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15 Lies Your Subconscious Brain is Secretly Telling You to Prevent Your Wildest Dreams

15 Lies Your Subconscious Brain is Secretly Telling You to Prevent Your Wildest Dreams

The subconscious mind works very much like a computer. It has programs that take raw data (life) and turn it into something you can understand (perception). Sometimes the programs conflict with each other and create glitches. These glitches waste time and energy, which prevents you from achieving your wildest dreams. Here are 15 common subconscious glitches that people today have and how to upgrade them.

1. You are special. Everyone is special in his or her own way

If you have grown up with Barney and Sesame Street, you probably have heard this one over and over and over, in song form. You are probably singing it in your head right now. This is a a HUGE upgrade from “you are not special; you are no good,” of the ’50s and ’60s. The program still creates an illusion that we must be validated by the outside world to be valuable. It has created a generation of awkward people-pleasing, not successful happy people as it had been intended.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am worthy of love and prosperity.

The intent of the original statement was to instill value of others and ourselves. This new statement creates value in an elegant way: once we truly believe we are worthy of love and prosperity, we can love others abundantly.

2. If I had chosen a different major in college, I would be making $50,000 more by now

This one often comes to us quite explicitly. It is so ingrained in our culture that a particular field holds all the money. This lie stops many people from really achieving their dreams through pure exhaustion. How many different job types can you find that make more money than you? Probably close to infinity. Making infinite calculations saps brain power. Brain power you could be using to create your dreams already.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Sit in the absolute truth of where you are; it is freeing. Want to feel even more free? Love yourself for where you are, and let go of all those calculations.

3. I can’t be awesome now. I have a responsibility to my kids

Can you see what this lie is saying? Responsibility and awesomeness are mutually exclusive here. You might not have noticed the oxymoron, but your computer-like subconscious definitely did. “Functioning members of society” have placed a higher priority to responsibility than awesomeness, and viola! Deciding to be awesome has gone by the wayside. The most successful entrepreneurs have learned how to integrate these two sentences. Fun and responsible.

Upgrade your subconscious program:  When I am happy, my children are happy and healthy.

Kids pick up on drudgery. If you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, you affect the people around you, especially children and animals.

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4. I am going to change the world (by myself)

On the surface, this program appears noble. It prevents us from our dreams by putting ourselves on an unattainable pedestal. “By myself” is a subconscious, sabotaging belief. Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs are considered great. All of them had help. If you find yourself in this thought pattern, don’t fret. You are asking a basic human question: “did I matter?”

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am important.  I am powerful.

You don’t need peer-reviewed proof that you are important and powerful. Believing first it will take the instability out of your mind so you have the brainpower to actually change the world.

5. I owe it to my family to be successful

This might sound like a repeat of number 3. The difference here is OWE. You have successfully placed yourself in an unpayable debt.  This mindset begins when someone has done you a great kindness. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough. It is a dangerous mindset.  You can never repay it. If you are feeling the money gnaw in your guts, your subconscious is telling you a version of this lie.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am thankful for wonderful people in my life.  I am sorry for any pain I have caused.

Stop trying to make up for the past. “Thank you” and “I’m sorry” are enough, when said wholeheartedly.

6. Look how far I have come despite my upbringing

Let’s look at the dynamics of this sentence: “I am great; my upbringing was horrible. This makes me even greater.” The subconscious reads this: “I can change the past with the future.” This means the present is the worst place to be, and causes a lot of zoning out. All this time zoning out can be spent actually getting work done.

Upgrade your subconscious program:  It’s good to be me.

Recognizing that your experiences are good creates a life you already love. When you love your life, you have the opportunity to move forward.

7. I sacrificed so much to visit Aunt Edna! I don’t even like her!

Resentment is a smoldering poison you have eaten, and you are hoping Aunt Edna will die from it. News flash: poison kills the person who eats it. If you have resentment in one area of your life, it is most likely disrupting your productivity elsewhere. If you have decided to visit a family member, own it. Only then will you be able to enjoy it.

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Upgrade your subconscious program: I feel that Aunt Edna is a spiteful old biddy, and she has hilarious stories.

Here, you are not sugar-coating your feelings to ignore them. You are honest about your reactions to her personality AND you are coming up with something you like about the visit. Laughter is healing, so you are benefiting from the visit as well.

8. Last time I went to the library for playtime, I said something really stupid. It was so awkward! I can’t go back there.

Guilt is a poison we eat and hope the other person feels better. Shrinking ourselves so the other appears greater is a subconscious survival tactic. And very often, the aim is achieved. The other person actually feels better. Do you feel better? No, and cutting off something amazing for you diminishes your dreams.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am thankful for the library, I am thankful for the mom; I am thankful for myself.

Thankfulness neutralizes guilt. Being thankful for every piece of the awkward situation creates a safe space for you to repair the relationship.

9. My subconscious is sabotaging me. I wish it didn’t. I want to change it.

Have you ever heard the saying “what you resist persists”? The key here is where your focus is placed. In this sentence, hatred is placed on sabotage. Focus is placed on sabotage. If you really want to achieve your wildest dreams, you must tell your subconscious what you do want by placing your focus on dreams.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am thankful for my subconscious mind.  I choose to upgrade it so it aligns with my goals.

Thanking this part of you validates that every part of you is doing the best you can with what you have. And you are choosing to make better choices every day.

10. I have so much pain in my life, I could never be great.

This blatant lie is a good reason to stay on the couch all day. If your wildest dreams include Kardashians marathons 24/7, then look no further. But if your dreams include real influence, upgrade this one ASAP. Some of the biggest influences in our history had miserable difficulties in their past. We like them because of their tragedies. The story of their lives connects us to them.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I love and accept myself.

This one may take some time to sink in. It’s a transformative healing process. One day you will be able to look back on those painful memories without still feeling the pain.

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11. My mom doesn’t like me. Nobody likes me.

We are in the midst of the biggest subconscious victim mentality to date. If you can “prove” that you were the slightest bit a victim in any situation, you receive sympathy. And believing that your mother hated you is the mother of all “victimhood”. What does this do for your dreams? It blocks every creative thought you might have given life to. Notice your friends who are vocal about how horrible their mothers are. Are they creative? Do they finish projects? You don’t have to believe this detrimental lie.

Upgrade your subconscious program: My mom loves me as much as she can.  I love myself.

We are all doing the best we can with what we have. Put yourself in her shoes. Motherhood is a tough job. It is a literal jump into the unknown. And it seems everyone is a critic. Remember that hurt people hurt people. She didn’t mean to; she just didn’t know how else to handle the situation.

12. If I am successful, everyone will hate me.

This is also the “know your roots” lie. Your current friends may feel resistant to your success because of their own insecurities. When friends and family use this phrase as an insult, they are speaking from a place of pain, not truth. This sentence is a lie because your friends and family may not feel this way at all. They might even want to cheer you on; upgrade this program and you will be able to see the encouragement that is already there.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am successful; my friends are successful.

If you truly believe your friends are successful at what they do best, you will not feel like you are leaving them in the dust. You will feel more on a journey together. Look for 3 things each of your friends is good at and remind yourself of them.

13. I’m not analytic enough to be one of the best.

All of us have talents in some kind of analysis. Analysis is breaking something into its repeatable parts with the intention to create something amazing. It’s also about defining those parts so you can make sense of them. Artists analyze the constituent shapes of an object to create a lifelike painting. Speakers analyze psychology of learning so they can give the best presentation. And all this happens in the blink of an eye. Ignoring your analytic skills discounts your ability to make sense of the world. A world that doesn’t make sense creates an excellent breeding ground for victim hood.

Upgrade your subconscious program: I invite my subconscious analysis into my conscious mind.

Once you begin to invite your analysis, you will be come extremely aware of where your gifts are. You will see how talented you really are. The world will begin to make sense.

14. I am so fat. I hate my body. I want to punish it into submission.

Yes. Your body image is holding you back from achieving your wildest dreams. For many, learning how to listen to the body is a training ground for the bigger goals you have. Listening will help you become healthy. Becoming healthy will give you the energy to start, work on, and finish your dream projects.

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Upgrade your subconscious program: I love my body and what it can do for me.

Focus on the amazing things your body has done for you, like carry a baby to term or even walk up a flight of stairs. Recognizing these simple abilities will start a conversation with your body and teach you how to listen to it.

15. I can’t do this

This lie is the most tricky! In childbirth, the moment a woman says this phrase and believes it, all signs point that she is almost done. This is true in any creative project. The moment you really feel like you cannot do this, you are almost there. That is not the time to give up!

Upgrade your subconscious program: I am doing it. And I love me.

Take a quick moment to notice all the progress you have made. Take three deep belly breaths and remember that you are doing it.

Now here is the challenge:

Trying to upgrade all of the programs at the same time could put you into a tailspin. Choose one program to upgrade today! Write a comment below telling us which one you chose and how that one will bring you into better alignment with your dreams.

Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire of Bells Design via gratisography.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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