Advertising

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

Advertising
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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

10 Books That Bill Gates Wants You to Read to Become as Successful as Him 33 Hilarious Struggling Moments Only Daddys And Mommys Would Understand 15 Lies Your Subconscious Brain is Secretly Telling You to Prevent Your Wildest Dreams

Trending in Productivity

1 Are You Addicted to Productivity? 2 Is Avoiding Difficult Tasks And Doing Easy Tasks First Less Productive? 3 How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data) 4 10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021 5 13 Steps to Build a Positive Habit Stacking Routine

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Are You Addicted to Productivity?

Advertising
Are You Addicted to Productivity?

“It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

“Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

“The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

This is my mantra:

I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

Addiction to Productivity is Real

Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

Advertising

“A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

“It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

“A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

“There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

“For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

Advertising

Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

  • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
  • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
  • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
  • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
  • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
  • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
  • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

1. Set Limits

Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

2. Create a Not-to-Do List

Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

3. Be Vulnerable

By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

Advertising

4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

5. Don’t Be a Copycat

Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

6. Say Yes to Less

Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

“In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

“That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

Advertising

  • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
  • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
  • Establish realistic goals.
  • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
  • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
  • Hold yourself accountable.
  • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
  • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

8. Simplify

Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

9. Learn How to Relax

“Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

“But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

“And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

  • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
  • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
  • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
  • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
  • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
  • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
  • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
  • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
  • Visit a massage therapist.
  • Just breathe.

“Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

Read Next