Health and well-being comes in different forms. The physical side of it (basically 95% of everything I write about) is important, but not all encompassing. The mental side is composed of two separate entities – the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is in charge of everything in front of you – using the computer, making plans, not getting hit by cars, etc. The subconscious is responsible for everything behind the scenes – regulating your heartbeat, breathing, and figuring out answers to complicated problems while you’re showering.
The subconscious is a powerful piece of machinery at our disposal. Here’s how to make your subconscious work for you.
Before you write this off as a “secret”-esque bit of mumbo jumbo, let’s agree that the subconscious mind is always on. It’s always working behind the scenes, keeping you alive. It’s always listening to what you say, reading what you read, and absorbing everything in the world around you. Since I work with a lot of salespeople who only make as much as they sell, using the power of the subconscious has been a massive part of their success in business and in training.
If this is true, than what we do to feed our subconscious can make a big difference in how we feel, our natural thought processes, and the direction of our life.
Here are 3 ways you can harness the power of your subconscious to create the success you want in your life.
Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything.
Positive Self Talk
There’s a reason I don’t allow people to talk negatively about themselves when they’re training with me. Because your subconscious is always listening, and believes everything you say. So when you’re having a hard time on your last set and mutter “ugh, I’ll never be able to lift this” guess what dickhead, you’re right.
Even people with the best intentions can fall into this trap of negative phrasing: “I’m so tired, I hope I don’t fall on this last ski run” or “this client has said ‘no’ to the last 3 salespeople, they’ll probably turn me down also”.
Your subconscious hears you and believes you, then sets out to make these things true. If you’re so worried about falling, then your fixation is not on control and form – but the very thing you want to avoid.
If you don’t believe that your client will buy from you, you body language, voice inflection, and posture will reflect this, and even though you don’t “feel” like you’re doing anything different, you’re hammering the nails in your own coffin.
Instead try these positive affirmations out. Talk like you give a fck.
“I’m getting stronger and more powerful every set”.
“I get better every run. This last trip down the mountain will be my best of the day”.
“This client has been waiting for me all day to buy this product. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with someone like them, and I know they will benefit from our relationship”
Action Step: Stop saying “I can’t, I’m not good enough, I’m tired, I’m bored“. Always frame your self talk in a positive direction. “I can, I’m getting better, I get more energy the longer I work, I’m always finding new and exciting things to do”
Mantras and Affirmations
Where do you get your best ideas? Mine come in the shower and on long walks. Why is that?
Because when we shut off our consciousness and focus on something simple and soothing, like a shower, walk, or good music – we allow our subconscious to mull over our problems and come up with solutions.
Picture the thing or outcome you desire. Now encapsulate that idea in a phrase or sentence. For example, my goal for 2016 was to get published in a men’s fitness magazine. My mantra was “I’m a recognized fitness author who has been published in many influential men’s fitness publications”. I repeated this mantra several times per day, whenever the thought crossed my mind, or whenever I was feeling negative about my writing ability.
One day I happened to mention that to a close friend of mine who knew a guy who knew a magazine editor. She got me his email address, and since that time, I’ve been published more than a dozen times in AskMen – an online magazine dedicated to dudes and their issues.
When you speak to your subconscious, speak like the thing you want has already happened. “I’ve been a top performer at work consistently” and to make this technique even more powerful, form a mental picture in your mind of how you feel, and what you’re doing now that they thing you wanted has come true.
If you’re selling a house, visualize yourself shaking hands with the perfect buyer. Think about how you feel when you’ve made that deal, and meditate on that feeling. Think about how that feels on a daily basis.
If you’re not sure what it is you actually want, start with something broad. As you drift off to sleep, think about the a word that describes your ideal future – be it “success”, “energy”, or “family”. Always meditate on these positive things and they’ll happen.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m not saying that if you really want a pony that you can spend your time daydreaming about having a pony and the universe will magically procure one for you. “As you think, so shall you be”. When you picture yourself as successful, your energy and actions will trend in that direction, and you’ll spend more time doing the things that will make you successful. This isn’t just some psycho-babble bullshit. There’s a strong scientific element to this power.
Action Step: Package your goal into a phrase that you can repeat easily and often. The best time to repeat these things is when you’re relaxed and not thinking of 1000 other problems. Try repeating your mantra 10x before you fall asleep daily.
This isn’t what most people would think of in an article addressing your mental game, this is very important.
By nature, humans are jealous of things that others have and that we want. We are also vengeful and petty, and harbor negative feelings towards people who have wronged us.
The famous line about holding a grudge is very true: “It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies”.
When you hold feelings of jealousy or resentment inside of you, you can’t fully devote your subconscious to a positive mental state, and therefore will continue to live in a place that’s not healthy, or true to yourself.
It’s not even worth worrying about anyone else either. they’re not interested in you because they’re too self obsessed to realize and understand your anger or frustration.
Let go of these negative feelings toward other people. They’re invisible chains that only you can see or feel, but they hold you prisoner, and keep you trapped in a negative mental space which poison your life and relationships.
If you feel that you’ve been wounded to deeply to ever forgive, that sucks, and I’m sorry. But we can’t help what’s happened in your life, all we can do is move forward. Try repeating something like “I forgive and release <whoever> from the animosity I’ve held toward them. I realize a healthy mind and body is without resentment, and I freely give up my anger and pain that I’ve carried with me”
This isn’t a 60 second cure all. If you’ve felt pain and hurt for years, you’re not going to be able to let it go after saying those words 2 times. Try repeating it on a daily basis, and picturing how you feel when you’re free from stress and pain in your life.
Action Step: You won’t be 100% healthy and happy if you’re holding old grudges. Let them go and give forgiveness to the person that wronged you. I’m not asking you to forget, simply to release the pain you’ve been holding onto.
Your subconscious is powerful and always hard at work.
Your mind uses whatever you feed it, so make sure that you’re only feeding it positive words and thoughts.
Change the way you speak to yourself. Instead of saying “This exercise is hard” say “This exercise is getting easier as I get stronger”.
Your mind is incredibly powerful, it can make you sick if you always “feel” sick, and can make you strong if you always “feel” strong.
Take a mental snapshot of what it looks like when you accomplish your goals, and think about that snapshot and the emotion you would feel when those goals come to fruition. Think about that before you go to bed every night.
You can’t water your flowers with anti-freeze and expect to have a beautiful garden. Similarly, you can’t be obsessed with self pity and loathing for other people and expect to be successful. Let go of that negative shit. Exercise forgiveness toward those that have wronged you. This is key to your health.