KFC or McDonalds, do you want to go to the cinema or get a DVD, I want to stop smoking, why should I Stop? I want to lose weight why do I eat so much chocolate?
So what’s the difference between our conscious and subconscious mind, and which one is more powerful?
You may be familiar with that moment of indecision the push or pull of two ideas where you might feel as if you are two minds, a simple example could be, do I want a KFC or McDonalds tonight?
Physically you know you are hungry, now you must decide how to satisfy that hunger, consciously you start running the alternatives. But who feeds the alternatives? That is your subconscious let, me explain.
Ok, so what does my mind Look Like?
If I asked you to imagine what your mind looks like, you might get a picture of your brain, a lumpy bumpy thing that floats about in the head, and that is because when we think, we think in pictures, but, your mind is not your brain. The brain is an organ the same as your liver, kidneys lung or heart, it’s full of electrochemical neurons that fire off against each other, apparently, over eighty-six billion of them are bumping and colliding between our ears 24 hours a day, the brain has mass so it can be seen.
The mind is an activity, it can’t be seen.
In 1934. Dr Thurman Fleet created an image to help us form a mental picture of what our mind is.
“Our mind is an activity; it is not a thing. No one has ever seen it, for a little clarity and to eliminate confusion, I will create an image we can work with.”
Our Conscious Mind
• is thinking, educated, it can learn.
• is a creative mind, our personal goals, wishes, and desires come from it
• is open to new things, receptive
• initiates all our voluntary actions
• has an ability to choose, make decisions, to accept or reject
• thinks abstractly
• has short-term memory (about 20 seconds)
• is time-oriented it has a past and a future)
• has a limited capacity between 1-3 simultaneous events
• process about 40 environmental stimuli per second
• operates less than 5% of the day
We are only controlling our neurobiology and cognitive behaviour 5% of the time with our wants and desires. 95% of the day the conscious mind is thinking. While our conscious mind is thinking, we play automatic subconscious programs, but we cannot see our subconscious programming and behaviour, because while we are thinking we are not paying attention to other stuff.
• is habitual mind, it learns by repetition.
• is emotional mind, once we get emotionally attached to our thoughts, vibration causes us to take action which produces results
• is designed to protect us and keep us safe
• controls processes related to the maintenance and sustaining of the physical body, circulation of the blood, breathing, digestion, regulation of body temperature
• likes familiar things
• thinks literally, specifics
• it must accept, does not have the ability to reject
• has a long-term memory, our whole life.
• has capacity – it can do 1000’s events at a time for example, when we enter a room, in order to keep us safe, the subconscious mind is monitoring environment, and when we feel stressed, and we do not even know why, that is the subconscious mind, checking things out for us before we become consciously aware of that.
• processes about 20,000,000 environmental stimuli per second
• operates only in the now, everything is happening right now, you might feel stress in your body just by thinking about stressful memory
• operates 95% of the day or more
• cannot differentiate between what you imagine and what is real
Your subconscious mind does not have the ability to differentiate between an actual experience that produces an emotion or an emotion that you fabricate by thought alone.
So how does the subconscious mind learn?
It has two methods:
During the first 7 years of life, it learns primarily through self-hypnosis.
When we are born, we do not have a conscious faculty. We just have our subconscious mind, which is exposed to everything that goes on around us, such as family, music, people. We were watching parents, siblings and others around us, and running programs.
We were programmed to speak your given language, to like the food they like and to do things in a certain way. So our basic programs don’t come from what we want, they are directed by, family and other people around us.
It’s like having a blank computer disk as your brain. The first six years of a child’s life, everything it sees, smells, touches, experiences in any way, whatever it hears, is being downloaded into the brain (the disk) before the consciousness of the child becomes apparent.
When we developed our conscious faculties, we were already pre-programmed, so we start to think thoughts that were in harmony with our programs.
For over 400 years, The Jesuits have maintained “that if you give me a child until he is 7 I will show you the man”.
After 7 years of life, it learns by habituation and repetition
Our beliefs and habits become formed by the repetition of information or task. We create our habits by thinking the same thoughts, having the same feelings and following the same routines every day, habit.
Once we learn how to walk, it is a habit and we don’t need to learn it again. Without our subconscious mind, every day we would have to relearn how to walk.
When we start to learn a new skill such as driving a car, we were doing it consciously and it takes time before new habits are programmed into our mind.
But now, we can quite happily drive, talk, listen to music, swear at other drivers, and shout at the kids for being too noisy, because, our subconscious mind is driving the car you just have to be there.
Our subconscious mind is a database of downloaded programs derived from the recorded behaviours of others. It is formed in the womb and through the first seven years of our life. It is useful to know that many of these programmes/recordings are actually limiting our ability.
So, in essence, The function of our subconscious mind is just to store and retrieve data. We store our memories, habits, beliefs, and self-image there. It has to ensure that we respond exactly the way we are programmed our default settings.
Our subconscious mind is designed to protect us. It observes both our surroundings and the body’s internal awareness, it reads the environmental signals and immediately engages the relevant previously learned behaviours, without conscious awareness.
For example, if when crossing the road you hear a horn, the subconscious mind, which is busy processing about 20,000,000 environmental stimuli per second, will cause you to freeze and look for danger, while the conscious mind, which only processes about 40 environmental stimuli per second, may not even be aware of the threat.
Our subconscious mind causes us to feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable when we try to do anything new or different or to change any of our established forms of behaviour, the fight or flight response. The sense of fear and discomfort are psychological signs that our subconscious mind has been activated.
How Do We Choose Our Thoughts?
We have absolute control of our thinking. We have the ability to choose any thought we want. When emotionalized, it is these thoughts that impress themselves into the subconscious mind. Our feelings determine the state of our body. The state our body makes us act in a certain way, which produces our results.
Our conscious mind can think in the past, and it can think into the future, it can solve problems, and most of the time it is thinking about something and when it is thinking, it is not paying attention, and that is when then subconscious steps up to the plate and runs your life.
So If you can stay consciously aware and stop the negative thoughts, and as you continue to stay consciously aware the subconscious begins to learn a new habit.
When we consciously want something, the subconscious has all the data about that. If the subconscious does not agree with the conscious, we have confusion.
If we have a desire to do something, and our subconscious mind is working against us, the slower conscious mind does not have much of a chance. And that is why we find ourselves in two minds. It is because we have self-limiting belief at a subconscious level holding us or even pushing us back.
To live the life we desire, we need to get our conscious and subconscious mind to work together as a team because desire, your consciousness is what gets you started and the habit your subconscious is what keeps you going.
So McDonalds or KFC? Someone already decided for you…