Hi, my name’s Sam Dyer and welcome to the Life More Powerful podcast. In this episode, I’m going to talk to you about your unconscious mind and how it works for or against you.
Have you ever driven somewhere and then not really been able to remember how you got there? I know I have. So many times we do things on auto-pilot. As you listen to me now, become aware of what you can hear… the sound of my voice, perhaps some road-noise, someone else talking, birds singing… whatever it might be. By the way, did you remember to breathe?
We take in a huge amount of information around us. Encyclopedia Britannica states that we receive something in the region of 11million bits of information a second. In the Neuro-Linguistic Programming field, I’ve heard of figures well in advance of that. Whatever the actual figure, it’s one hell of a lot. Much more than I or anyone else can consciously comprehend. And that’s just the point – it stands to reason, doesn’t it, that a very great deal of that information has to be dealt with by the unconscious mind.
It’s worth me explaining here that the conscious mind deals with what we are acutely aware of. For example: logic, voluntary movements, what we’re aware of in the ‘now’ and so on. The unconscious mind deals with everything else. By the way, are you still consciously aware of your breathing? Nah, me neither. Back to the unconscious mind it goes.
Our conscious mind can deal with 7 plus/minus 2 chunks of information. A chunk of information is something like watching tv or driving. Although there are many bits of information within those, when placed together, we term it as a chunk. Whether we’re at five, six, seven, eight or nine, really depends a great deal on our state. That’s both our physiological state and our psychological state – or state of mind, you might prefer to say.
If you’ve not had enough sleep, haven’t eaten well or have a cold, you may be on a minus two day. If you have slept well and are in good shape, you’ll likely be on a plus two day.
Let me give you an example. I can remember being at home once. The TV was on (that’s one), the younger two children were squabbling (that’s two), the radio in the kitchen was on (that’s three), I was on a phone call (that’s four), my wife asked me something (that’s five) and then the doorbell rang (that’s six). At that point, something had to give, so I grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. Instant relief. That’s what overloading your conscious mind feels like. I’m sure you can relate!
According to PhD-holder Eva M. Krockow’s article in Psychology Today, we make somewhere in the region of 35,000 decision a day. That’s around 2,000 every hour that we’re awake. The exact figure may be up for debate and yet the point is that it’s way way way more than our conscious can deal with. Even something as mundane as which sock to put on first is decided by your unconscious. That’s got to be a good thing, hasn’t it? Imagine consciously deciding on everything! What about things like deciding whether to make that extra phone call or spend some more time on something? Is your unconscious always on your side?
Your unconscious mind’s prime directive is to keep you alive. Put simply, that’s a case of keeping you breathing, fed and watered pretty much. It’s certainly not about doing well or succeeding or reaching your highest potential. Now, I’m going to make an educated guess here and say that because you’re listening to my podcast, you’re not someone who is just looking to count the paydays down until retirement. I didn’t think so! Are you looking to reach your highest potential? Me too!
To enable you to do that, you need to reprogramme your mind so that your unconscious makes better decisions for you. The good news is that there are all sorts of ways that you can do this. In today’s episode, I’m just going to scratch the surface and give you a few big-picture headlines to work with.
- Exercise regularly
- Find your purpose
- Create specific goals
- Get coaching
There are, of course, more. I’d recommend you read my book 9 Habits for a Happy and Productive Day. It’s available directly from my website samdyer.co.uk.
As you may know, I’m a certified firewalk instructor. At my Life More Powerful events, we run activities such as firewalks, glasswalks, arrow snapping, board breaking and a whole load of other amazing empowerment activities. They’re right up there as some of the most effective ways of transitioning to a more empowered life. It always comes down to two things which hold us back: fear or a lack of confidence… or a combination of the two. I love Zig Ziglar’s and Tolly Burkan’s description of fear. It’s False Evidence Appearing Real. If you can firewalk, what else can you do?
The more you surround yourself by good people, resourceful thoughts and healthy habits, the better equipped you are to make autopilot decisions that take you where you want to go.
Here’s your challenge: do something about it today. What are your life habits? In other words, what are the strategies you run on a daily basis? How can you make them even better? What will you get and how will you be then?
Thank you for listening. My name’s Sam Dyer and you’ve been listening to a Life More Powerful podcast. Please share with your friends and don’t forget to subscribe.