Thousands of books have been written, millions of blogs have been published, and bazillions of videos are being uploaded every day that talk about controlling the subconscious mind.
Most of the information out there is rubbish and superficial. They are just feeding you with the kind of information you want to hear and not what you actually need to hear. Their motive is simple: to get their own job done and not give a damn about what happens to you.
So, in this post, I am gonna clear the desk once and for all and get to the bottom of this rabbit hole to see what exactly is the subconscious mind, how does it affect your actions, the superficial and BS stuff that’s been selling in the market, and how can we rewire it to make it work for us.
What is the subconscious mind?
We all know about the conscious mind, that is the mind which we are consciously using. The subconscious mind is the mind which is not completely conscious of its surroundings. It’s more like a repository that stores tons of data that your senses pick up.
For instance, you could be reading this article in two ways. One is where all your focus and attention is towards what I am saying and you are pondering upon each and every thought I am putting out, or you could be reading this article for the sake of it but you might be thinking about something else in your mind.
The former is your conscious mind in action, while the latter is your subconscious mind. Any activity that isn’t taking up your total awareness and focus comes under the radar of your subconscious mind.
Another example can be of walking. One instance can be where you are on a call and walking, so the majority of your focus will be on your call(assuming it’s interesting) and your walk would be controlled by your subconscious mind. On the other hand, if you are a model and have to catwalk on a ramp, your conscious mind will be controlling the way you are throwing your feet.
Take blinking for instance. Until I pointed it out to you, you were subconsciously blinking your eyes as per your natural rhythm, but now that I made you aware of it, you might try to control your blinking using your conscious mind.
Clearly, most of our life is spent under the umbrella of our subconscious mind. Almost 99% of our actions and reactions to circumstances at the bodily level: digestion, excretion, nervous system, breathing, just happen on their own based upon the programming of our subconscious mind without much involvement of our conscious mind.
So, it won’t exactly hurt us to learn more about our subconscious mind and see how we can make the best use of our subconscious mind.
If we choose to overlook it, our subconscious mind will act like a wild monkey which would keep jumping off from one tree branch to another until we lose our shit for good. That’s why it’s of paramount importance to give our subconscious a sense of direction and purpose so that it can work to make our lives better instead of making it a living hell.
The Reason for Conflicts
If you think about it every conflict you have, it’s generally because your conscious mind wants you to do something that your subconscious mind doesn’t approve of.
You want to go to the gym but your body revolts, you want to wake up early but your body pulls you back to the bed, you want to eat healthily but your taste buds don’t want to gulp them down, you want to consume educational and informational content but your mind is hooked on Netflix and so on.
You feel irritated whenever you want to do things that go against your preexisting subconscious programming that took years to develop.
And consequently, you’d feel all the feel-good emotions and sensations if you are acting as per your subconscious.
The Real Predicament
Do you know the actual problem that’s getting the better of us?
We all have some pretty big dreams. That’s naturally natural.
But the thing is, we feel good when we get lost imagining the scenario where we have already achieved those dreams.
We’d all love to see ourselves getting ripped and sporting those chiseled abs, we’d go crazy if we see ourselves on the cover of Forbes, the idea of having millions in the bank account and being able to afford all the luxuries the world has to offer soothes us.
And that’s the issue.
We are attached to the outcome, but not to the process.
Nobody thinks going to the gym and busting some sweat 6 days a week is fun, nobody wants to work sleeplessly even on weekends and holidays to actually make a name for themselves, and nobody is attached with the idea of working their ass off for years to actually be able to live life as per their own terms.
The result of this conditioning is clearly visible.
This is the reason why the majority of people never make it big in life. They are subconsciously attached to the outcome, not to the process.
And obviously just thinking about the process won’t get you anywhere, so when you do start the process, your body will feel uncomfortable and won’t be able to bear the pain and as a result, you’d ultimately quit.
So, we have to make it so that we feel ecstatic doing the process itself. Because if we can achieve that, then well, problem solved, isn’t it? That sounds good in theory but how do we actually make it happen for real?
Willpower is not the solution
Now some people naively think that if they are not feeling good about the process, they are gonna use their willpower to keep at it. But the problem is that your relying on willpower isn’t really a particularly smart and efficient way to control yourself.
Willpower can override your temporary emotions and feelings for so long only but your subconscious mind is way more powerful than your willpower and you are ultimately gonna succumb to its wrath.
If you want proof to see how strong your willpower is, just try holding your breath for the next two minutes. Use your willpower to its max capacity and see what happens.
See my point?
If you haven’t practiced holding your breath for that long, you would surely give up on your body’s preexisting programming.
The ideal solution is to make the subconscious work effortlessly in your favor. Only the rarest of rare people have their conscious and their subconscious mind working in complete sync which is why they are able to achieve all those amazing feats.
Let’s take an Example
Say you wanna start a new habit of going to the gym. You went for a day or two, but your body is revolting. Your mind is constantly nagging you to drop it, you are more prone to get distracted and make excuses since the pain is excruciating, and your previous bad habits keep calling you back.
On one side you have your body, your emotions, your feelings, your hormones, your subconscious, all trying to make you quit anything that brings displeasure and discomfort, and on the other side, you only have you saying yourself “I am gonna do it” to push yourself.
Obviously, your temporary willpower incited by a quick motivation dose is not gonna be enough and you are gonna succumb to the greater force of the subconscious.
So, what do you do?
How to rewire your subconscious mind?
1. Don’t set insanely big goals
The bigger the goals you set, the more are the chances that you are gonna fail, and the faster you fail, the sooner your subconscious will start revolting and in no time you would quit the whole goddamn thing altogether.
So, to keep everyone satisfied, make smaller goals and celebrate when you achieve them.
For instance, if you wanna start gymming, don’t set the audacious goal of getting six-pack abs in 6 months or something. Chances are that you’d quit when you don’t see any results in 6 days or so.
Instead make a smaller goal, like just going to the gym for 3 days in a row. Even if you are not doing anything there, that’s fine. Simply show up for 3 consecutive days and just visit the gym and talk to people there or anything.
You should be clear that you have completed your task for the day if you have stepped into the gym.
You might be thinking, “But hey that’s not enough?!?!”
Well, here’s where the fun begins.
When you complete that easy task, you are to celebrate this achievement in whatever way you feel like. The result of which would be you getting bombarded with all those feel-good happy emotions and hormones without even working very hard.
The catch is that that feeling won’t last long and you’d go back to being normal in no time. So, what do you do when your mind craves those positive sensations again? You set a slightly bigger goal this time.
Now, instead of just showing up for 3 days, you are supposed to start with some cardio for 3 days in a row. You’d be more motivated and charged up to show up because you know exactly what the task is and what you will get once you achieve it.
If you don’t bump up the activity by a small margin every time you complete a goal and keep on repeating the same goal, again and again, you’d naturally get bored.
Start with 3, make it 4,5,6, then slowly increase the intensity level of the workout. That’s the way to rewire your subconscious mind.
This will hit two birds from a single stone. You will develop a new habit and also, you will enjoy the journey. You can replace gymming with any other activity you feel like getting into.
2. Treat it like a Video Game
When you play a video game, you don’t jump to the final level on day 1. Where would be the fun in that?
You rise up, slowly and steadily. With each passing level, the amount of thrill and excitement goes up, which in turn keeps you hooked to the game.
If you keep failing a particular level, you don’t just quit right out the gate. You persist, you fail, you try again, you fail again, you try again, and you keep the loop running until you finally get it done. You don’t play with putting too much pressure on yourself because that would suck out the fun out of it.
Also, you don’t keep playing the same level again and again because that would become utterly boring and monotonous and you’d quit because you’d stop getting the reward.
Similar is how life works too.
Just like you don’t aim to reach level 50 on day 1, you don’t have to aim too high whenever you are starting something new. Your aim should be to make the task as enjoyable as if playing a video game. If you achieve that, that’s when your subconscious mind starts helping you instead of being a barrier.
Besides, when you truly start doing the activity for the fun of it, and not for the end results it has to offer, there isn’t anything left now that can stop you.
3. Repete to rewire your subconscious mind
No activity or no thought can cement its place in your subconscious mind until it has been repeated over and over again in your head.
Whatever activity you are addicted to, whatever thought process you can’t get rid of, they are all a result of repetitive bombardment of the same pieces of information or information related to the same topic over and over again for a substantial period of time.
So, you see, the habits you have developed—good or bad, positive or negative, productive or unproductive—they didn’t just pop out of the clear blue sky. You manifested them and brought them to life, consciously or unconsciously.
It’s natural for us to repeat the thoughts or the activities that bring a sudden sense of pleasure and enjoyment. I mean it’s pretty obvious why we get hooked so easily to all the bad and unproductive habits like consuming drugs, laying on the couch watching Netflix, scrolling through the social media endlessly, partying every weekend, and so on.
You do all of those activities because they instantly give you a high, leaving you wanting for more. If they weren’t pleasurable the first time you did them, you’d have no reasons to repeat them.
Ironically, the good and the productive habits like going to the gym, eating healthy, and consuming the right information aren’t nearly as lucrative as those unproductive ones which is why you are so susceptible to quitting them just after giving them a couple of shots.
If only there was a method to enjoy these activities so that we could repeat them again and again. Oh wait, there is! The one I already mentioned earlier. Yeah, that’s the only one I can think of. Setting small goals, achieving them, feeling good about it, and when craving to feel that way again, slightly bump up the goal and get started again.
You repeat it enough times until it gets embedded in your subconscious. Repetition doesn’t just have to be the activity, but anything related to that particular activity.
To extend the example of the gym, apart from just going to the gym, you can also read books about nutrition and muscle building, you can listen to podcasts of famous bodybuilders giving advice, you can watch videos of new forms and techniques to apply, you can join online and offline communities that share the same passion and enthusiasm for gymming as you do, you can follow people on Instagram and see how they transformed and so on.
Make it as wholesome and as diverse as possible so that you don’t get bored of doing just one type of repetition again and again.
Also, gymming here is just an example, you can replace that with any other damn activity that you wanna pursue. The method remains the same.
4. The quantity method
While the general saying goes like quality over quantity, I genuinely feel that the power of quantity is grossly undervalued.
It’s pretty obvious that you are bound to get a discouraging or a not-so-positive bunch of thoughts flooded in your mind every now and then.
You start gymming, your mind would tell you “It’s too hard, you won’t be able to do it, better quit now.”
You start your own business and the thought “Businesses are tough, I won’t be able to make it” would keep reverberating in your head.
Basically, you do anything new and your mind will be ready to throw a bunch of preconceived notions and beliefs that will try their best to curb your motivation and hinder your momentum.
At that point in time, you have to use your conscious mind to rewire your subconscious by hitting back with your own version of positive thoughts to balance out and even tip the scales in your favor. If you don’t, the negative self-talk will make it really hard or even impossible for you to continue the activity.
Now, also remember that just practicing positive self-talk alone won’t make things whole. It’s just the first step that’s more like a prerequisite to ensure that you don’t stop acting and call it quits right at the beginning.
There really is no substitute for hard work and persistence.
Logic and Emotion
You look at any great and successful personalities of the present or of the past, the one thing that’s surely common in them is their superior ability to make their conscious and their subconscious mind work together in harmony.
You can’t possibly go far in life if there’s a constant tussle between your subconscious and conscious mind. Your logic and your emotions need to align if you ever wanna do anything substantial.
And the method I told you just now is the way to go.
The BS about the Subconscious mind
Now that we discussed how to rewire your subconscious to work in your favor, it’s about time the BS that’s been floating around on the web regarding the subconscious mind be addressed once and for all.
Your subconscious mind isn’t a wish-granting factory that is gonna take orders from you and fulfill them for you in a snap of your fingers. No guyz, I hate to be the one to rain on your parade, but you gotta stop treating your subconscious mind as your genie.
It doesn’t matter how many times you reiterate something to it, it doesn’t matter what frequency of sounds you keep listening to again and again, it doesn’t matter what kind of affirmations you stuff your subconscious with, some things are just out of its bound.
What kind of things am I talking about here? The external things.
You aren’t gonna get a Ferrari simply by imagining yourself driving it before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up, you aren’t gonna get your dream job just by listening to some weird sounds over and over again that “claim” to get you what you want, you aren’t gonna magically attract your dream partner simply by fantasizing about him/her all day long.
The people who are selling you anything like this know what makes you tick, they know what you want to hear. I mean, who wouldn’t want a Ferrari if all you gotta do is just imagine? I get that it feels good to believe in stuff like this. But guyz, you are a grown-up now, you have a mind to think this through.
Don’t fall for these traps, they will surely make your life a living hell if you succumb to them. I don’t know about your dreams, but the people who are selling you this BS, their dreams will surely come true. And that’s what makes them do what they are doing. They aren’t interested in you, they are only interested in using you to make their own lives.
I am not saying that it’s impossible for you to actually achieve anything this way. All I am saying is that the probability is next to impossible. Even winning a lottery isn’t impossible but how many people actually win one? You see, in the outer world, there is n number of factors that are in play, bazillions of permutations and combinations possible, so please, don’t think that your mystical power of thoughts can make a dent in the grand scheme of things.
Make a dent the right way
Having said that, there’s no denying the fact that the subconscious mind can indeed have a huge impact on one’s life if leveraged the right way.
And what is the right way?
When you use the subconscious mind to focus on yourself, to improve yourself, to make yourself better, to enhance your abilities, to polish your strengths, to conquer yourself, and so on, that’s when you are actually putting your subconscious at the right place.
Use your subconscious to make yourself so worthy that you can afford a Ferrari yourself instead of begging the universe to procure it for you, use your subconscious to make yourself so competent that you bag your dream job because you were the best candidate they interviewed and not because the frequency of the thoughts changed the rhythm of the universe, use your subconscious to work on yourself to make yourself as good as you can so that you can naturally attract the best partner for you.
See the difference?
In the previous scenario, your subconscious was used to get something externally, a Ferrari, job, partner; while in this scenario you are using your subconscious to elevate where you are right now in order to get whatever you want.
On one hand, you are acting like a beggar who is just asking for things to magically fall onto the right places while on the other hand you aren’t asking for anything and are solely focused on improving yourself in whatever dimensions you feel you need a little tweaking at.
And the most interesting part is that the method is kinda the same for both of these scenarios.
If you want to visualize, visualize yourself working your ass off 7 days a week, day and night, grinding to make your dreams a reality instead of visualizing driving that Ferrari.
If you want a mantra to repeat in your head, then repeat something like “I am becoming stronger, better, smarter, more intelligent, more skilled” and so on instead of repeating “I want a Ferrari, I want a bungalow, I want a $1m” and so on.
If you want to write down a goal and paste it in your closet, then write something like, “I will do whatever it takes to make myself worthy of whatever I want in life” instead of writing “I want a corner office in my building.”
The more you direct all your focus and attention inside, instead of letting it lurk all over the place, the more efficiently your subconscious is gonna help you.