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Published on March 9, 2020

How To Change Habits By Using Your Subconscious Mind

How To Change Habits By Using Your Subconscious Mind

A lot of people think they can control their behavior by having self-control. Are you one of them?

The truth is, you can hardly control your actions when you consider the driving force behind each action.

Before taking action or making a decision, we usually use our conscious mind. We link a lot of habits in our life at each point in time to our conscious mind. These habits are not necessarily products of our conscious initiatives though; our subconscious mind is also instrumental in making some decisions. Habits fueled by your subconscious mind are beyond what you can control.

In order to change habits to enhance your life, you need to understand the difference between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. You also need the right techniques to reprogram your mind for positive habits.

Conscious Mind vs. Subconscious Mind

Your conscious mind powers the awareness of your environment, your emotions, current thoughts, as well as the physical sensations in your body.

Your unconscious mind supplies any information that goes below the domain of your current awareness.

Your subconscious mind houses your fears, anxiety, memories, beliefs, and what’s real to you. Your subconscious mind is so powerful that it can bypass your awareness to channel the course of your life.

This is why you need to learn how to choose what you think. Your conscious and unconscious thoughts define your habits (present reality).

The Law of Attraction affirms that you can define your present realities and attract success into your life, work, finance, relationships, and health by choosing your thoughts.[1]

Our subconscious mind influences most of our decisions, choices, and thoughts. It regulates at least 95% of the choices that we make each day. For example, you stopped at a red light, avoided a fight, and blew on foods that are too hot to be eaten.

Do you recall not having to think before taking some of these actions? Those responses were automatic. Your subconscious mind records your encounter, just like your journal.[2]

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The subconscious habits you form can be positive habits or negative habits. You can have bad habits which you exhibit without thinking about them. Examples are biting your fingernails when you are nervous, transferring aggression when you are under pressure, or overeating at a buffet.

Do you remember having these negative behaviors without recognizing them? That’s the power of your subconscious mind.

Here’s the good news:

You have all that’s required to change the bad habits.

How to Change Habits with Your Subconscious Mind

It’s not that difficult to hack your subconscious mind and change your habits. You can leverage some or all of the following techniques:

1. Develop Self-Awareness

This is the first step to break free from bad habits. It’s about stepping out of your mind and examining your actions from a different perspective. While it may seem challenging as you start, you can master it by constant practice and sheer commitment.

Judson Crewer, in his Ted Talk, explains that you can change habits by becoming curious about them:

2. Choose Your Network And Environment

Who you associate with and things in your environment can add positive and negative inputs into your subconscious. Be selective when it comes to choosing folks you spend time with.

The truth is negative people and environment will always encourage bad habits. You will absorb negative messages if you find yourself in a toxic environment. Environmental factors include social media, and news feed coupled with your physical environment.

Seek only information and knowledge that can empower you, and surround yourself with positive people.

3. Visualize

You can reprogram your mind with positive images. Visualization is a technique that you spend some minutes each day to imagine scenes that feature you and your realities.

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These scenes could be:

  • A beautiful home
  • A happy family
  • A successful business
  • Fulfilling relationships
  • Financial freedom…

You can visualize whatever you want to attract in life. You can also reinforce your visualization by emitting positive emotions that align with the picture.

Emit joy, peace, gratitude, and feelings of love. Let them flow through you as you visualize those pictures in your mind.

Your subconscious mind will naturally adopt them as realities. Remember, visualization will enable your subconscious to discard, limiting the information that produces bad habits to absorb pleasing images that will be replayed in the future.[3]

Learn how to visualize in this article: How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results

4. Affirmations

You can install positivity into your subconscious mind through affirmations.

Affirm positive statement in its present tense. You can say:

“I am diligent, confident, and successful,” instead of “I will be diligent, confident, and successful.”

Since your subconscious mind only attunes to the present realities, it cannot process future conditions.

Also, utilize positive statements. For instance, don’t say:

‘I am not a failure,’

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Your subconscious mind is not programmed to process negatives.

Affirm the corresponding feelings.

You need to align your emotions with the realities of what you say. Say ‘ I am successful’ while feeling like a failure will only create conflict in your subconscious. Your subconscious will only believe what you say when you feel the corresponding emotions.

Say it again and again.

Affirmation is effective when it is repeated. It is not enough to say it twice or thrice. Recite them and integrate them into your day. As you say those affirmations to yourself, they will integrate into your routine, and you will be positioned to behave in line with what you say.

Practice and repeat.

If you want to be good at anything, you will need to be consistent by practicing it. Your mind needs to be trained through constant practice as well. Be aware of your environment and things that surround you, replace the bad habits with good ones, and repeat the process continuously.

Reprogram your subconscious mind by redefining your beliefs, values, and lifestyles. Eliminate the negative ones and reinforce positive habits through awareness, affirmations, and visualization.

Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind

Some mind therapists believe you can reprogram your subconscious mind within six weeks. However, if you have degenerating habits, it may take you 12 months to completely reprogram your mind by following the steps above.

Why does it take that long to reprogram the subconscious mind?

It takes considerable time for your subconscious to absorb information, the same way it requires enough time to override the data once it is absorbed.

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Everything starts with a thought! It could be a negative or positive thought. This thought coordinates your body to a vibration level. If your body is creating a negative vibe, you will attract negative things; and if positive, you will attract things that are relevant to your success.

To reprogram your mind for a clear direction that leads you to success, here’re the keys:

1. Goals Setting

Your subconscious mind is an organized domain that demands clarity of purpose to determine what matters to you. You cannot achieve success without a goal. A goal provides your subconscious mind with a map that defines your present realities (bad habits) and the destinations (good habits).

2. Consistency

When you repeat new behaviors, you make some incremental leaps each day in reprogramming your mind. For instance, if you discard a bad thought and replace it with a positive one, you will improve your subconscious mind, which in turn, produce good subconscious habits.

You must censor the thoughts that come to your mind by eliminating fear, doubts, and anxiety. Your subconscious mind is a field, your thought is a seed, and the fruits you produce are habits (good or bad).

Final Thought

Your subconscious mind is capable of directing your experiences in life. It influences your everyday decisions and habits including the clothes you wear, the food you eat and your reactions under pressure without you even noticing it.

As powerful as the subconscious mind is, you can still change your habits if you learn to be more aware of your actions, visualize what you want for yourself, and control your environment wisely.

 

Featured photo credit: Bookblock via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on October 22, 2020

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

2 Transformational Ways to Spark Your Creative Energy

Good things come in twos: Peanut butter and jelly, Day and night, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The same is true for what sparks our creative energy: our thoughts and actions.

Creativity is an inside job as much as it is about a conducive schedule, physical environment, and supportive behaviors. By establishing the right internal and external landscape, creativity can blossom from the abstract to the concrete and we can have fun along the way.

Sparking creativity is all about setting up the right conditions so a spark is ignited and sustained. The sparks don’t fizzle out. They are allowed to grow and ripen.

Think of a garden. Intention alone will not produce the delicious red tomato nor will the readiest seed. That seed needs attention at its nascent stage and as it grows a stalk and produces fruit. If we want to enjoy more than one fruit, we keep at it, cultivating the plant and reaping multiple harvests.

Creativity lives in each of us like seeds in the earth or encapsulated in a nut. Seeds of ideas, concepts, designs, stories, images, and even ways of communicating that surprise and delight await activation.

By sparking our creative energy, we activate these unique seeds. Like snowflakes, they are of a moment and always without a match. The smallest sparks encourage even the smallest, most dormant seeds to sprout.

The good news is that our creative energy wishes to be sparked—to be invited to play. It wants to be our regular playmate.

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1. Be Childlike in Your Thoughts, Attitudes, and Approach

Being childlike in our thoughts, attitudes, and approach is an easy way to internally have our thoughts be gracious prolific gardeners to our creative energy. If we want it to come out and play and hang around as our regular companion, then let’s return to our 5-year-old selves.

Our childhood selves are naturally curious. We still have that curiosity! All we have to do is remind ourselves to get curious. We can do that by simply observing and being with what is in front of us instead of making up a story about what won’t work or why something can’t be done. So, it’s about cultivating curiosity instead of jumping into judgment.

Move Your Inner Judge to the Sidelines

When we get curious, creativity percolates and, ultimately, takes its place in the world. To give a hand in choosing curiosity over judgment, we can move the judge that also lives inside us to the sidelines. The judge squashes our creative urges, even when they are as small as sharing a point of view. It’s that pesky voice that causes us to doubt ourselves or worry about what others will think.

The judge is also risk-averse. The judge likes things to stay the same. Change makes the judge nervous.

Creativity is all about risk and changing things up. It needs risk, even failure, to be its naturally innovative, dynamic, impactful self. The judge likes to convince us failure is something to be avoided at all costs.

To move the judge to the sidelines and let curiosity reign, we can pay attention to who we are in conversation with and who is calling the shots.

Is it the voice of fear, doubt, or anxiety (the inner-critic—the judge’s boss)? Or is it the voice of wisdom, courage, strength, and non-attachment, and of course curiosity (the inner-leader)?

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We can easily tell the difference by how each makes us feel. The inner-critic depletes and slows us down, putting roadblocks in the way. The inner-leader energizes and a natural rhythm develops.

It’s all about who we spend time with. If we wish to exercise, we will seek out our friends who go to the gym or hike. If we want to lose some weight, we will opt to eat dinner with someone who prefers a healthy spot over fast food.

After getting curious, we can honor what our curiosity prompts us to do. The spark can do its job and a fire starts to glow when commitment enters. Our childhood selves were fully committed to being creative. That level of commitment is still something we are very capable of exercising!!

Again, we need to let go of the judge. We can ask ourselves, what do we want to commit to—negativity that depletes our creative energy, depth, and output, or the understanding that our thoughts and attitudes matter and that right thoughts and attitudes are the sparks that really let our creativity come alive?

Learn to Recall Your Childhood Self

To get in touch with that unabashedly committed childhood self, recall your childhood self. If you have a picture, pull one out. Keep it around so you can remember to activate that innate creative nature that was prominent then and wants to be prominent now and always.

Soak in the essence of that being. Commit to their commitment to brave and dogged trial and error because it is yours as well. You are that person.

Remember how tenacious you were when you wanted to build that sandcastle. You kept at it as the waves came in. You built with fury or reconfigured the walls. Also, remember that there was a willingness to fail since you were as invested in the process as well as the outcome—but less with the outcome. You were willing to experiment and start again. There was vitality—the main lifeline of your creative energy—instead of a rigid attachment.

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When you notice you are in conversation with your inner-critic or being held back by it, simply acknowledge, name it, and then switch to your inner-leader by taking a few good deep belly breaths, rubbing two fingertips together, or listening to ambient sounds in the background.

Physical movements shift our negative thoughts over to the positive domain of the inner-leader. As our judge continues to sit on the sidelines, our ability to quiet the inner-critic becomes stronger. We taste freedom. A simple taste emboldens us to say no again to the judge and yes to what makes our hearts and spirits sing—our creativity.

We begin to spark creativity to the point it no longer needs to be invited to play. It becomes our regular playmate—the younger sibling or the kid next door ready to have some fun, maybe even make some mischief by shaking things up.

When we align with our inner-leader and think and act from its promptings, creativity flows up and out with ease, as it needs to!

Letting those initial sparks generate a creativity fire that keeps burning is something we can all do! That’s the inside job.

2. Listen to Your Inner Leaders of Creative Energy

If we listen, our inner-leaders will let us know just what we need to set-up and do in our physical world to maximize that gorgeous, hungry creativity we now have flowing freely in us.

The seed has been unlocked! So, now what?

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To enable our creative energy to take its form and place outside of us, there needs to be spaciousness! Spaciousness in our physical worlds impacts our internal one. It lets the voice of the inner-leader be heard. It lets creativity have room to be sparked and acted upon.

With a little discipline, we can easily create spaciousness in our daily lives—spaciousness that will spark our creativity and let it take shape.

So, no matter who you are and what conditions help your creativity thrive, check-out these easy-to-implement basic suggestions:

  • Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking.
  • Say yes to what matters and what aligns with your big values and goals.
  • Say no to all else.
  • Say no again.
  • Schedule time in your calendar as you do with other things in your life to just be, to ponder, to let ideas percolate, and to create.
  • Spend time doing the things that bring out your creative energy. It could be walking, singing, or simply looking out the window.
  • Meditate.
  • Breathe—long breaths in and long breaths out through the nose.
  • Invite your body and heart into your experiences so your mind is a part of you and not all of you.
  • Try a new thing to spark your creativity. If you spend time running, try a different route. If running feels stale, cruise around a museum, or go for a bike ride.
  • Play a game. Indoors out or outside. Think of what makes you happy that you haven’t done in a while. Is it a physical game like badminton or cards? Maybe it’s storytelling? Play is creative, and it sparks the creative energy, too.
  • Spend time in the places that bring out your creativity. What spot in your home could be your spot for entering into that mode? Do you need to get out? Maybe a park bench is the right spot, with a book of poetry, or even nothing at all.
  • Spend time in nature. Nature brings us to a place of calm and awe and through that our creativity is easily sparked.

Final Thoughts

These are all habits—habits of mind and habits of doing. Experiment with what works for you. Have fun. If you give even 50% to altering your thoughts and actions, then you will begin to spark your creativity. It takes a lot of curiosity and commitment, but it can definitely be done.

Our innate creative energy is a deep source of all that we seek—joy, connection, renewal. It deserves and looks forward to the changes you will make that will let sparks fly and ignite!

More Tips to Spark Your Creative Energy

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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