Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind
If we want to be successful when it comes to creating change in our lives, then it's important to get our subconscious mind on board to help us out. We have to convince our subconscious mind that a change is needed. Then we need to utilize effective techniques to reprogram our subconscious mind in order to effectively create the change we want to make.
To create change, we have to change our mind about who we are. And this change has to occur at both the conscious and subconscious levels of mind. While it's easy to make a decision to change our mind at the conscious level, changing our mind at the subconscious level is more challenging. Change at the subconscious level requires commitment, a strong desire, and an understanding of how the creative process works at the subconscious level.
The first step almost always requires getting the focused attention of our subconscious mind (through quieting the mind), then we must convince our subconscious mind that a change is in order. The following is a look at how we create belief systems in our lives and some techniques that can be used to help create change at the subconscious level.
Techniques to Convince the Subconscious Mind to Create Change
Repetitions and Affirmations--Repetitive thoughts can be quite powerful. When we hear the same thoughts over and over again as we grow up, those thoughts can become the basis for the belief systems we develop and carry with us into our adult lives. The repeated experiences we have throughout our childhood also helps form the foundation for the patterns of behavior we exhibit as adults.
One way to create change is through affirmations. Affirmations can help change old belief systems that no longer serve our best interests. Affirmations require a high level of commitment to stick with the new thoughts and take a great deal of time to take effect. Affirmations are usually repeated in the awake, beta state of mind. They can also be repeated at night before you go to sleep and in the morning when you wake up. They are most effective when they are repeated in a relaxed, alpha state accompanied by confident energy and aided by a relevant visualization that mimics your success in creating change. Of course, when you do that, you've moved from simply repeating affirmations into self-hypnosis. Self-suggestions are essentially the same thing as affirmations.
Repeating affirmations, whether you're in an awake or a relaxed state of being, isn't as effective a technique as some others. While repeating affirmations can help to convince the subconscious mind to make a change, it is a tedious and time consuming method. Truth is, affirmations simply don't cover all the basis when it comes to creating change. Affirmations and/or self-suggestions are simply a piece of the puzzle, but they require more pieces to be a truly effective catalyst for change.
Parental and Group Influence--When we identify strongly with our parents' belief systems, they can have a powerful effect on our subconscious mind. Most of us mimic the same belief systems as our parents and follow in their footsteps. But some of us reject our parents' beliefs and identify with beliefs that are the polar opposite of theirs. Either way, there's no disputing the powerful influence our parents have on our subconscious mind.
Another powerful influence on our subconscious mind can come from ethnic or cultural groups as well as religious organizations. When we identify and accept the belief systems of groups we associate with, we often make those beliefs our own.
Emotionally Impactful Events--Emotionally charged events can have a powerful influence on our subconscious beliefs. Some children who are physically, mentally, or sexually abused growing up may develop beliefs that abusive behavior toward children are normal. And it's not unusual that when these same children grow up, they may end up abusing their own children or the children of others.
Emotionally charged events can have positive effects too. If a child wins an art contest and receives lots of positive comments from parents or teachers, the child is likely to develop a powerful belief in their artistic abilities.
Authority Figures--Authority figures (doctors, parents, politicians, athletes, professors, etc.) are people to whom we give the power to influence us, and in some cases we give them the power of unquestioned authority. It's not unusual for many of us to give doctors that kind of power over us. We respect their expertise and accept their diagnosis and prognosis without question. If a doctor tells us we have a terminal illness, we often accept what we are told and eventually die from the diagnosed condition. But there's also been many documented cases of people refusing to accept a doctor's terminal prognosis and they end up surviving and living a long, healthy life.
Many young people emulate athletes or actors or popular singers. They act like them, dress like them, and imitate their behavior. Others of us accept as unquestioned gospel what politicians or professors or religious leaders tell us. We do this because we respect them as authority figures and believe that what they tell us is true. Authority figures influence all of us in one way or another at the subconscious level.
Self Hypnosis--The easiest and most effective way to change beliefs held in the subconscious mind is through self-hypnosis. Self-Hypnosis is specifically designed to reprogram the subconscious mind. If you want to change your programmed behavior, then self-hypnosis is the most effective technique available to create that change. Let's look at an example.
Let's look at someone wanting to quit smoking. Let’s say this person has been a smoker for over twenty years. They realize that if they continue to smoke, their health is at risk. So they make a decision to quit. A conscious, rational decision. Should be simple, right? But while they've made a conscious decision to quit, they just can't seem to stop. So what's the problem?
The problem is, they've yet to convince their subconscious mind that they really want to quit. Remember, the subconscious is that part of the mind that carries out habituated behavior, like smoking. Simply telling themselves one day that they're going to quit smoking isn't going to get the job done. For twenty plus years they've been lighting up cigarettes and telling themselves (and their subconscious mind) just how much they love having a smoke. They even have those "special times" for lighting up, like after a meal, or with a drink, or after lovemaking. They've done a terrific job of convincing their subconscious mind that they absolutely love smoking cigarettes. And now they've suddenly changed their mind. With a deeply ingrained habit like smoking, it's just not going to be that simple. Making a decision to quit at the conscious level isn't enough. Because now there's a conflict between the conscious mind (I'm going to quit smoking) and the subconscious mind (We love smoking and have loved it for over twenty years). And remember, when there's a conflict between the conscious and subconscious minds, the subconscious mind almost always wins out. The emotional part of them (subconscious) knows how much they love having a cigarette and is going to override the rational, conscious part of them that wants to quit. In order to successfully quit smoking, they have to get their subconscious mind on board. They have to convince their subconscious mind that they really do want to quit. And here's how they can go about it.
They'll use self-hypnosis to help them change their mind at the subconscious level. First, they'll start by quieting their mind in order to communicate effectively with their subconscious. As they follow suggestions to relax and quiet their mind, their mind becomes more highly focused. At this point, their subconscious mind comes to the forefront. And now they're in the perfect state of mind to give suggestions to their subconscious.
They will now go about the task of convincing their subconscious mind that quitting smoking is what they truly desire to do. They must convince their subconscious mind that their "present" desire to quit smoking is more important than their historical love of smoking. They may base their current desire to quit smoking on a powerful desire to live a long, healthy life. This is an emotional appeal to their subconscious. Remember, the subconscious is the emotional part of the mind. With effective communication, this powerful desire to live a long, healthy life can overcome the “historical desire” to smoke. The key is getting the message across effectively to the subconscious mind.
Since we learn in three primary ways—seeing, hearing, and by feeling—it makes perfect sense to use these methods to help convince the subconscious mind of our desire to quit smoking. Visualization is important because the subconscious responds best to imagery and symbols. So a visualization in which the person sees themselves jogging and breathing easily along a beautiful country road can work as an effective message to their subconscious mind. They also might repeat self-suggestions such as, “I am… a non-smoker”--which can be very effective when repeated with a powerful feeling of self-confidence as though they have already quit. Invoking feelings of success in their visualizations and suggestions is also an extremely effective technique. The key to success in quitting begins with understanding their motivations for wanting to quit and then communicating those motivating desires to their subconscious mind. And the more this person practices self-hypnosis, the more these thoughts and ideas of quitting smoking becomes entrenched in their subconscious. And every time they choose not to have a cigarette, it solidifies the new pattern of behavior of being a non-smoker. After a week or so without a cigarette, the new pattern of behavior is more powerful. And after a few months, the behavioral pattern of not smoking becomes deeply ingrained.
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