Is Your Subconscious Mind Impeding Your Progress?

In our competitive society, many people are dissatisfied with their level of achievement because others seem to be getting ahead a much faster pace. 

Perhaps you want to climb up the corporate ladder, set up your own business or take that one-year sabbatical to do a round the world trip, but somehow you just can’t seem to break out of your shell to take the first step. 

Why is it so difficult for you? 

You may wonder why everyone seems to always have an easier time despite having the same education and background. 

What has set you apart from the achievers even though you’ve tried your best? 

Why do you seem to fall back into the same pattern that impedes your progress? 


The Conscious Mind vs The Subconscious Mind

If we want to study the reasons why some are more successful than others, we must first study how our mind works. 

Our mind is highly complex, not to mention, it is one of the most powerful organs in our body.  Don’t assume that you are always conscious of your behaviour and decisions, because it has very little to do them.  This is especially so if you have not done any work on developing your self-awareness. 

The conscious mind is a part of our awareness that is fully conscious, present and controlled, however, it is really a very small part of our mental faculty.  While the conscious mind governs our logical thinking and reasoning which is essential for solving mathematical equations, analysis and problem solving, it is the subconscious mind that triggers uncontrollable emotions, impulses and behaviours. 

Think back to those times when you were tearing up when watching your favourite soap opera.  Did you consciously tell yourself to cry or was it an unconscious behaviour? 

How about that time when you felt an itch on your arm? Didn’t you just reach out to scratch it before you consciously decide to do so?

Involuntary actions like blinking, breathing and scratching an itch are all triggered by the subconscious.

Lo & Behold the Power of Your Subconscious

Our subconscious mind records everything we do:  every activity that we engaged in, our thoughts, our likes and dislikes and every experience that we encountered.  

To a large extent, it also captures the subtle information in our environment and experiences that are happening around us even when we are not paying attention to them.

Although nothing is forgotten by the subconscious mind, most of them remain hidden from our awareness.  This is the threatening aspect of the subconscious because it can influence how we feel, behave and think even when we are not fully aware of its existence. 

The fact that it is subjective and does not leave room for reasoning or fact-checking, the subconscious triggers emotions, behaviours and impulses based on past experiences, social and even cultural conditioning.

For example, a boy who was bullied at a young age may store this unpleasant experience and any negative emotions he felt in his subconscious mind.  If this aspect of himself is not nurtured and healed, that experience may cause distrust or defensive behaviour at the later stage of his life.  He may not consciously recall the bullying incident, but his subconscious will never forget it. 

According to Dr Marcus Raichle of Harvard University, our subconscious mind never rests and this “autopilot” thinking can either be a help or a hindrance.


Origins of Our Subconscious Thoughts

According to Sociologist Morris Massey, everyone goes through three periods in our lives that transform us subconsciously – the Imprint Period that is from the time we are born to the age of seven, the Modelling Period that starts from eight years old to 13 and the Socialisation Period from 13 to 21 years old. 

    It is at these different stages that we began to establish our beliefs, values, likes, dislike, social preferences, habits and even the concept of self.  It is also important to note that such conditioning can induce confusions and blind beliefs that may lead to detrimental or beneficial developments at later parts of our lives. 

    Learn more about this in our online workshop – Identify and Eliminate Your Subconscious Blocks.

    If you are always wondering why others seem to get ahead more readily than you do, your subconscious blocks may just be the problem. 

    Closely examine if you have been subtly shaped to conform to someone else’s bias values, traditions or by your personal experience.  A positive subconscious trigger will lead you to take empowering actions but a negative one will always impede your progress. 


    Be Mindful of Your Subconscious Triggers

    We are practically controlled by our subconscious if we are not careful.  

    Subjecting ourselves to such random thoughts means that we are not in control of our responses to threats, opportunities or even choices that we make. 

    On the upside, the subconscious can filter out what we deem as un-useful, but on the downside, it will also filter out great opportunities based on outdated information that is stored within us.  

    The worst part is, we may not even be aware that we have automatically rejected opportunities that are made available to us because our subconscious would have triggered responses to shut them out.

    This is also that reason why mindfulness and personal development practices are gaining popularity around the world.  Because these practices advocate self-awareness and withhold judgement on every passing thought, hence making us take wiser and more measured decisions. 

    When we can take every situation based on the here and now, without being influenced by subtle triggers, we can find progress more effectively.

    It is through the understanding of how the subconscious mind works that we can quickly put a stop to detrimental behaviours that impede our growth.  If there is a repeating pattern of behaviour, mindset or emotions that constantly hold you back from achieving more, perhaps this is the time to look at what you have been loading in your subconscious. 


    Working with Your Subconscious

    So how can we work with our subconscious to yield more successes in our lives? 

    First, be mindful of what we classified as good or bad, impossible or possible and true or false.  Are they, really?  What do you base these conclusive classifications on?

    Identify the basis for your judgmental subtle triggers before they lead you down a rabbit-hole that you don’t know how to get out of!

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