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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 April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

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Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

Reference

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