To Care properly for your subconscious mind is one of the most important and consequential tasks in your life.
Here is the manuscript for episode 10 of the podcast Success and Inner Growth. We discuss in this episode the subconscious mind in depth.
You find all older episodes here.
The subconscious mind is so important, because it makes the difference between a person sailing with ease through life and another one struggling and striving for every little success.
What is the subconscious mind?
The subconscious mind is system with many different functions. It is in its scope much broader than our conscious mind. It saves and organises much more information than the conscious mind. The downside is, that the content of the subconscious mind is less accessible for us, and we cannot edit or delete information, once it has entered our subconscious mind.
Everything taken in by our mind will be added to this dump file. This can be our firsthand experiences, but also movies, books we read etc. The more senses pick up a set of information, the stronger the weight.
Although often forgotten, I want to note that the input of our mind does not come only from our five senses. The body takes also note of the energy surrounding us and saves information about that energy in the dump file of the subconscious mind.
Searching for Patterns
The subconscious mind doesn’t work with causal relationships, it uses associative relationships.
It will not say “it is hot because the sun is shining.” Instead it will say: “I have seen many times hot temperatures together with such strong sunlight. Therefore, it might be this time the same.”
Our subconscious mind marks established patterns with tags. And whenever a new experience matches such a pattern, we will mark that with the corresponding tag.
The good news is, that we can edit, exchange or remove those tags. This is for the underlying information, in contrast, impossible.
We can tag information by ourselves to established patterns. It works best in settings where the conscience mind and the subconscious mind act in tandem like in daydreaming, but also in activities like writing, painting, making music etc.
External actors can also try to establish patterns in our subconscious mind and deliberately tag information as related to established patterns. The name for such efforts to manage our subconscious mind is “framing”.
In a benign context we see framing as part of education and a means of transmission for our cultural heritage. But in a more malign context, we call framing propaganda or even brainwashing.
Applying the tags correctly is one of the main ways to care for the subconscious mind.
How does the Subconscious Mind Help Us?
The subconscious mind helps us in many ways. Although it might look like a bit of oversimplification, I condensed its functions into four categories:
- The subconscious mind provides a huge reference database to us.
- It supplies on this foundation automation systems for thoughts and behaviours, giving this way a huge boost to our productivity.
- Moreover, the reference database drives our creativity and problem-solving capabilities.
- Finally, the subconscious mind acts as a control system for our life. In this capacity it monitors our successes and failures, raises red flags and flags out new opportunities, too.
All the information saved in our subconscious mind acts as reference information. We can use that, whenever we encounter new situations.
Experience is the term we commonly use to describe this aspect of our subconscious mind.
We automate many aspects of our life. Such automations allow us to think and react much faster. Automations are very valuable in standard situations, although if flawed they can also lead straight into disaster.
Therefore, it pays to question the validity of any automation regularly and watch out for possible improvements.
The sum of our thought automation is called our mindset. We should work on our mindset, striving for regular small improvements. One method for that is seeking clarity and simplicity.
Behaviour automations consist of so-called trigger-reaction pairs. Some trigger-reaction pairs are very deeply ingrained into our mind. Researchers suggest that they could be hardwired in our brain.
But even if we can’t change certain trigger-reaction pairs, we can certainly influence, when and how we trigger them.
And, luckily, there are many other behaviour automation instances perfectly under our control.
The term for those ones is “habit”. Our habits have a huge impact on our productivity, and on our ability to connect to other people.
Problem Solving and Creativity
We can also ask our subconscious mind for help in problem solving. We task it then with mining its dump file for patterns like the problem in question.
The subconscious mind will search for related patterns and hand any results back to us in form of ideas. We can pick the ideas up, test and refine them with our conscious mind and use them to solve the problem.
Our subconscious mind monitors our performance, too. And this monitoring function is very important, indeed. This becomes obvious, whenever we observe people under the influence of drugs. You have probably seen by yourself drunk people behaving in ways completely unthinkable even for themselves, if they had a sober mind.
This comes, because most drugs impair the control mechanisms of our subconscious mind.
Taking red flags seriously
The monitoring and control mechanism of our subconscious mind raises red flags. We ignore them at our own peril.
Such red flags come most often in form of a feeling that there is something wrong. Such a feeling is no reason for panic, but a sign to proceed with caution.
In response to such a red flag we should keep our eyes open and task our subconscious mind to clarify the danger it sees. Armoured with such clarity we can approach the situation with more self-confidence and come to the right decisions.
The monitoring mechanism of our subconscious mind is also responsible for our self-confidence. It registers successes and failures, and it issues error messages, if it finds a pattern of failures.
Such error messages give us the chance to find problems and improve our subconscious mind.
It is noteworthy, that one’s success might be somebody else’s failures. The definition of success and failure depends on our goals and intentions. And at least our fundamental goals and intentions are set by our soul. Our mind is here merely a helper.
Slicing up Big Challenges into Small Tasks
But our subconscious mind needs lots of small successes and failures. Otherwise the monitoring system will not work. It would only register failure after failure, because the big goal is still far away.
Therefore, we need to slice up our big goals into small steps. Each of them will send a signal of success or failure. This procedure will not only supply the necessary success signals. It will help us also to sharpen our mind. The control system will also notice your growing mental abilities, and this will provide another boost to your self-confidence.
Three ways to care for our Subconscious Mind
Because our subconscious mind is so important for our wellbeing, taking care of it should be part of our daily routine. It is as important as brushing our teeth.
To make that daily mind care easy, I developed a small check list. Go through it day by day.
Expose yourself only to correct and helpful information
The most obvious way to care for your subconscious mind and keep it healthy is to control the input. Here you need to be really picky.
This means to make choices to which situations you are willing to expose yourself. In particular:
- Who earns a place in your life?
- Which experiences in your work environment are you willing to tolerate?
- What kind of movies are you watching?
- Do your newspapers and TV-Shows respect your mind?
- What kind of books are you reading?
- How does your music impact your subconscious mind?
- What do you do to broaden the variety of information you take in and broaden the scope of your mind?
Provide the time and energy you need to care for your subconscious mind
Your subconscious mind needs your care and support to function properly. Block the necessary time in your calendar and save enough energy for that. Do not allow your daily chores to completely exhaust your energy. We have discussed that in depth in episode 9, but here are three main points:
- Do you reserve time for a daily review of your life? This can be prayer, daydreaming, meditation, writing a diary and similar activities.
- Physical activity like running, walking, dancing and music can help you to escape from your dominant mental frames – and to break them if the need arises.
- Do you sleep enough? Your mind needs time to evaluate, sort and store your impressions of the day correctly.
Appreciate your self-monitoring system – and trust it
Your self-monitoring system is one of the most precious assets you have in life. Use it!
- Your subconscious mind raises red flags and points out inconsistencies in the information it receives.
- Such red flags manifest themselves often in something we call a bad feeling. Do not try to fight it, ignore it or drown it in alcohol. Look instead for clarification.
I developed a checklist with a daily routine helping to care for your subconscious mind and nurture it. Download the priceless checklist here.
This was episode 10 of the podcast Success and Inner Growth. We discussed how to care for our subconscious mind. This knowledge can help us to take control of our life, to develop great relationships with our loved ones and to provide exceptional services to our customers.
Episode 11 will come around February 15. We will discuss, how customers value the service of an information business, and how we should price it.
Photos by Grace Madeline, Clem Onojeghuo, Carson Masterson, Ruffa Jane Reyes and Pablo Guerrero