Is it Possible to Reprogram Your Mind for Success? Yes, and Here are Some Ways to Do It
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition & Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coach
Your mind is made up of two components. There is the conscious mind, and then there is the subconscious (or unconscious) mind. The conscious mind controls everything that you are consciously aware of in your life experience. You can compare it to the tip of an iceberg. It represents only a fraction of the total capability of your "whole" mind. The subconscious is the most substantial part of the mind. Like an iceberg which is mostly underwater, the subconscious mind is there where your "hidden" beliefs and attitudes lie.
The subconscious is all about your unconscious or subconscious thoughts and beliefs.
Your subconscious stores all your memories including the ones you have "forgotten" about. These memories include sights, sounds, smells and impressions from your past going back to your earliest years. Everything you have ever experienced is stored away there. Your subconscious is responsible for the way you think about yourself and your life in general.
Think of messages you gathered from adults while you were growing up. Imagine that you were told that you weren't any good. Consider how a young mind might process that message. You wouldn't think to question it. Instead, you would believe that about yourself. You might grow up believing you weren't worthy of happiness because you weren't "any good" even if it isn't true about you at all!
When we are young children, our minds are like sponges. We don't filter anything out. We "soak up" whatever we hear. We accept as "truth" whatever we are told. For better or worse, that message becomes part of our self-concept. We will believe what we are told about ourselves unless someone we trust more contradicts it.
I am reminded of the novel and later the movie, The Help. One of the main characters, Abileen, is a maid who is charged with taking care of young Mae Mobley. Mae Mobley's mother is neglectful of her because she "isn't pretty." Abileen worries about what impact the mother's attitude will have on the child, so each day she repeats the same message to the little girl: "You is smart you is kind, you is important." She did this in her effort to counter the negative messages and neglect she knew the child was experiencing from her mother. Abileen was determined to imprint positive, nurturing words on the little girl as often as she could so she would know that she was loved.
I think I have shared before the story of a friend of mine who once told me that she couldn't comprehend anything that she read. In spite of this "truth" about herself, I observed her reading the newspaper every day. She would then talk about what she had just read. She repeated stories with great relish.
When she repeated the idea that she couldn't comprehend anything she read for about the third time to me, I asked her. "What makes you say that?"
Without hesitation, she responded: "My third-grade teacher told me."
Because her third-grade teacher had made some remark to her about her "inability" to comprehend what she read when she was eight years old, she accepted it as a truth about herself. Indeed, she had never questioned it. This even though she could read and comprehend what she read in the newspaper. Here she was, an adult, repeating something she "learned about herself" when she was eight years old!
Adults need to heed how they speak to children.
They sometimes don't realize how much damage they can do to a child's self-image. That third-grade teacher probably didn't mean my friend any real harm. But because of her thoughtless remark in front of an impressionable eight-year-old, my friend never read a book as an adult. She only read the newspaper believing she "couldn't comprehend " anything she read.
Your subconscious accepts things as "truth" unless it is told otherwise. And the same way that the subconscious accepts certain beliefs, it is the root of our fears and phobias.
Photo Courtesy of Alexandra Gorn of Unsplash.com
Habits are also rooted in our subconscious minds. That is why habits are so difficult to break or change. You can want to change a behavior consciously. But unless you tackle it in your subconscious mind while you are at it, it is likely to stick around in spite of your best efforts.
Research is evolving around the connection between our conscious and unconscious minds.
Studies are being done that show that mental programming can help us change our core beliefs. I watched an expert on mental re-programming on a television years ago with a subject who had a snake phobia. She didn't just not like snakes. She was hyper-afraid of them to the point of being phobic about them. The sight of a snake, even in a cage, sent her straight over the edge into panic mode.
The expert did something that was akin to hypnosis on the woman. It was a type of Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. After a few moments of treatment, he brought out a 9-foot python. The woman, now "cured" of her phobia was not only NOT afraid, but she was also calm. She let the expert drape the snake around her neck, and she petted it like it was a puppy or a kitten. It was amazing!
People use similar re-programming techniques when they want to change certain habits.
Let's say you want to quit smoking or stop biting your nails, and you have tried everything else. Perhaps you should try getting hypnotized. Or you could undertake another sort of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique. There are many different techniques available.
Maybe you don't need to see anyone at all! Self-hypnosis through the use of audio recordings can be used to good effect.
The good news is that phobias and fears can be confronted and removed.
The trick is to be able to identify the phobia or the fear. Sometimes these feelings are so deeply buried we don't even know they are there. The same is true for some habits. We don't question them. They are such a part of us that we don't think about them at all.
Let's say you don't have a phobia or a fear that causes you a lot of physical concern. You just happen to believe that you weren't any good because you were told you were when you were young. You can rid yourself of those beliefs as well. You can choose from a variety of self-help methods. Or you can choose the support of a hypnotherapist. You can also find an NLP practitioner, Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, or a coach.
Using the skills of a professional can enhance the effectiveness of the treatment you choose. A professional can identify the methods best suited to your personality and goals.
Weight loss is another area that benefits from mental re-programming. Being committed to changing your eating habits may not be enough. Willpower will only last so long. To be successful, you must change the way you view yourself. Using visualizing techniques can help you to increase your chances of success.
Other areas that changing your mind can help are increasing self-confidence or your money mindset.
You can remove limiting beliefs and achieve goals by reprogramming your mind consciously and rooting out subconscious beliefs that do not serve you.
Mental programming is a very powerful way to change your mind and your life for the better. As Norman Vincent Peale said, "Change your thoughts, and you can change your world."
Norman Vincent Peale was not the first person to say something like this, however. The sentiment goes all the way back to the Buddha.
Even Jesus talked about the importance of beliefs: "As you believe, so it is done unto you,"
All these statements are the foundation of my Science of Mind training as a practitioner and minister. Dr. Ernest Holmes, the founder of the Science of Mind philosophy, stresses the importance of taking charge of your mind. By using positive affirmations and repeating affirmative mantras, you can change your thoughts, your beliefs, and your life.
Ultimately, our beliefs come from our thoughts.
Many of those beliefs were planted in our subconscious minds when we were children. But we are no longer children. We can take charge of our own mental programming now. We should keep the positive beliefs and root out the ones that keep us limited. Of course, that means becoming self-aware. It means we have to stop blaming our parents or our teachers for what ails us.
We can change anything we want any time we want.
We just have to believe we can. And then we must seek out the help we need to help us rid ourselves of any belief that no longer serves us.
So, what negative programming are you holding on to? Think about it. If you are holding yourself back with limiting thoughts, remember you don't have to. Allow yourself to move forward. It's time to reprogram your mind for success once and for all.
Until next time.
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