When we understand which functions are controlled by the conscious mind vs the subconscious mind, it can help to bring our experiences, and even our goals, into a better perspective. Let’s start with the role of the conscious mind.
Functions of the Conscious Mind:
- Temporary Memory
The Conscious Mind is the “thinking” part of the mind, where mental chatter takes place. It’s very difficult to use the conscious mind to make a permanent change. The conscious mind will rationalize what behaviors should be changed, but it is the Subconscious Mind, which is where profound and long-lasting change takes place.
Functions of the Subconscious Mind:
- Impulsive Behaviors
- Permanent Memory
The profession of hypnotherapy works directly with the subconscious mind, which is where the most rapid changes can take place.
The subconscious mind is like a child, and needs to be told what to do. It doesn’t know the difference between “good” or “bad”, it just follows orders. That why I recommend keeping your self-talk very positive. For example: If you were to constantly think to yourself, “I’m fat… I’m fat… I’m fat”, the subconscious mind takes that as a direct order from you and will help you to create it. It doesn’t know “good” or “bad”, it just follows your orders.
CRITICAL FACTOR: The critical factor of the mind is the filtering system for external sources. If someone was to say to you “Go rob a bank”, or “Quack like a duck”, and if these statements were against your moral or ethical code, those words would be rejected.
WHICH IS MORE POWERFUL? CONSCIOUS OR SUBCONSCIOUS??
Many people are mistaken when they think that the conscious mind is more powerful than the subconscious mind. They think they can just will themselves to make a change in their life. It might work for a short period of time, but the subconscious eventually wins the battle. Let me demonstrate that to you:
EXERCISE: As you read this paragraph, DO NOT think about what Santa Clause looks like. Don’t do it!! Just keep the memory of Santa Clause’s red suit and hat out of your mind. Use all of your conscious willpower to forget the color of Santa’s beard. And whatever you do, DO NO think of Santa riding in his sleigh saying “Ho Ho Ho… Merry Christmas”.
How did you do? My guess is that your imagination won! Your imagination and permanent memory are controlled by your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind will win no matter how hard you try and use your willpower. Old habits can work in the same way if they are not dealt with through your subconscious.
So the next time you try to use willpower and fail, don’t beat yourself up. It just means that you have some subconscious word to do.
For more information, please read my blog on Tips For Writing Goals & Mantras