Therapists and other folk that deal with the mind on a daily basis will tell us that the subconscious doesn’t understand negation.
Now, the subconscious is, as you are no doubt aware, incredibly powerful. Not only does it control all of our involuntary functions, it is also the storehouse of every experience, emotion, thought and memory, from the time we became conscious till now. This store of information and experience is what we base our conclusions on, our belief structures, our very world view: what is called our frame of reference. And, they will tell us, it is not much more than an intelligent 9-year old. This is because the subconscious takes information very literally. If it accepts an instruction, then the instruction is acted upon, as simple as that. What it doesn’t do, as I mentioned, is negation. ‘No’ is not a word the subconscious likes, neither is ‘don’t’. Tell the average 5-year old not to run across the road, and all they hear is ‘run across the road’. This is because a child, at that age, is still operating very much in tune with their subconscious: they don’t understand, nor process, negation. As we grow older and certain regulatory processes start firing in our brains, we start processing this information on a conscious level and so we begin to understand the concept of ‘no’. But our subconscious mind never will.
|Our subconscious minds require, and thrive on, clear instructions. This is often why, some experts say, that willpower alone is not an effective route to change. If I agree with myself that I am going to lose 3 kilograms in two weeks and I only lose 2.8, have I failed? Not intrinsically, no; you’ve succeeded. Your subconscious, on the other hand, disagrees. That was not the deal. 3 kilograms was the deal. You failed. The diet is clearly not working, and you give it up.
What we think and what we say as just as important when speaking to ourselves as it is when speaking to others. Although our mother’s told us that if we have nothing good to say we should say nothing at all, if you’re not enjoying the life you want then you’re staying silent with yourself, and not giving yourself clear directions.
Your life is a mirror of what’s on your subconscious, and if you’re not living the life you want, if you’re struggling or not getting what you want, then you may need to be cleaning out that subconscious. You need to be filling your subconscious with positive messages and giving it the clear instructions it needs. Sir Roger Bannister, when asked how it felt to be the first to run a four-minute mile, answered: “It isn’t the first time. I’ve done it a thousand times in my head.”
Most people make the process of achieving a goal far too complicated and this is why most will give up before actually achieving that goal. By keeping things simple and using the power of simplicity, goals become easier to achieve. The key is, actually, simple: break it down into smaller chunks and, with each small success, celebrate that success. Get used to the feeling of celebrating a success; when things are simple enough to succeed, you will actually get things done.
It is up to you to put the steps into place and get the life you truly want, once and for all. It may involve change for you, but this is a the kind of change that is positive, bringing your best self out.
Keep it simple. Make small successes. Celebrate the successes. And grow.