Estimated reading time: 3 1/2 minutes
The mind is more powerful than we can comprehend. Both the conscious and unconscious are strong and want to be in control. If you don’t want to live your life at the mercy of your emotions, it is important to learn the difference between these two parts of the mind and how to utilise them for your benefit and personal growth.
The CONSCIOUS mind is our goal setter. It likes to be in charge of logical, conscious processes. It responds well to SMART (Specific. Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed). When I read the words goal, it makes me think of targets, aiming and focus. My mind conjures up images of people playing football, archery and darts. Each of these sports requires the player to focus in one direction and with one result in mind – to score! NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) teaches us that if we don’t focus our thoughts on what we want to achieve, our minds will quickly fill with unnecessary worries and we will feel overwhelmed, exhausted and confused before we’ve even started to shoot for what we want. Imagine a ship at sea with no compass, bobbing aimlessly on the water, being pushed around by the wind and waves and getting nowhere. So let’s look at the unconscious and conscious parts of the mind.
Our UNCONSCIOUS mind is our goal getter because of the part of our brain known as the reticular activating system – RAS for short.
Your RAS acts as a gateway between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. It takes instructions from your conscious mind and passes them on to your unconscious. You may have played ‘Spotto’ with your kids (start looking for yellow cars, and they seem to be everywhere). As that was what the conscious mind was focused on, the unconscious mind did what it was told and delivered what it was asked for. This is why you should be careful what you wish for. If you only focus on your needs and wants, your unconscious mind will find you more needs and wants!
Scientists have proven that the quality of our thoughts has an impact on our whole body, not just our mind. The mind and body communicate through our emotions. It is well known that depressed people tend to get sick more often than those who have a brighter outlook.
In my late twenties, I had an experience that proved this theory. I was single and a workaholic. I put career before everything else, resulting in long hours, no exercise, no downtime. I didn’t sleep well, and as a result, I became sick. I asked my mum to come and keep me company for a few days (a four-hour train trip for her).
The next day an interesting thing happened… a guy I had fancied for ages phoned and asked me out for lunch – I was so excited, I leapt out of bed, put on a bright dress, make-up, styled my hair and bounced out the door to meet him. My mum couldn’t believe the difference in me, and no longer feeling needed, she went back home. The only thing that had changed was my thoughts/outlook on life!
NLP also teaches that our perceived limits are not our actual limits.
Most of us are limited by what we believe is possible. For example, no one believed it humanly possible to run a mile in four minutes until Roger Bannister did it. Doctors told him his lungs would explode, and his heart wouldn’t cope, but he didn’t think that was true. After he had proved that it was possible, many others followed within weeks, and they ALL achieved that same goal.
How many of us had a teacher at school tell us that we were hopeless on a subject only to discover later in life that the teacher was wrong – yet we believed them.
Do you believe that you can have the life you want? If not, why not? Are your thoughts and perceptions holding you back?
Start now to adopt empowering thoughts, follow those with deliberate and consistent action and watch your world change. You will discover that mind over matter does matter.