Whether or not you realize it — your unconscious mind is behind the scenes, affecting everything you do. Your unconscious can give you that powerful confidence and self-determination on days when it’s important to perform, and it can cause you to self-sabotage on those days, too.
Your unconscious mind determines everything you notice in your day to day life.
Like how, after you buy a new car, you start noticing the same make and model everywhere on the road.
You can even train your unconscious to make you notice the top opportunities to make money — ones that everyone else is blind to. But the ‘programming’ of the unconscious also causes some people to only ever look at the glass as “half empty”… leading to a miserable life.
Your unconscious mind is either helping you, or hurting you.
Let’s discover 3 secrets you can use starting today — to train your unconscious mind to automatically guide you toward your greatest goals and dreams — so that instead of going against the grain, you almost feel pulled toward achieving them.
Ready to begin?
Let’s start with definitions so we’re all on the same page:
What IS Your Unconscious?
Imagine a big beach ball with a small coin — say a dime — sitting on top of it. The beach ball contains the totality of your awareness. It represents your unconscious mind.
It contains everything you’ve ever seen or done, every place you’ve ever been, every person you’ve ever met, every book you’ve ever read, and every movie you’ve ever seen.
It’s everything that you know, everything you’ve learned, and everything you believe to be true, as well as all your aspirations and hopes, all the filters you use to make judgements, and every dream you’ve ever had.
Your unconscious mind contains everything you both have and haven’t noticed consciously — plus more.
It’s got everything.
And of course, you don’t have conscious access to anything in your unconscious mind. But there’s stuff in there that can help you succeed.
And Then, We Have The Dime.
The dime is extremely tiny by comparison. The dime is your conscious mind. It’s everything you are currently aware of and have access to.
Typically, you can only be aware of about 7 bits of information at any given time. (That’s why phone numbers contain 7 digits.) But your unconscious mind — the beach ball — knows a LOT more than the dime does.
That’s why we want to use it to our advantage.
Now if you wish to argue any of this or call it pseudoscience…
Here’s An Important Point:
Save your breath. You are correct.
There is no physical “unconscious” part of the brain that you can cut out of someone in, say, an autopsy. This idea of the unconscious mind is only an incredibly useful model.
A model which happens to be one of the most powerful ways to gain a remarkable advantage in achieving any goal you have in life.
In other words, it works.
And, as the renowned linguist Dr. John Grinder used to say:
“The test of a model is its usefulness.”
So the word ‘unconscious’ simply refers to the firing of nerves that “you” do not have access to… but are happening anyway.
Try to stop your heartbeat right now just by thinking about it.
Can’t do it, can you?
Because the parts of your brain that are sending signals telling your heart to keep beating — that’s an unconscious process.
You also don’t have access to the process by which your eyes code waves of light into nerve impulses, and then send them to the brain — which then converts those impulses into the images you see before you.
But those processes are there. They’re happening. And since you’re not conscious of them, they’re unconscious.
Here’s the next part:
Imagine that between the dime and the beach ball is a coaster. It’s just like a coaster that you’d put your coffee cup on so you don’t stain or damage the coffee table.
So the dime sits on the coaster, which rests on the beach ball.
The Coaster Is What We Call
The Critical Faculty.
The Critical Faculty functions like a firewall or an ad blocker on your computer. It prevents — or permits — information to enter the unconscious mind and cause a particular response.
It’s the bouncer to the nightclub, if you will. The big muscular dude who decides who gets in and who doesn’t.
Your Critical Faculty generally does a pretty good job too. It stops suggestions that you wouldn’t want from getting in.
Like if someone were to tell you, “Go jump in the lake naked!” in freezing weather… your Critical Faculty would say, “No. That’s a stupid suggestion.”
The Critical Faculty is also connected to our ability to think critically. To evaluate concepts, and make situations and determinations based on our analysis.
But — your Critical Faculty can mess up, too:
Sometimes what the Critical Faculty lets into your unconscious is determined by childhood trauma rather than reality…
Or it labels the dream life you want most as “unrealistic” — not because it’s really unrealistic, but simply because it’s not the life you grew up with or are familiar with. So it doesn’t have a reference for anything else. And since something you want might feel foreign, your Critical Faculty won’t let you believe that life is possible for you.
Whenever you know logically that opportunity is out there, but can’t get yourself to believe it in your gut and act on it — then your Critical Faculty is probably blocking you from believing it in some way.
Our Critical Faculties can block us from ideas that would actually be healthy and beneficial for us.
That’s why some people turn to hypnosis to…
When someone goes into what hypnotists call a trance, the critical faculty remains present, but becomes more permeable or porous. That’s how it opens up, permitting greater access to the unconscious — and its vast treasure trove of resources.
Once the critical faculty is bypassed, suggestions can get in and affect the unconscious mind.
But don’t worry - no one can be hypnotized against their will.
That only happens in movies.
If you’re getting hypnotized and a suggestion is perceived as dangerous or immoral by your mind, the critical faculty will lock down and either prevent the person from complying, or simply end the hypnotic trance and awaken the subject.
Aside from formal hypnosis, your critical faculty lets down its guard and accepts suggestions to your unconscious mind in a few other ways:
Your Critical Faculty trusts YOUR voice — internal and external — more than other peoples’ voices.
That’s why the way you talk to yourself matters a LOT.
Most of the words you tell yourself are influencing your unconscious mind directly, more than what other people tell you (with the exception of people you particularly admire or view as an authority).
We’ll get into how to leverage this to make success easier for yourself in a moment.
Your Critical Faculty tends to lower its guard when you are absorbed in a story.
As you begin to get caught up in someone’s story and start to envision what the person is saying… you’re creating an internal representation in your mind of what’s happening in the story.
And in order to go inside and build these aspects of the story, you’re slipping into a state that allows suggestions to be accepted easier by the unconscious. Why? Because it’s all in the context of a story.
That’s why stories and movies can have such a profound impact on us, and actually influence what we say and do in real life — even though they can be total fiction.
Any focused attention — including a shock, confusion, or novel experience — can bypass the Critical Faculty.
Any time your attention is intensely focused on something, your critical faculty will devote all its resources to that focus. It will be in a state where it’s hyper-aligned with taking in information.
And when those 7 bits of information are fully occupying your conscious mind, that’s when a suggestion can be slipped into the unconscious while your Critical Faculty is too busy to notice.
When you are in a state of curiosity, you’re more likely to bypass the critical faculty too. This also goes for when you’re in a state of shock, awe, or confusion.
So now that we know how to bypass the Critical Faculty, let’s talk about what you can bypass it with.
What kind of suggestions do you want to “feed” your unconscious mind?
Here are three rules to keep in mind — to help you program your unconscious for success:
1. Your Unconscious Has
No Concept Of The Negative
Your unconscious mind does not “think” in the same way your conscious mind does. It does not have a “stream of consciousness” and doesn’t even fully form thoughts the way your conscious mind does.
It thinks in pictures and symbols more than words, and it totally ignores rules of grammar. That’s why you experience so many symbols in your dreams.
The way the unconscious works is mechanical — accepting the simple commands you feed it, with no regard to whether they’re “right” or “wrong”. Or even whether they’ll actually help you.
And most importantly — your unconscious mind has no concept of the word “NOT”.
Small children, for example, have a less-developed Critical Faculty than adults. So anything you tell them goes right into their unconscious mind.
And what happens if you’re babysitting small children and tell them, “Don’t run”?
Yep. They’ll start running.
It’s not that they disobeyed you. It’s that their unconscious does not have a concept of the negative.
So by saying “Don’t run,” you simply put their focus on the word “run”. Because the idea of “not” doesn’t exist to their unconscious minds.
As an adult, your Critical Faculty is more developed than theirs — but your unconscious mind works the same way:
If you tell yourself “I need to stop smoking”, your unconscious mind only hears “NEED” and “SMOKING.”
If you tell yourself “I can NOT keep working this job.” Your unconscious mind hears “Keep working this job.”
If you repeat to yourself “I will not eat junk food,” your unconscious mind hears “Eat junk food.”
So instead, put the focus in your affirmations on the positive trait you want to have appear in your life instead of the negative trait you want gone:
“I breathe only fresh air and chew nicotine gum when I’m stressed.”
“I’m ready to start my dream job today.”
“I eat delicious fruits and vegetables every day.”
Feed your unconscious with affirmations phrased in the positive, and you’ll begin to notice a difference.
2. Your Unconscious Mind
Wants To Solve Problems
But the problem is — most people are feeding their unconscious minds problems that only cause … well, more problems.
For example, you should never ask yourself a “why” question.
Like if you constantly ask yourself, “Why am I so stupid?” Then your unconscious mind will go straight to work to answer that question you posed, and it will come up with all kinds of reasons why you are so stupid. Which will only reinforce the notion that you are stupid. (Which, you are probably not.)
Same goes for, “Why can’t I make more than X dollars per year?”
“Why can’t I ever do this right?”
“Why can I never seem to get a date?”
“Why do I always fail?”
“Why is this so hard?”
Your unconscious mind will find answers to ALL of those questions, and they’re not going to help you. It’s only making the problem worse.
“Why” questions result in rumination — you think around and around in circles — but it doesn’t do anything to move you forward in life.
But our brains WANT to solve problems. If we ask it questions, it will come up with answers.
So here are the right kinds of questions to ask:
“WHAT” or “HOW” questions are FAR more powerful.
“What can I do to get smarter?”
“How can I make more than $X per year?”
“What can I do to go on a date with someone I really dig?”
“How can I begin to succeed at this?”
“How can I make this easier?”
Get your unconscious mind to start working on those, and watch things change.
3. Your Unconscious Mind
Only Cares About The Present
Your unconscious mind has no concept of next week, next month, or next year. It experiences time in a constant flow of the present moment. And that’s all there is.
So to make your affirmations and suggestions more powerful, you want to put them in the present tense:
“How can I get smarter TODAY?”
In other words, I’m not just going to get smarter eventually. I’m doing something TODAY to actually make myself smarter.
And to make it even more powerful, replace “can” with “will”:
“How will I get smarter today — and have an absolute blast doing it?”
(Because why not have a blast while you’re doing it too, instead of it being drudgery?)
“What can I do right now to move myself closer to having a higher income?”
“What’s the best state for me to be in today to have an attitude that brings me success?”
“How will I make amazing changes in my life today and have a great life?”
Forming the habit of asking yourself questions like these is powerful. In fact, I challenge you to formulate just 3 - 5 powerful questions to ask your unconscious every day.
Write them down, and put them where you’ll see them — like your bathroom mirror. You can even laminate them so they don’t get all nasty from the shower steam.
Then, when you brush your teeth in the morning, you’ll have just enough time to read through them and answer them in your own mind.
You might answer your questions the same way every day. It doesn’t matter.
But by doing this repeatedly you are tuning the power of your unconscious mind to move you towards the outcome that you want.
And when you do that, you’re taking full control of your life.