Editor’s note: This is part of 30-day challenge series written by Hanane Anouna. You can follow along and read the full series here.
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Most people, and I was one of them, try to change their conditions or problems by focusing on the external aspects of their lives, but they rarely question the beliefs and thoughts that caused those problems.
Understanding the brain will enable you to learn about the language of your brain and how you can use it to the fullest. Mastering this language will teach how to think and not what to think. It will make you more conscious of the patterns of your thoughts or the set of programs that you had during your childhood, education and experiences.
95% of the human behavior comes from these programs that have been downloaded at an early age. We often think that we are humans and not robots, but in fact most of our behaviors are repetitive if not mechanical. Most of us wake up every day at the same time, do the same things, eat the same breakfast, meet the same people, make the same choices, take the same decisions, and end up having the same experience.
How can you make a change in your life and expect different results if you keep doing the same thing over and over again?
If you want to become more positive and your mind has been programmed to see only the negative, then you need first a change of the set of parameters you are embracing. To change these parameters, you need to become aware of them
Let’s first understand the composition of the brain.
The Composition of the Brain
The brain is composed of three levels: the conscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious. Each level is working independently, but it can conflict and debate with the others depending on the priority and the interests.
The conscious or the logical mind: represents only 5% of our decision making. This part of the brain is objective as it learns through observation, experience, and education and it is in a constant search of understanding, clarifications based on data, statistics, symbols, and language. It is also the center of short term memory. It is like the captain that leads the ship as it masters the body and even the environment you are in.
The subconscious or the emotional brain: is in charge of 95% of our decisions. It is subjective as it perceives by intuition. It is the seat of emotions and long term memory. This part of the brain learns through habits and practice. It embraces whatever you give it as information. It does not question the orders. It performs at its highest levels when you’re the logical or objective mind is not functioning, in a sleepy state.
The unconscious or the physical brain: has two distinct functions; it moves towards physical pleasure and away from pain and fear. It is responsible for the fight or flight responses, the physical response when faced with an attack or a threat to survival. When someone feels in danger, the physical brain takes control of everything eliminating the functions of the other two brains as the priority is survival.
A lot of people are unable to think logically during moments of crisis as they are constantly in the fight or flight mode.
5 Lessons about the Subconscious Mind
LESSON 1: Your subconscious is a plain garden; you can plant anything
The greatest discovery of the 19th century according to William James, a great psychologist, was the power of the subconscious. A lot of books tackled this subject, and wrote about the importance of the subconscious mind in achieving success in all areas of our lives.
One of these books is The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy who said, “When we sow positive thoughts, imbued with the vision of the person we wish to embody, we can reap a glorious harvest.”
Whatever you plant, you get it back; you get flowers only if you are planting the right seeds. The quality of your thoughts will determine the quality if your results.
But the big question: are you really planting something? Or are you just waiting for something to grow or change while nothing has been planted? Think about it.
LESSON 2: The subconscious mind follows the law of belief
Whatever you believe is true. If you believe that you can, then you can, the placebo effect. If you believe you don’t deserve it, how can you approach it? If you think good, good will follow; if you think evil, evil will follow.
Understanding the functioning of the mind will enable you to stop blaming situations and people as the only thing to blame is your mind, and your thoughts.
You have more than 60,000 thoughts per day to handle, and 80% are repeated negative thoughts. If you do NOTHING, your mind will be your greatest enemy.
LESSON 3: The subconscious mind does not distinguish between the positive or the negative
When you say, “I don’t want to have pain,” “I don’t want to suffer…” I don’t want to be old. I don’t want to be broke. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to be fat. I don’t want to be sad…” The brain will remember only pain, sad, broke, and will create eventually opportunities in your life that will create more suffering and more pain.
People focus on what they don’t want instead of what they want; what they lost and not what they thrive for. Be positive words and be careful with the ones you are using every day, as a lot of our troubles come from them.
LESSON 4: The subconscious mind does not distinguish between imagination or reality
The subconscious mind does not distinguish between imagination and reality, that’s why when we create negative stories or movies in our minds and start catastrophizing, we often end up having more of these stories. Whatever you fear, you will attract it in your life.
Don’t focus on what you don’t love, on what had hurt you and what creates tension within you. Focus instead on what you love, what you would like to achieve, and what makes you happy. When you focus on solutions, you will see open doors and great opportunities.
LESSON 5: The subconscious mind recognizes only the present tense
Use a present tense structure and write down what you want from a perspective of gratitude: “I’m grateful to have [INSERT DESIRE].”
LESSON 6: The subconscious mind does not recognize vague objectives
LESSON 7: The subconscious mind functions more with emotions and pictures
Visualization is not about lying on the grass and imagining your dreams coming true. It is not about dreaming neither or creating vague mental thoughts to escape from reality. Visualization is a conscious act with clarity and a sense of purpose. It is about creating visual images of the outcomes you would like to achieve. It is about a vision that reflects the life you want. It becomes effective when fueled by strong emotions that can help you turn your thoughts into reality.
Whenever you visualize something, create strong emotions as you already have it.
LESSON 8: The subconscious mind can be reprogrammed
To reprogram your brain, you need to look at where you are struggling (relations, career, confidence.) Going from the old self to the new self requires a change of thoughts and patterns.
Identify a clear goal (improve your confidence…).
Repeat your positive affirmations everyday.
Embrace the emotions you would like to feel when you attain your goal.
Use visualization, see and feel the goal: how would you feel once you accomplish your goal.
Repeat every day until the subconscious embrace it and you will start acting accordingly.
Going from the old self to the new self requires a change of thoughts and patterns.