The power of the subconscious mind
Have you ever asked yourself why you sometimes do lots of sports, and sometimes hardly at all?
The answer usually lies in the subconscious, which controls 95% of our decisions.
If your subconscious thinks it’s impossible to reach your goal, then it will become impossible.
But the good news is: you can change your subconscious.
For example, if you’re convinced that losing weight is difficult or even impossible for you, then your subconscious will ensure you act accordingly. Imagine that you decide to eat healthy food and do sports regularly from now on. This might work for about 4 weeks – until you lose weight. But, because it is deeply anchored in your mind that you cannot lose weight, your subconscious will make sure that you make decisions that will keep you locked into your old identity. You will find it harder to exercise and eat healthy food and, just like that, you give up. Once again you will have confirmed to yourself that it’s not possible and that you aren’t able to look the way you want.
So how can you permanently transform your habits?
We manifest our goals on different levels: through our thoughts, words and deeds. Most people try to change their habits on an action level. This usually only leads to short-term success.
In my experience, the greatest transformation is possible when we work on all three levels. If we consciously perceive our thoughts and words and actively change them, our actions will follow.
There are many different methods to work on your subconscious. This 4 step formula is a technique that will help you reach your goals and achieve them with more ease.
My 4 Step Formula
Who are you right now? How would you describe yourself? What do you say or think about yourself?
Do you describe yourself as unathletic? Do you tell others that you are a hopeless case when it comes to dancing? Are you convinced that creativity is simply not one of your strengths?
This may be your reality right now. The question is, do you want this to be part of your identity forever? Because this is just a story that you’re telling yourself at the moment. But your story doesn’t have to determine your future.
Step 1: Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Switch your smartphone to flight mode and think hard about who you think you are right now.
I am fat.
I can’t draw.
I can’t control myself when I eat chocolate.
Bye-bye old identity
Start with a criticism. Of course we want to change everything at once, but if you really want to be successful, focus is essential.
So choose one thing that you want to transform first.
To make room for the new, the old must go so be aware of when your old belief system is present.
Ask yourself questions like…
How does your body react when you believe XY? When are you especially convinced of XY?
Whenever you notice that your thoughts or words are getting in the way of your goals, tell yourself inwardly…
It sounds simple – and it is. We are often convinced that we need particularly complicated methods to change (this is also just a belief – from now on you can accept that change can be easy. Otherwise it is particularly difficult).
You are a work in process
From now on, you are en route to your destination. Often we forget the process because of the anticipation of the end goal. We prefer to reach our goal as quickly as possible and overlook the small steps that are essential to reaching it.
For some people, positive affirmations like “I love me,” “Everything’s perfect” and “I accept myself as I am” is a little too much. I am not surprised. In my experience, these Mantras often don’t lead to the desired results.
When we try to tell ourselves something we don’t really believe, it’s like telling ourselves a lie.
Only we know that this is a lie so we don’t fall for it. Do you believe in your own lie? Probably not.
In my work as a coach, I see again and again that certain positive affirmations make people feel even worse or have even less motivation than before.
Allow yourself to be ‘in the process’ and formulate sentences like…
I’m about to be athletic.
I’m in the process of losing weight.
With each new day and breath, I am more creative.
I allow myself to accept myself.
I am ready to look at my body lovingly.
Place these sentences in a place that is clearly visible and repeat them regularly.
Now it makes sense to start taking action, otherwise you might be able to make positive steps over a few weeks, but your subconscious will soon revert back to old habits.
Remember: You make about 95% of your decisions on a subconscious level and only 5% on a conscious level. Therefore the previous steps are incredibly powerful to ensuring your new habits become part of your identity in the long run.
Ask yourself – what do you have to do to reach your goal? Where do you want to be in one year? What does this mean for the 12 months that lie ahead of you? What routines should you set in place every week from now on?
Write this down in your calendar: If it’s not scheduled, it’s not happening.
The clearer you formulate your goals, the better.
If you want to change your habits in the long term then conscious work with your thoughts, words and actions is extremely powerful. Otherwise you may have the right intentions but your subconscious is running the show and will make sure you stay in your comfort zone.
Jennifer is a Nutrition & Mindfulness Coach and supports women to live with ease – not just externally, but internally too. She combines nutritional knowledge with psychology and deep meditation and her vision is to liberate women from dietary prohibitions and to consciously choose a healthy life, full of joy.