I had the best time speaking for ASHRM (The Acadiana Society of Human Resource Management) earlier this week! The people were so kind, and the food in Louisiana is delicious!! What I also loved was how open these folks were at looking at how much self-care makes a difference for them, their teams and their communities AND also their willingness to identify what holds them back to actually doing it 😉
I shared a lot with them on how the subconscious mind holds us back, and this has been a theme with clients this week too. Let’s explore just how sneaky the subconscious mind is in getting your agreement to stop, and how you can start shifting this. Your dreams are worth it. You are worth it.
So what does it even mean that your subconscious mind gets your agreement to stop?
Well, the subconscious mind is designed to keep us safe. When we see a tiger coming down the street, we know to run! In this case the subconscious mind is a good thing. In the case of putting ourselves out there in new ways to grow our businesses, it does not feel safe. It feels uncomfortable. Growing, changing, evolving, it’s all uncomfortable. Looking at the beliefs and stories we’re telling ourselves that are keeping us stuck, and how we have built everything in our lives through that lens and because of that perspective, is uncomfortable.
It’s why we hang on to these old beliefs with a tight grip. It’s uncomfortable to let them go. It’s uncomfortable to make changes. It’s uncomfortable to stand in our power. It’s uncomfortable to set boundaries and let go of toxic relationships, when our belief deep down is a fierce need to be liked and accepted.
It’s tough and it’s hard.
It’s no wonder our subconscious mind wants us to stay safe, where it feels comfortable.
But what fun is that??!! How boring!! Our dreams lie just on the other side of being comfortable. And with time, you will become “comfortable being uncomfortable”. It just becomes a way of being.
And why do we do this? Because our dreams, and our goals are worth it. Because our families and our clients are worth it.
So how do things get into the subconscious mind to begin with?
Through constant repetition and emotional experiences. Our subconscious mind does not have the ability to reject or accept information, so it doesn’t have the ability to reason and decide if the information makes sense. It just accepts it as is.
So if you think about money beliefs, we typically just accept what our parents not only teach us but MODEL to be true. If they thought people with money were too big for their britches, guess what, you will too. Add in hearing an argument between your parents, and say you feel scared as a result, you might also start believing something like; money causes arguments. It causes stress.
And voila, you have some pretty negative beliefs around money.
So how does this then show-up in your adult life? Well, you might say you want to earn a certain amount of money or reach a certain success level, but on a subconscious level you believe people with money are bad. Or that it causes stress.
Thus pushing away that very thing you’re wanting.
The issue is that you make decisions from your subconscious mind, not your conscious mind. So you’re literally going to procrastinate instead of doing what you need to do in your business, because you have this belief deep down. You will keep yourself in a “work harder not smarter” mentality, thus keeping success at an arm’s length.
You get comfortable here. It feels safe, because you know it well, and you accept mediocre.
If you start to shift question these beliefs, say by reading a great book on money beliefs or attending a seminar, it starts to feel threatened. It feels safe where you are, and so it will try everything under the sun to get you to stop.
And it knows you well.
It knows when you give in, when you give up. Maybe you stop when you’re tired. It will show you every reason why being tired is acceptable. Maybe you’ve had an extra tough week, maybe the kids got sick, maybe you were up until 1 am fighting with your spouse. Of course it makes sense to skip that seminar then. Who wouldn’t be tired after a week like that? It feels reasonable.
Or maybe you stop because you don’t have enough time. You’re so busy running a busy life; with taking care of your family, running a business, being class Mom, that of course you don’t have any extra time to go to a seminar!
So you stop. You stop from growing and changing, and the subconscious mind gets to feel cozy and safe again.
The funny thing is, that it’s also dictating how you make decisions about your time to begin with. Maybe the belief running the show is that success is hard. So you are going to work yourself to the bone trying so hard to achieve, but because you have the belief that success is hard you never catch a break. It always stays hard. You see all the ways to make it hard instead of how to make it more easeful, because you’re looking through that lens. And then your lack of results reinforce that belief. You busy up every singe iota of time you have, so that your subconscious mind can use it against you by showing you just how busy you are and therefore, gets your agreement to stop.
You stop. You stop and you stop and you stop. Over and over. But you always have a good reason, right??
The subconscious mind gets to remain cozy and safe.
You stay overwhelmed, stressed and resentful. Why can’t you catch a break? Why does so and so get to have success and a great life? They’re not any better than you after all.
It’s a vicious cycle.
So what can you do to change it?
Well, the awareness above is half the battle. Then the awareness of what your beliefs are is the other half.
Identifying the belief that is steering the ship is everything. You can then shine a light on it, and use your CONSCIOUS mind to say this is no longer true, that this is an old story.
Then choose the new, empowered belief you want to have instead.
Then repeat it often, over and over.
Then visualize yourself with this new belief, or a time when it was true. Maybe you do have evidence to support a time that success came easy. Feel the feelings.
The subconscious mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality. It’s about the feelings that go with it.
From there, you must, and I repeat MUST, “act as if”. How does this new version of you who believes this new and empowered belief show-up? How does she act, dress, make decisions around her time, interact with customers, set-up sales calls and meetings? WHO IS SHE??
Be her. Now.
It’s that old “fake it until you make it” philosophy. Act as if you are her, until you just are.
As you put this new belief out there, you will start creating the evidence in your life to support it. Thus reinforcing the new belief.
Thus reprogramming the subconscious mind.
You have to be willing to do the work. It gets uncomfortable. But you can do it, and your dreams are worth it.
Reach out if you want help with this. I’m here to help 🙂