I recently started reading You Are A Badass, by Jen Sincero and immediately am in love with her writing style and her insights. More specifically, it’s her explanation of our conscious and subconscious minds that I want to share. Jen starts her book off with helping us understand how the heck we even got the way we are today, taking a deep dive of our minds, both our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. The part of our brain that does the thinking, tells us we want to change ________(fill in change), and the part of our brain that actually drives what we do (or don’t do) is the subconscious mind. These two parts are completely separate from one another and most of us don’t understand that we have two parts and if we get that, we lack the awareness of our subconscious minds and the beliefs responsible for our behavior day in and day out.
Because we aren’t fully aware of our beliefs and why these are the stories we tell ourselves, we have the impossible time of trying to implement real, lasting change in our lives. This keeps us from living our truest lives and creating our own versions of happiness.
The conscious mind is where we do all of our thinking, analyzing, worrying, etc. This part of your mind thinks it is in control, but it is sooooo not. And our subconscious mind doesn’t do any thinking, but is really the one in control; that dictates all of our actions and holds our beliefs. The kicker? The beliefs you have are likely not your own! You’ve been living a life according to someone else’s beliefs and that’s why you are so frustrated and unhappy.
So many of us are living our lives based on beliefs in our subconscious that aren’t our own. If we can wake up to these beliefs, we can have the power to change them and live the lives we’ve always dreamed of for ourselves.
If you’ve ever told yourself that’s it, I am doing this once and for all. I am going to __________, only to find that yet again, putting action to those thoughts is nearly impossible and no matter how many times you try, you can’t just seem to stick to it or make it happen, it’s because we are living our lives based on beliefs that we have held onto for our entire lives. Most of us are unaware of them so we continue to go about our days acting in accordance with our beliefs, of which are not our own, no matter what you say you want or will finally do or change once and for all. These are the beliefs you have about money, about careers, about family, about fitness, about food, etc. These are learned from childhood and through your adolescence that family and friends have taught you through their words or even actions; things that they believe and now they’ve passed them onto you, which has you thinking they are your beliefs. But, are they?
When we aren’t aware of why we are doing what we are doing and the stories we are telling ourselves, our behavior stays the same and we spiral in the thoughts and frustration of why can’t I ever seem to have more money; why can’t I lose these 25 lbs if I know that I need to be healthier; why aren’t I pursuing my deepest dreams if I know that they are truly what I want?
If you do not run your subconscious mind yourself, someone else will run it for you. – Florence Scovel Shinn
The key to breaking through is to dedicate time to start analyzing your own beliefs. Take a look at some of your less than impressive areas of life and start thinking about some of the underlying beliefs that could have created them.
If you are feeling a constant up and down relationship with money, for example, and no matter what you do, cannot seem to get a grasp on making more money or having more money? Grab a journal, notebook, piece of paper – whatever floats your boat – and write the first 5 things that come to mind that you think of when you think about money. Answer additional questions to help you understand these stories you have about money (aka your beliefs). What was your parent’s relationship like with their money? What about others you were around, how did they handle money? What were your friend’s beliefs with money and how was their relationship with money? And even take a look at people in your life now. How are the relationships with money of the people that you surround yourself with every day? Are there any correlations between these beliefs and relationships and your own?
Once you go through this exercise with a key few areas of your life that you truly want to see change, you’ll have the awareness and understanding of what your beliefs are and where they came from. This gives you the power to change those beliefs. You have to go from wanting to change them to deciding to change them. It all starts with awareness.
What have you learned about your beliefs today? What will you believe in now? How will you rewrite your beliefs?