You have probably heard of the analogy of the subconscious mind as being like an iceberg. For example, when you see a iceberg in the ocean, you can only see the tip. The majority of the iceberg’s mass is below the surface. Our minds are the same – our conscious mind being the tip of the iceberg, and our unconscious mind being “under the surface”.
This is a reference to the fact that our conscious minds only do a small amount of work in terms of processing, and storing the information we receive every day – the majority is done by our unconscious mind, without our knowledge.
However, this theory is beginning to extend further still. As we learn more and more about the human mind we are also starting to realize that the subconscious mind not only does more with the information that we receive, but it also actually receives more information in the first place. The iceberg effect extends to our awareness and perception.
Subconscious Awareness in Everyday Life
This might sound new, but it is probably something you have experienced yourself:
• Have you been eating in a crowded restaurant, engrossed in your own conversation, but then heard your name mentioned at a table across the room and suddenly your attention and focus had been changed to that conversation?
• Have you ever started singing or whistling a song and realized you heard it on the radio earlier that day?
• Have you ever known the answer to a question without really knowing why you knew it?
In all of these situations your subconscious mind is processing this information outside of your regular conscious awareness. Taking the first example listed above: When you hear your name mentioned you snap into that conversation. You can now hear every detail of what they are saying because your subconscious mind was processing all along.
You subconscious mind acts as a filter, it has to, we all receive too much information every minute for us to consciously process everything. It processes everything in the “background” of your mind, and only when information is important does it come into our conscious awareness.
The above examples show just a few situations where your conscious mind catches onto the unconscious processing you are doing, but have you ever stopped to think how much more information your subconscious mind processes every day….
• Other people’s conversations – you constantly filter out people’s conversations if you are not active in them, but subconsciously their words, opinions, and ideas will sink into your mind.
• Familiar signs – you can subconsciously follow familiar signs – for example, in a trance like state you can automatically follow the universal sign of a “stick man / woman” to find the toilet. Arrows, stop signs, road signs, you read them all automatically.
• Information already registered – you will never stop to read a poster or a sign you have already read, but you will process some of the information as you pass by.
Information is all around us, and being absorbed by our minds constantly, however the best example of this, and perhaps the most worrying is:
Advertising – that billboard you walk past every day without really noticing, that radio advertisement you barely hear as you walk through a shop, the 100s of promotional posters you half see in the supermarket, that television left on in the other room, and of course the hundreds of adverts you encounter while going through your daily life.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how much your your actions, behaviour, even your personality, and your beliefs are shaped by the information you subconsciously process on a daily basis?
We are a product of our environment. From an early ages we are shaped by our families. Then onto school we grow with help from our teachers, friends and wider socialising. From here to adult life there are 100s of further sources of development, including various forms of media; by the information we see, read, and hear unconsciously, and the people who we meet along the way. At the same time as we try and develop ourselves and consciously learn things we also take in information on an unconscious basis too.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing of course, it can be a fantastic! If you surround yourself with positive people, if you have energetic and successful friends, and a caring and supportive family then this will all shape your mind, and who you are. You will develop these character traits, become optimistic and positive, keep an energetic attitude, and work towards achieving success in your life.
The Downside to Subconscious Absorption
However, we are not all that lucky, and sometimes this “unconscious absorption” effect can be negative.
Lets take the example of having a negative co-worker. If you encounter them just occasionally then you can consciously block this negativity, fight against it, or ignore it. However if they work in close proximity to you then it may be harder, and a little of their negativity may make it into your mind. If you work with several depressed, or negative people, or see someone regularly then slowly your subconscious mind will absorb a little of the information they give out – essentially a little of them will rub off on you (and you on them).
Too often this is the case, we just aren’t in complete control of the information we receive constantly – this would be impossible. Sometimes we are exposed to un-beneficial, or negative sources of information – whether coming from people, or from sources of media.
You are probably aware of this, and obviously if you are reading this article then you know you need to do something about it. You need to tip the scales in your favor – to make sure that both consciously, and unconsciously you are receiving more information positive information than negative – to make sure you develop positive character traits instead of limiting ones.
Getting more positive sources of conscious information is easy – you are doing it right now in reading this article, i.e. you are expanding your mind and increasing your awareness, and building on your plan of personal development.
Making sure you develop your subconscious mind, and receive information subconsciously which is positive and supports your goals can be a little more difficult – if it was easy then everyone would be doing it and everyone would be successful, confident and happy though wouldn’t they
Giving a full guide to doing this would take a whole book, but here are some simple ways you begin to take control of the information your mind receives straight away:
• Positive Affirmations: A positive affirmation is a statement you make to yourself to affirm something to be true. For example, if you are lacking in confidence you would repeat affirmations like “I am confident, I grow more and more confident everyday, I love myself for who I am”. Gradually as you repeat these affirmations over several days and weeks they start to build in your subconscious mind and change your self perception, and beliefs.
• Hypnosis: Probably one of the mainstream ways of accessing the subconscious mind. Hypnosis bypasses your critical thinking function and implants positive suggestions directly into your subconscious mind.
• Visualization: As you visualize yourself in the future in positive situations this tricks your subconscious mind to thinking it is real, and normal, and eventually you become the person you are visualizing.
• Subliminal Messages: A milder form of hypnosis, subliminal messages again send positive messages straight into your subconscious mind. You don’t enter a trance, and they are not an instant solution, but are quite a simple way to make sure your subconscious mind receives positive information to support your life goals.
There is no single best way to take control of the information your subconscious mind receives. Everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for someone else, but as for a complete solution, well sadly there isn’t one. Any of these methods will just help to tilt the scales in your favor – to give you an advantage and make sure that you receive some positive reinforcement straight to your unconscious mind.
About the author:
Dan Bainbridge is the owner of Real Subliminal who offer over 200 subliminal albums to help you take control of your mind and make sure your subconscious receives the specific positive reinforcement you need. You can try subliminal messaging from Real Subliminal for FREE by visiting: Real Subliminal