The Human Mind is Our Greatest Mystery
Your unconscious mind is your auto-pilot. It’s your default. It’s all your lifelong programming. Sometimes, it really gets in the way of what you want, by making you feel unworthy, incapable, or afraid.
So, while it can be a great big pain in the butt, but it can also be your greatest ally. The trick is in how you program it.
Getting to know your unconscious mind is as simple as asking insightful questions, such as: Dearest unconscious mind, I would like to know...
- Why am I thinking this way?
- Where does this thought come from?
- What evidence do I have that this thought or belief is true?
- What feelings do I have around this thought or belief?
- What is this thought or belief trying to tell me?
- What is this feeling trying to tell me?
The way to make your unconscious mind work for you is to talk to it, just like you would talk to a friend. Give it space to have a voice and listen to what your mind has to say. Your unconscious mind is like a five-year-old child, and as we all know, children need structure and guidance.
You need to be very direct and get to the point without fluffing about; the more specific, the better, and getting to the "why" is of extreme importance. In return, your unconscious mind will respond, and the trick is to trust it and not obsess about what you have just asked your unconscious mind to do. Otherwise, you will end up with a conscious mind interference.
Thinking about what you want all the time will make it harder for you to get it, as your conscious mind will essentially be shutting down the power of your unconscious mind by preventing it from running an errand.
"Top of mind" means "tip of tongue."
Have you ever experienced this: You are having a conversation, and all of a sudden you go blank. You know what you were about to say, but the harder you try to remember, the more difficult it becomes, and the more frustrated you become as a result.
However, if you practice letting go and accepting that eventually it will come to you, it almost always will, at a point when you least expect it. Trust that it will come to you at the right time, because then it will.
This is how the unconscious mind works. It records everything you do, see, and hear; it's like a storage dump of all the things that you have been exposed to throughout your life, and if you give it enough space and time, it will provide the information you are seeking.
The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence.
As we move through life, we absorb our parents' beliefs, and those beliefs then become our own. Unless those beliefs are overridden, they will stay with you and continue to influence the type of life you live. We are very much conditioned by our past, and that’s what makes us who we are today.
How different you become from your parents is dependent on the external differences that your unconscious mind is exposed to and your current state of life satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
With that said, the core beliefs that you hold to about yourself are likely to be the same as your parents', because those beliefs are often the first ones formed by the unconscious mind. Therefore, this information is what the unconscious mind uses to compare other information against.
[Related: Micro-Practices For Your Busy Life]
The most important muse of all is your inner child.
A way to uncover the mystery of your mind is reconnecting with your childhood. We all have an inner child, and you can rekindle the relationship with your inner child that was free, spontaneous, and creative. You can do this by making a list of all the things that brought you joy when you were young. Explore these enchanting memories and try to recall that childhood wonder.
Although everyone's childhood is different, there are common patterns. If your relationship with your inner child has diminished over the years, try to identify what stage of development your childhood is in now. This will help you create a roadmap for bringing your inner child back into your life.
Right now, your inner child could be feeling lost, frustrated, or alone. Check in with yourself and ask, “What am I feeling right now?” and put words to these feelings.
Learn the art of growing without losing your inner child.
Once you have a connection with your inner child, you can communicate with it by writing a letter. It could be an apology letter for neglecting it and stating a desire to repair that connection, or it could be a simple letter expressing your desire to strengthen your friendship.
By cultivating an open space, your inner child becomes vulnerable and may need a safe space before showing up, so be patient and give yourself the time. Too often people give up or hide or deny the existence of their inner child because they think it makes them look weak.
It's quite the opposite; by letting your inner child shine, and paying close attention to the feelings that pop up in your daily life, you are accessing another part of yourself that can be traced back to experiences when you were young and impressionable. Often, this helps you better examine the emotional patterns of your adult life.
[Related: Emotions at Work: Keeping Them in Check]
Catherine Plano works one-on-one with women to help them reconnect with themselves. In 2012, she launched the I AM WOMAN Project, which is now a global weekly podcast where women from all over the world share their stories.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Executive Mindset Coach, Transformational Leadership Facilitator, Leadership and Culture Consultant
Catherine is known in her community as an innovative leader and creative entrepreneur who specialises in helping people achieve their goals and dreams. She is passionate about assisting others to reach their highest ambitions and live a life that is fulfilling and rich. She is a strong advocate and a leader by nature. Catherine thinks BIG, encourages possibilities, and honors individual wisdom and strengths, and is valued for helping leaders build stronger and more effective... Continue Reading
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