Our unconscious mind plays such a huge role in maintaining our body and its vital functions. It drives our behaviour and our autopilot habits, it stores our emotions, memories and our beliefs, and is where our imagination and intuition resides.
Our conscious mind however deals with our logic, our willpower, decision making & analyses incoming information as we perceive it.
So where does the real change happen when you want to change your mindset?
Real change happens unconsciously. However in order for us to unconsciously change a habit or behaviour first we must be consciously aware of it. While affirmations are great and can be used as a tool to focus on what you do want, real change happens unconsciously.
What happens is when we have a repeated limiting pattern or behaviour occurring over a long period of time, it's happening unconsciously and trying to change it consciously will only happen temporarily until you rewire and un-create the old patterns that keep repeating on autopilot.
When we try to change a habit consciously what happens is the critical faculty will deny any changes from occurring if there is no unconscious memory or beliefs supporting the new change. So if you have a belief "I'm not good enough" and you keep telling yourself "I am good enough" consciously what happens is the critical faculty disregards any changes if you have no past experiences or memories of you “being good enough” unless you bypass the logical mind, and interrupt the old pattern. Once the old pattern is interrupted we are able to create a new pattern which then needs to be reinforced repeatedly until it becomes a new unconscious habit.
So how can we change our thinking? The first step is awareness and from awareness we can make a choice to change. Whether we decide to become victim to our beliefs and give reasons, blame or excuses to how our life currently is or whether we take responsibility for our choices, and decisions will determine whether we will remain disempowered and resistant to change or become the empowered person who takes control of our life.
5 Ways to Change Your Thinking:
We all have our blind-spots and beliefs stuck on autopilot that perhaps we aren’t even aware of. So what are some ways to become aware of our thinking?
> Notice repeating habits and patterns in your life. Do you keep attracting the same relationships? Do you get triggered by a particular circumstance or event over and over? Listen to your inner critic and that will give you an idea of some of the beliefs that hold you back. Journaling your thoughts and patterns are a great way to keep track of where your mindset is currently holding you back. The more you pay attention to repetitive patterns the quicker you can change them and live your best life.
> Awareness. Until you are aware of your patterns and beliefs, how can you change them? Notice what you see in others, as what you see in others is suppressed or hidden within you. Perception is projection after all. What you judge, react to or become triggered by in your external world is unhealed aspects within you that needs your attention. Take notice of what has an emotional charge. Awareness is key.
> Let yourself off the hook. The more we judge ourselves and continue to add labels to ourselves the more it becomes solid. The key is to de-label yourself. Everything is meaningless unless you give it a meaning. Even just changing the meaning of that event or person takes the pressure off and changes how you look at it. We label everything around us. We label people, things, emotions, experiences, memories, you name it. It's how we compartmentalise information & data and give it meaning. When we change the label we change the meaning & it essentially changes how we represent it in our mind.
> To create a new pattern you need to interrupt and disable the old pattern to create a new one. NLP or Hypnosis are great therapies to help bypass the critical mind and get to the core problems which is all running unconsciously. This is why affirmations never truly work. If there is an incongruence between the conscious and unconscious mind, the critical faculty will deny any new changes unless you bypass it. Try a therapy that works on the unconscious mind, instead of consciously trying to change it through affirmations. While there is a place for every therapy at different stages of your healing, I suggest therapies focused on the unconscious mind. Affirmations are great to start using AFTER you have interrupted the old patterns but first you must disrupt the old unconscious autopilot belief structures that keep you stuck and repeating old behaviours.
> Repetition. The most vital part of any new way of thinking is repetition. The more you practice this over and over the more we begin to install this new way of BE-ING in our unconscious mind. The more we repeat the sooner it becomes autopilot. There are 5 stages of learning. The transition between consciously doing something repeatedly & it becoming an unconscious pattern happens without us even realising. Some say it takes 21 days to form a habit, some say it takes longer. My advice is to just continue repeating a new habit until it becomes second nature. If you fall off the bandwagon, let yourself off the hook as there may be other beliefs attached that need resolving. We are after all works in progress. My suggestion is to journal anything that comes up and notice the emotions and thoughts present when old patterns re-emerge as there could be more layers underneath that need resolving.
If mindset coaching is something that interests you and you are ready to change, comment below for more information on how I can help you live your best life.