Last month I introduced you to your Subconscious Mind and how powerful it is. You even got some tools to use to begin programming it as a secret weapon if you discovered that yours was acting more like a booby trap. (If you missed that article, you can read it here)
This month I want to share more about HOW the Subconscious Mind becomes a booby trap and how you can continue to re-program it in a way that helps you achieve your goals.
Take a look at the picture to the right and imagine this pyramid is an iceberg that represents your mind. Notice the arrows that lead from the bottom up. Beliefs > lead to Thoughts > lead to Feelings > lead to Actions > which lead to Your Results.
Most classes inside organizations focus on the top of the iceberg, the part you can see. They teach you to do the “right actions.” Some classes even begin to dip into the “Feelings” area with 360 feedback and some self-awareness exercises. The classes inside our organizations seldom “go below the water line.” Have you ever attended a leadership class at work and thought, “this stuff sounds really good but it doesn’t work in real life…in my office?” If so, it’s because we missed the lower part of the Iceberg.
Sometimes there are beliefs resident in the Subconscious Mind that are in direct conflict with the stated intentions of the Conscious Mind. If you notice that you seem to be unable to take the action you know you need to take, or that you take the action and get poor results, it is likely that there is something in your subconscious that is getting in the way.
For example, let’s say my intended RESULT is “Maintain a healthy weight” and I know that two actions leading to that goal are “Eat right” and “Exercise.” So, I try to take those two actions and it just doesn’t seem to work. Maybe I find it impossible to get to the gym regularly, or I go to the gym and go through the motions but don’t really exert myself. Maybe I get home late and tired and order a large pizza for dinner…3 nights a week. What happened?
Let’s look at the bottom of the pyramid. If we go all the way down to the base, if there is a belief that “Being healthy is NOT fun. Or, being healthy is HARD WORK” That belief may lead to the thought, “I don’t have time or energy to be healthy.” Depending on how I react to that thought, the feeling could be “overwhelm” (I just can’t do it all) or “guilt” (I should be able to do this) or “rebellion” (damn-it I just quit). And all the willpower in the world cannot consistently overcome those feelings to allow you to truly complete the stated actions in a way that can bring you the desired results.
The good news is …you can re-write these beliefs. And when you do, everything above that level shifts. When you re-write the belief into something that is supportive of your intended result, all the other parts become easy.
There are many modalities to change unsupportive beliefs. In the meantime, here are two simple exercises to get you started.
1. Decide there is a GIFT. When things don’t go the way you believe they “should” or turn out the way you expected, decide that the situation is exactly designed to lead you toward what you want…though potentially in a way you did not expect. Then challenge yourself to find 3 pieces of evidence that support that theory. Do not stop until you find the evidence. In the case of the above example, turn your belief, “being healthy is NOT fun,” to its exact opposite, “being healthy IS fun,” and challenge yourself to find 3 pieces of evidence that the statement is true.
2. Act AS IF. Each morning choose 1 of the things that matter most to you. Throughout the course of the day, act AS IF you were already experiencing that thing all out. Make decisions AS IF it were already true. For example, if one of the things that matters most to you is “I am strong, energetic and beautiful.” Make choices as that person all day. What would that person have for breakfast? How would she dress? How would she carry herself? What actions would she take to maintain herself?