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Last Updated on April 28, 2021

3 Tips for Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind to Reach Goals

3 Tips for Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind to Reach Goals

It has been suggested that a lack of positive thinking can be detrimental to one’s chances of achieving your goals.[1] A series of negative thoughts in your subconscious will inevitably have an impact on how often you reach your goals. Because of this, reprogramming the subconscious mind that be an essential step in the goal setting process.

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.

By doing this, you not only have a better chance of reaching your goals, but you’ll come to a deeper understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, identify your priorities, and grow into a more responsible, respected individual.

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

Why Is Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind Important?

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 mean failure forever and cause them to a lead a life full of disappointment.

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 90s 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 work on reprogramming the subconscious mind and convincing 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.

Check out an interview with Dr. Collautt on this very topic here:

I’m not in favor of recommending anyone to engage in hypnosis, meditation, or anything new age. I’m in favor, however, of people realizing that they do have the power to work in harmony with their inner self from a scientific standpoint.

3 Ways to Start Reprogramming the Subconscious Mind

To reprogram your subconscious mind to reach your goals, do these following exercises for a year and pay attention to the changes that begin to manifest.

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,

and listen to your subconscious resistance.[2]

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

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 began 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 self was skeptical about my prospects of being a pro-golfer in Brazil. Most of my close friends agreed with my subconscious mind, but 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 have a much higher degree of humility. I embraced my subconscious resistance, which made all the difference.

Once you acknowledge that you don’t have everything figured out and that there is room for growth, goals feel more interesting and attainable.

2. Define Your Fears

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 reading law causes extensively made me rethink my future academic decisions.

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

This is a great exercise all around, as facing the unknown is an important exercise that is one step toward reprogramming the subconscious mind.

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

I thought harder and realized that going to another smaller school to pursue a Masters degree in Communication was a much better 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.

If you don’t know specifically what fears your subconscious is facing, they will forever plague you and keep you from pursuing and reaching your goals. Take the time to sit with what you’re afraid of; by doing this, you’ll be able to develop a plan to face it head on.

Fears can lead to procrastination if they aren’t taken care of. If you find you’re having this problem, check out Lifehack’s Fast Track Class – No More Procrastination to get yourself back on track.

3. Repeat What You Believe to Your Subconscious

You need to do affirmations or the action of affirming something.

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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 in technology.

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

It’s amazing what you accomplish when you convince yourself that you can do something multiple times a day. Affirmations work when you take the time to develop phrases that are specific to your goals and dreams.

Conclusion

Reaching your life goals are directly related to how much you believe that you can achieve them.

It is possible to start reprogramming the subconscious mind in order to achieve your goals with distinction. It will take more than a couple of hours to change your state of mind though.

Be patient and keep course, as harnessing the power of your subconscious and overcoming the limiting beliefs found there may be the difference between you achieving your goals failing in your long-term life pursuits.

More on Working With the Subconscious

Featured photo credit: Zulmaury Saavedra via unsplash.com

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Reference

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Dr. Luis C. Almeida

Dr. Almeida is a college professor and department chair who has taught over a thousand students with questions relating to technology and leadership.

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Last Updated on June 16, 2021

What to Do If You Find Yourself Making Slow Progress Towards Your Goal

What to Do If You Find Yourself Making Slow Progress Towards Your Goal

If you are making slow progress on a goal you’ve set, maybe it is the wrong goal in the first place. Perhaps factors, including your attitude or environment, do not allow you to make your desired progress. However, it is easy to blame timing and luck; if you set a goal, you and only you are accountable for achieving it (read the achieve my goals guide). The question is, how?

Start With Why

On my career path, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore and learn things practically. After a successful corporate career, I spent two years trying to establish an entrepreneurial consultancy, only to realize marginal success.

The consultancy formed based on my core values, candor, curiosity, and collaboration, but unfortunately, my customer base and projects were seemingly random and disjointed. While I understood I needed to establish a consistent and repeatable approach to content marketing to drive my clients’ results, that approach was not apparent in the brand I had built. Things got so rough that I had to resort to collecting unemployment at the onset of the pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I delivered a webinar called earning trust in uncertain times: coronavirus edition. Afterward, I received an email from a participant. He shared some thoughts on a campaign for his jewelry company and asked for feedback. When I read his email, I realized I could quickly help him to gain clarity, so I sent him a note with an offer to get his message on track. He offered to pay me for my time, and I said to myself,

“I am adding value, and I can charge for this!”

This first client needed to shift my offerings from general marketing consulting to a more diversified career that focuses on personal brand building.

It took a global pandemic to realize I needed to shift my goals to align with the change I was trying to make in the world, to a new business, coaching that applies my skills in an authentic way to me and valuable to prospects and customers.

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Start With Your Identity

James Clear discusses identity-based habits as deeply rooted in a person’s outlook toward life.[1] As a businessperson, identity-based practices are what impact business goals and your approaches towards achieving them. Identity is what you believe in, and outcomes determine what you seek to achieve. A permanent change comes from transforming the who part of behavior—the character.

Whether it is a coaching program I develop, a class I teach, or a marketing campaign I create, I always start identity. According to The Brookings Institute:[2]

Identity is a unique, inherited collection of assets, history, traits, and culture that distinguishes it internally and externally and can unite people and places.

But this logic also applies to personal goals. If losing weight is your goal, your focus is on an outcome rather than an identity-based plan, and you may lose motivation. Think, “Why am I trying to lose weight?”

  • Is it to be more healthy?
  • Did you get some lousy test results at the doctor?
  • Are you at risk of severe health problems?

It may help reframe your goal around a positive statement like, I am working to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Motivation has to come from a place of confidence and belief in yourself. You know what they say about the air mask on the airplane – put it on yourself first.

It is ok to set goals for others; for example, “I am losing weight so I can live for my kids;” however, if you don’t set goals around themes that you can own, and you don’t do it for yourself first, then the people in your life will not receive any benefit.

Think about what you achieve from your efforts — the outcomes. The reality that you are looking at right now must also allude to the fact you promise to create for your clientele, and that is not possible unless you believe in it and make it believable for others.

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Be Specific About What, How, and When

Your values need to align with other people and systems to engage in meeting your desired outcome, so make sure to put in place a process that accounts for what motivates you, that you can reliably complete until you achieve your goal.

If you are not specific and clear about how many pounds you are trying to lose and when you will lose then, then how will you know if you met your goal in the first place?

BJ FOGG, the author of Tiny Habits, suggests that you start small. In the Tiny Habits method, you always start with a tiny behavior. Some examples:

  • Floss one tooth
  • Read one sentence in a book.
  • Take one deep breath.

According to Fogg, an excellent tiny behavior has these qualities:

  • takes less than 30 seconds (even better: just 5 seconds)
  • requires no real effort
  • doesn’t create pain or destructive emotions

Make sure it’s a habit you want to have in your life. Don’t pick something that’s a “should,” choose new behaviors you wish to.

The next thing to learn is where to place the further tiny action in your life. Just like planting a seed, you want the right spot for it, a place where it fits naturally and where it can thrive.

Be flexible and adaptable. We are in a complicated and volatile world, and things change on a dime, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to change how you go about achieving your goal or even what goals you are trying to accomplish first place.

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Be aware of bias. As you set out to achieve your goals, it is critical to be aware of the bias that can sneak in and sabotage your thinking. Yes, it is essential to collaborate with others to achieve your goals, but you need to understand yourself and make sure you are not getting in your way before doing that. Here are some common forms of bias.

  • Confirmation bias: People tend to listen more often to information that confirms the beliefs they already have.
  • Selection bias: Selecting individuals, groups that do not provide diverse perspectives for you to consider.
  • Self-serving bias: People tend to give themselves credit for successes but blame failures on external causes.

What about serendipity? Many of us believe that the great turning points and opportunities in our lives happen by chance, that they’re out of our control.

Dr. Christian Busch, author of The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck, spent a decade exploring how, if acted upon, unexpected encounters can expand our random social encounters can enhance our worldview, expand our social circles, and create new professional opportunities.

Serendipity is usually about connecting dots that have previously remained elusive. Busch’s findings suggest that Good luck isn’t just chance—it can be learned and leveraged. When you are perceptive, curious, open-minded, and eager to see opportunities, others might see only negatively. If you notice something unusual but can connect that bit of information with something else, you are in the right mindset for achieving serendipity.

Motivation and a Realistic Plan

Only you can choose the goals you set. Motivation is critical in meeting your goals. But choosing goals is not enough; you need to select the right goals and define a plan that keeps you accountable for meeting your goals.

Author Gabriele Oettingen defined a methodology you can use to get better at achieving your hopes and dreams. It’s called WOOMP![3]

WOOP stands for:

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  • W = Wish
  • O = Outcome
  • O = Obstacle
  • P = Plan

WOOMP, there it is! WOOMP will force you to be hyper-realistic about your goals and be action-minded in your approach to achieving them.

Show up Consistently

In order to turn your vision into reality, you will have to regularly show up by consistently organizing, leading, and building to get to your goals.

“Some people show up when they need something. Some people show up before they need something, knowing that it will pay off later when they need something. And some people merely show up. Not needing anything, not in anticipation of needing something, but merely because they can.” — Seth Godin

Final Thoughts

While I would be happy to be your trusted advisor and coach, the answer has to start with you. My process will help you to define and document an ownable set of values and marketing frameworks that will make you more appealing to clients/ employers, especially on LinkedIn. These values will translate beyond work, as well.

More on Making Progress

Featured photo credit: Aj Alao via unsplash.com

Reference

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