generate. It then filters the information and decides what to pass to the conscious mind. The difference between those two outcomes is called threshold for conscious perception.
This is the difference between spotting an opportunity and missing it. It is only the matter of the mode in which you have set your subconscious mind and the load of tasks you have given it.
When you have a goal, when you have powered it with desire and when you have faith in the outcome, then you will start noticing the opportunities to fulfill that dream. Everything else is filtered out, rejected and stored in your memories. You main gain access to it in the future, when you have other goals, but for the time being it is beyond the reach of the conscious mind.
Nature has given humans an absolute control over the information that enters the subconscious mind, through the five senses. However, this does not mean that everyone exercises this control. Even more, in the majority of cases the average person does not exercise this control. This is why so many people go through life in poverty.
The method of introducing thoughts to the subconscious mind is called auto-suggestion. It comprises all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the senses. The dominating thoughts that remain in the conscious mind (negative or positive) make their way to the subconscious mind and influence it. A thought dominates if a strong emotion (faith, fear, love and so on) empowers it.
The mantra technique
One of the most powerful techniques is the mantra technique. The essence of that technique is to repeat in your mind (or aloud) a positive mantra that will help you overcome a difficulty or fear. The more you repeat it, the more strong you believe it in, the more faith you put into your words, the better the result.
According to many scientific studies one of the major causes of illness is … hypochondria. This is the art of convincing yourself that you are sick. This is a powerful auto-suggestion mantra powered by negative emotions like fear.
If that is possible, then it should also be possible to convince your mind that you are healthy, happy, good looking or mentally strong.
The reading out load technique
Previously, you received instructions to set a definite goal for your life. Now make sure to write down that goal and reinforce it with the desire to achieve it. Read your goal aloud after waking up and before going to sleep and several times a day. Visualize yourself, already in possession of your desire. See and feel yourself in possession of the desire. Mix emotion when you read and say your goals aloud. Be faithful of the outcome.
Remember that there is a price to be paid in order to be able to influence your subconscious mind. That price is called persistence. You have to keep doing the steps for auto-suggestion, you have to keep repeating your goals aloud and you have to keep having faith in the outcome and the end-result.
The difference between those who succeed and those who fail may just be a few days. Or it could be the availability of a back-up plan. Those who always say: “In case I do not success, I will do this and that” will always do this and that. Because their mind would always keep thinking about the way out.
This article is based on one of the oldest books about self-help: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It offers a set of simple to follow, but difficult to master rules, that anyone can apply towards becoming rich. One of these rules is auto-suggestion. I have adapted the material from the book and I have applied it to the present. And I have provided my approach in learning and applying the methods from the book.
The subconscious mind is one of the most powerful weapons that you have in your arsenal. It could be the difference between spotting an opportunity or missing it. Or the difference between living a rich and fulfilling or poor and unhappy life. It could give you influence over people or it could enslave you to work for other people.
Auto-suggestion is the way of introducing ideas and thoughts from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind. Using this skill you can influence your subconscious mind to work towards the goals that are important to you. Mastering it can lead to successful life and fulfillment of all your dreams.
The article below is a very good addition to this one. It introduces a different technique for accessing your subconscious mind and explains it using brain-waves: Access Your Subconscious Mind Through Meditation.