Our minds have the vast power to create and shape our reality. Everything that exists in the physical reality of our lives was created first in the mind. We have to think of something before we can do it.
Lately, I have been studying Jungian psychology and Neuro Linguistic Programming, and learning all about the power of the subconscious and unconscious mind.
According to Routledge,
At its fundamental level, Jungian psychotherapy, also referred to as Jungian analysis, is a thorough, analytical approach to talk therapy that seeks to bring balance and union between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind.
Carl Jung, the founder of Jungian Psychology also believed in a collective unconscious that is full of archetypes that we all believe in. He would look at these through strategies such as dream analysis, among others.
We can change our minds in amazing ways if we become aware of the way that the mind works. There are thoughts and beliefs that we hold on an unconscious level that create much of our reality.
Many of these beliefs are formed in childhood, by things that we are told by our parents. What we believe to be true about the world, and about ourselves, is learned early in life. We seldom think to question these beliefs as adults, even if they are inadvertently hurting us.
Learning to tap into the subconscious and unconscious levels of our thoughts allows us the ability to understand and reprogram these thoughts on a conscious level.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is one way to change our thoughts and behaviors, using the subconscious and the unconscious mind.
According to Good Therapy,
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes.
You can understand the layers of the mind through using Jungian Psychology and Neuro-Linguistic programming, and change your unconscious and subconscious thoughts and behaviors.
This allows you to break out of programming from earlier in your life that taught you things like:
You are unlovable
You are a failure
You are unworthy
You aren't good at something
As well as many other negative, limiting beliefs that you may be experiencing, which are causing you difficulty in your day to day life. Since these beliefs are typically subconscious, we may not realize that we have them, and peeling back the layers of your conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind can help you to uncover and ultimately change them.
Layers of Consciousness
We are not consciously aware of all that is going on around us at any given time. There is too much happening for us to be able to process it all.
According to NPR,
The human brain can process 11 million bits of information every second. But our conscious minds can handle only 40 to 50 bits of information a second.
This means, the vast majority of the information that we are exposed to at any given time is coded into our subconscious and unconscious mind. We filter it away to pay attention to what we consider to be 'important' information. This is the only thing that we notice.
So, there is a lot of information that is getting filtered out by our conscious mind all the time. We don't always notice for example, the feelings of our right foot at a given moment. Or, something on the edge of our peripheral vision. We ignore this information because we don't think that it is worth focusing on.
Since we are always filtering information out, we find information that conforms to what our brains has determined to be important and worth attending to. This keeps our conscious mind from being overloaded with too much information.
The Subconscious and Unconscious Mind
The rest of the information that we filter out of our conscious experience goes into our subconscious and unconscious mind. The information is still stored, but below our level of conscious awareness.
When we learn to tap into the power of the subconscious and unconscious mind, it can allow us to question thoughts and beliefs that we have held for the majority of our lives.
This is because our mind filters out information that doesn't conform to our currently held beliefs.
We have what is called a confirmation bias, where we consciously seek out information that conforms to our beliefs and our view of reality. This is the way our brain filters information for us.
According to Very Well Mind,
A confirmation bias is cognitive bias that favors information that confirms your previously existing beliefs or biases.
Because of the natural confirmation bias of our minds, we pay more attention to things that confirm our beliefs. This means, we are always looking for information to bring to the forefront of our minds that confirms what we already think to be true.
Most of the time this is fine, but it can become harmful if we have negative beliefs about ourselves or other people.
For example, if you have the belief that you are a failure, then your mind is constantly looking for information that confirms this and bringing it to the forefront of your conscious mind.
Then, information that says the opposite - that you are in fact successful at many things - is being filtered out. This is how limiting beliefs are reinforced in your conscious and subconscious mind.
You can reprogram your mind
The first step toward changing your thinking is to bring subconscious and unconscious beliefs to a conscious level. We can do this by questioning information that we are dealing with all the time.
When we have limiting beliefs, they are usually held at a subconscious level, so that we aren't aware of them on a conscious level. In order to change these beliefs, we need to bring them to a conscious level.
To do this, we can look at our triggers, and what is bothering us. If something upsets you, you can dig into it deeper to find the subconscious belief that is holding you back. Then, you can substitute a new, healthier belief in its place.
You can do this using affirmations and positive self-talk. It is especially helpful if you do this first thing in the morning, because that is when your subconscious is still a bit active upon first waking up.
According to Tony Robbins, here are some ways to reprogram your subconscious:
1. ADOPT EMPOWERING BELIEFS
2. EMBRACE THE BEAUTY OF UNCERTAINTY
3. FOCUS ON GRATITUDE
4. WATCH YOUR ENVIRONMENT
6. BIOHACK YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND WITH BINAURAL BEATS
The more you are able to help with empowering beliefs, it becomes easier to get out of limiting beliefs in your subconscious.
Visualization is another good way to change your subconscious, because your mind thinks that things you imagine are just as real as things in the physical world. You can picture your perfect life and the things that you want for yourself, and it will help to reprogram your subconscious as well.
When you use these strategies regularly, you are changing your subconscious belief. The more you work on it, the more you will begin to notice things through confirmation bias that bring validation of your new, more positive, belief.
Using the previous example of "I am a failure" you could say instead, "I am successful." This makes a great morning affirmation. Then, visualize all the ways you can imagine yourself succeeding at your goals throughout the day.
This will allow you to reprogram your negative belief into a more positive one by hacking into your subconscious mind.
You can also use the Law of Attraction to reprogram your subconscious mind, because it is a way of visualizing your perfect life to attract what you want. This is a very similar process of using affirmations and visualization to create the life of your dreams.
If you find that you are having difficulty doing this on your own, you may want to consider working with a therapist or life coach on reprogramming your negative, limiting beliefs.
There is much of our experience that we aren't aware of at any given time. To be able to change our mindset and our limiting beliefs, it helps to bring your limiting beliefs to a conscious level. We can do this by looking at our triggers.
Then, when we are aware of our limiting beliefs, we can change to more positive beliefs using affirmations and visualization.
I hope that you are able to work on your limiting beliefs this way, to live a more positive and fulfilling life!