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3 Ways to Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind to Reach Your Goals

3 Ways to Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind to Reach Your Goals

It has been suggested that a lack of positive thinking can be detrimental to one’s chances to achieve their goals.[1] A series of negative thoughts in your subconscious can de facto have an impact on how you reach your goals.

Reprogramming the subconscious mind isn’t as difficult as it seems. It won’t be done overnight but it can be accomplished if you are serious about engaging in a series of well known exercises.

It is in an employee’s best interest to reprogram their subconscious in order to reach their goals because by doing that, they have a higher chance to be respected by their peers and promoted to a high position within the organization.

In this article, I will share with you three ways to reprogram your subconscious mind to reach your goals in plain English.

Why Should You Reprogram Your Subconscious?

The simple answer is because people are often afraid of not succeeding. Many times, the fear of failure may cause some to believe that failure in their lives will then be eminent leaving them little control in the process.

I have to admit that I suffered from this when I came to the United States as an ESL student back in 1998. When I came to the United States in the late 90’s at age 24, I was terrified about the prospects of having to learn the English language in six months and having to attend college in a second language right after and graduate within four years.

Clearly, I had to reprogram my conscious mind and convince myself to believe that engaging in such a daunting endeavor was possible, rewarding, and within my reach.

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It has been said that our conscious mind represents only 3% of our brain. The other 97% belongs to the subconscious mind. According to Dr. Collautt, our subconscious mind is one million times more powerful than our conscious mind which leads me to believe that working on our subconscious mind is worthwhile.

I’m not in favor of recommending anyone to engage in hypnosis, meditation or anything new age. I’m in favor, however, for people to realize that they do have the power to work in harmony with their inner self from a scientific standpoint which is what I will be presenting next in this article.

3 Ways to Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind

To reprogram your subconscious mind to reach your goals, do these following exercises for a period of a year and pay attention to what you feel.

The following exercises are exactly what I did to conquer my fears of failure in academics which lead me to complete a PhD in Instructional Systems from a big ten school in 2008.

1. Be Humble

Don’t assume you know everything

. Listen to your subconscious resistance.[2]

When I was young, I wasn’t very humble. I assumed that I knew everything. I definitely didn’t listen to my subconscious which led me to having to leave a country to find my place under the sun.

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I grew up playing golf in a country with no history in the sport. I was great at it which made it very difficult to be humble. I thought I knew everything about life because I knew the intricacies of golf but as early as 16 years old, my subconscious used to tell me, “Yes, you are a great golfer but Brazil doesn’t have a healthy professional golf league. Shouldn’t you be studying instead of playing golf?”

Long story short, my subconscious was right. I spent way too long dreaming of being something unattainable because I “knew” what was best for me despite the fact that my inner person was skeptical about my prospects of being a pro-golfer in Brazil. By the way, most of my close friends agreed with my subconscious mind. I resisted and paid the price.

When I came to Mississippi in 1998, I decided to do something different. I used to sit down for one hour or so alone a day and listen to what my subconscious was saying which led me to be humble and have a much higher degree of humility. I embraced my subconscious resistance and made all the difference.

Lesson learned. I have been listening to my subconscious ever since.

2. Listen to Your Fears and Define What They Are

It is okay to listen to your fears and define what these fears are.

When I was a student of Sports Management at Slippery Rock University, I wanted to be a sports agent. But in order to be a great sports agent, people need to go to law school. I wanted to go to law school but the prospects of scoring high on the LSAT and read law causes extensively made me re-think my future academic decisions back then.

I was afraid of failure. I remember going to the Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh, PA for a day with a notebook in order to face my fears and defining what these fears really were.

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What a great exercise! Facing the unknown is an important exercise that should help to reprogram your subconscious.

I listened to my fears and defined what they were in order to help me to maneuver in life. I decided not to go to Duquesne Law School because of my fear of not speaking the English language well enough and due to cost.

I thought harder and realized that going to another smaller school to pursue a masters degree in Communication was a much better idea. In fact, it was a great idea. Six years later, I completed a PHD Summa Cum Laude. I was able to reprogram my subconscious in order to pursue what was the most logical.

3. Repeat What You Believe to Your Subconscious

Yes, you heard that right. You need to do affirmations or the action of affirming something — “You can do it!.”

I convinced myself that I was going to be a college professor throughout my bachelors degree experience. At Penn State University, where I completed my doctorate, I was studying among the very best students in the world interested in technology in education.

I repeatedly told myself that I was a top student in instructional systems in the United States and visualized my career being a college professor in a teaching university.

Ladies and gentleman, repeating my beliefs through affirmations in graduate school have proven right and today, I’m a mid career college professor in a teaching university on my way to senior status.

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It’s amazing what you accomplish when you convince yourself that you can do something multiple times a day. Affirmations work. It worked out for me and it will work out for you as well.

Conclusion

Negative thoughts won’t take you anywhere. Reaching your life goals are directly related to how much you believe that you can achieve them along with God’s grace.

It is possible to reprogram your brain in order to achieve your goals with distinction. It will take more than a couple of hours though.

Be patient and keep course. Engaging in subconscious training may be the difference between you achieving your goals to failing in your life pursuits.

Be humble, listen to your fears and repeatedly tell yourself that you can do it. Take advantage of affirmations! The power of the mind is amazing. You won’t regret.

Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

Reference

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Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Department Chair

What Leaders Can Learn from Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles 6 Distinct Characteristics of an Authentic Leadership 3 Ways to Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind to Reach Your Goals

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Last Updated on October 15, 2020

Take Back Control of your Life with Positive Emotions

Take Back Control of your Life with Positive Emotions

Let’s face it, 2020 has not been the year many of us expected or hoped for. For many, it’s been one of the most difficult years of their lives. With uncertainty, loneliness, fear, anger, and stress at an all-time high, you’ve likely experienced your fair share of bad days, tough times, and negative emotions.

A survey done by the CDC showed the significant effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on mental health: 40% of adults reported struggling with mental health including anxiety/depressive symptoms, trauma/stressor-related disorders, increased substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.[1]

If you’re feeling scared, lonely, sad, or down, you are not the only one. There are many things out of your control – the pandemic, natural disasters, heated politics, and unemployment, to name a few. You are not alone, but you alone can control your emotions.

With the right strategies and an understanding of why positivity is so critical, each day can be better. In the words of Viktor Frankl,

“Everything can be taken from us but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.

If you have not read Man’s Search for Meaning, I highly recommend you read it now.

You have the power to control what’s going on inside you. I’m not suggesting you ignore what’s going on in the world and look for only sunshine and rainbows. I’m also not suggesting ‘good vibes only’ and ignoring the current state of affairs. That is toxic positivity.

I am suggesting that instead of holding tight and waiting for 2020 to end (will things really be different on January 1st anyway?), you choose to make the most of every day you are given.

How? By actively and intentionally bringing positive emotions into each day.

What Really Are Emotions?

Emotions, both positive and negative, are a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

While very complex in nature, they are usually feelings that happen within us as a result of something we experience internally or externally. You read something in the news and feel sad, angry, or fearful. You see someone you love and feel joy or happiness. You remember a time that someone showed you generosity or kindness and feel grateful.

Emotions play a critical role in our lives. Even negative emotions have a role and benefit. However, too many negative emotions can have a dramatic impact on our life, health, and well-being so it is critical (especially now) to find ways to keep our emotions in balance.

The Losada ratio, also known as the critical positivity ratio, is a 3:1 rate of positive to negative emotions. You may have heard of a similar 5:1 ratio for successful and happy relationships. The Gottman Institute states,[2]

“for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions.”

Regardless of 1:3 or 1:5, the sentiment is the same. In order for us to experience happy, positive lives and relationships and feel more in control, we must have a greater ratio of positive emotions to negative ones.

The Benefits of Positive Emotions

“Positivity transforms us for the better.” — Barbara Fredrickson.

Positive emotions are associated with advantageous physical and psychological health outcomes.[3] These include enhancing our immune system, physical health, longevity, mental health, resilience, coping skills, and overall well-being.

Think about a time you felt a positive emotion such as joy or love. What happened? Perhaps a smile came across your face. Maybe you felt a shift in your energy. Perhaps you felt a sense of peace or a rush of excitement. Regardless of the scenario, it likely felt good. And those feelings likely had positive effects on your productivity, energy, and momentum.

There’s a good reason for these outcomes and their subsequent domino effects. It’s called the Broaden-and-Build Theory.[4]. The key premise is that:

“The benefits of positive emotions don’t stop after a few minutes of good feelings subside. In fact, the biggest benefit that positive emotions provide is an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life.”

YOU Can Flip the Switch

Take a moment to consider this: If emotions happen as a reaction to something, then you can feel positive emotions any time you want by simply creating the right stimulus to generate the feeling you are looking for.

In Jill Boyle’s book Stroke of Insight, she shares the 90-second rule:

“When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”

You have the power to change the emotional loop that you are experiencing.

Zach Bush, triple board-certified MD states,

“Neurochemically, an emotion lasts seven seconds. If you are going to stay sad, rejected, or otherwise emotionally caught up, we have to keep manufacturing that emotion by telling ourselves the story over and over again. If we take two minutes to break that emotional storytelling we can be free.”

Positive emotions aren’t just something you have to wait around for. They aren’t only created by positive events and moments in our lives. They’re something you can generate.

You have the opportunity every single day to evoke these emotions. Here’s how.

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How to Generate Positive Emotions

Barbara Fredrickson, the creator of the Broaden-and-Build theory, is a leader in researching emotions and positive psychology. In her work, she identified the ‘big 10 positive emotions”. We can use these as a basis for how to evoke positive emotions for yourself on a daily basis.

    As you read these, challenge yourself to think about positive emotions in a different way. It’s not just about being ‘happy’. Take some time to consider these emotions on a deeper level.

    Love

    Maslow defines love as a basic human need. Close intimate bonds make us feel safer, happier, and more connected.

    Evoke Love: One of the simplest ways to conjure up feelings of love is to hug your kid, spouse or pet. Hugging boosts your oxytocin levels (the love hormone) and increases serotonin (elevates mood and creates happiness). Find someone – or something – to hug for at least 30 seconds – it’s quick and easy and will put you in a more positive mood.

    Joy

    Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Think about a time when you saw a wide-eyed child chasing bubbles or two puppies gleefully playing. You can experience joy at any moment by simply remembering a time when you felt a great sense of joy.

    Evoke Joy: Close your eyes and think of a time when you felt joy. Put yourself back in that moment. Take a breath, let it sink in, and feel the joy from deep within you. Notice what you see, hear, and feel. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is not, so if you picture something that brings you joy, your mind will feel that is real and you will experience all of the great benefits that come with those positive emotions.

    Gratitude.

    “As we invite the energy of gratitude into our daily lives we become alchemists…turning dark into light, scarcity into abundance, and fear into love.” – Deepak Chopra.

    Gratitude is alchemy. Being intentionally and overtly grateful is one of the simplest and most powerful things you can do to live a full and happy life. There’s a reason why people say ‘Count your blessings’.[5]

    Evoke Gratitude: You can always find something to be grateful for. Right now, identify 3 things you feel thankful for. Better yet, start a daily gratitude practice: 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

    Serenity

    Serenity is the state or quality of being serene, calm or tranquil. Read those words again slowly and feel them; you may already feel more at ease.

    Evoke Serenity: You can create this feeling through meditation, a walk-in nature, music, grounding, breathwork, and mindfulness. Even looking at serene images, like a peaceful lake or snow falling can instantly take your mind to a place of calm.

      Interest

      We are here to grow, learn, and expand, so it’s no wonder that interest creates a feeling of positivity. It uses your cognitive capacity, creates a sense of expansion, and opens your mind. We spend so much time doing the things we have to do that we often don’t spend enough doing the thing we are interested in doing.

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      Evoke Interest: Identify one thing today that makes you feel curious, something that intrigues you or creates a sense of wonder. Set aside time to explore this interest further. Enroll in an online course, watch a TED talk, or have a cup of coffee and learn from someone you admire.

      Hope

      Hope is believing that something is possible. It keep your mind open to opportunities or options instead of closing them off. I recently had a client diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. She felt defeated, stuck and hopeless. However, she heard a doctor speak about his methodologies for addressing autoimmune issues and felt hope immediately. That hope spurred her to join a health coaching program and gave rise to a new belief that healing was possible.

      Evoke Hope: Hope is ultimately about having a sliver of belief that things can be different. Shane Lopez, author of Making Hope Happen, says that while some people are more wired for hope, it can be learned. Hopeful people share these four beliefs. [6] You can, too.

      1. The future will be better than the present.
      2. I have the power to make it so.
      3. There are many paths to my goals.
      4. None of them are free of obstacles.

        Pride

        Just today, I called a friend to ask for her advice. She has had a difficult few months with significant medical challenges. As we talked and she provided some amazing ideas, I commented how thankful I was for her insight and support. Her energy immediately shifted. Why? Because she felt proud. She had contributed to something meaningful to me and that felt good to her.

        Think of something you feel proud of. What happens in your body? Maybe your head lifts, your chest rises, you feel stronger and more capable?

        Evoke Pride: Harness the power of pride by acknowledging your wins and accomplishments. Every day for the next 30 days, list three things that you achieved that day or make you feel proud. This can be as simple as making your bed or as significant as a promotion at work.

        Amusement

        Amusement is when we find something entertaining or funny. We all know that laughing makes us feel good. In fact, it’s been proven that laughter has a multitude of significant health benefits, including soothing tension, relieving pain, and improving your mood.[7]

        Evoke Amusement: Find things that make you laugh or smile. Read a funny book, play with your kids, watch a silly movie, or look up news bloopers or ‘try not to laugh’ videos on YouTube.

        Inspiration

        Someone once told me that the word inspired comes from the Latin word ‘in spirit’ which I’ve always really loved the notion of. Turns out that’s not entirely true. It comes from the Latin root inspirare which means ‘to breathe or blow into.’ [9] If you think of inspiration, it is literally breathing life into you.

        Evoke Inspiration: Think of something or someone you feel motivated or uplifted by. Read a book or article by someone who has a knack for lighting your fire. Watch a TED talk on a topic you feel moved by.

        Awe

        When was the last time you felt awe? Awe is what you feel when you are deeply amazed by something. It’s a sense of wonder you can have anywhere if you are intentionally looking. I find awe in the magnitude and beauty of nature, the wisdom of a child, and the talents of human beings.

        Evoke Awe: Nature is one of the greatest gifts of awe. Head out to your local forest, beach, park, mountain, or backyard and take in the beauty of nature – from little bugs to the grandest mountains, the enormity of the sea, to the wonder of the stars and universe.

        The Pleasant Life, The Good Life, and the Meaningful Life

        Life’s not just all about positive emotions. Positive psychology is the scientific study of the ‘good life’, or the positive aspects of the human experience that make life worth living.[8]

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        In his TED talk, Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology talks about “three different happy lives”.

        The pleasant life is about having as many pleasures and positive emotions as you can.

        The good life is about being in flow – knowing what your highest strengths are and using those as much as you can.

        The meaningful life is knowing your highest strengths and using them in the service of something larger than yourself.

        If you want to learn more about this, find out in Martin’s TED Talk:

        So if you want to truly flourish and feel long-lasting satisfaction and fulfillment, don’t focus solely on emotions and a more pleasurable life. Focus also on having a more engaged and meaningful life through fulfilling your purpose and your contribution to the world.

        Final Thoughts

        Now more than ever, we could all use a little more James Brown’s “I Feel Good” energy. Even when the world feels dark and heavy, it’s important to know that it’s okay to feel good. Many people feel bad or guilty for feeling upbeat when you or others are suffering; but what good does it do yourself and those around you if you stay stuck in this state of mind?

        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. – Haruki Murakami

        You have permission, in fact, you have a responsibility, to feel good, do good and be the best version of yourself. Great changes in history never occurred through negativity and resignation, but through hope and optimism that things could be different. And it’s times like these it becomes even more critical that we find that positivity, tap into our collective strength, resilience, and optimism and power through.

        Every day, you have the choice and the opportunity to identify which of these positive emotions you will embrace. Then, stand back and notice the ripple effect this has on you and those around you – it is truly a gift.

        “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” — MLK Jr

        More About Positive Thinking

        Featured photo credit: Antonino Visalli via unsplash.com

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