Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Ridiculous Power of the Subconscious

About two weeks ago, I started a new job. I was motivated and excited to be invited into the company I am now working for. But I was nervous. You see, it's been nearly four years since I've worked in an office outside of my home. It's scary going back to an office environment after being your own boss for so long!

What worried me most was the need to conform to someone else's idea of how my day should look. Specifically, I was worried about getting up very early each day to be to work on time. I'm generally a morning person (much to the annoyance of many of my friends), but I'm also a bit of a perfectionist. I absolutely wanted to be certain I'd never be tardy to work.

So the night before my first day on the job, being the pseudo-over-achiever that I am, I set not one, not two, but three alarm clocks. Yes, you read that right, three. Come the next morning, and the pre-ordained sacred hour of 5 a.m., my beside table rang out, sounding something akin to a nightmarish version of a carnival carousel gone awry. Nothing, nor anyone, could have slept through the cacophony  of bells, chimes, and tunes that sent me nearly soaring out of bed. Things had gone as planned. I was up and ready to go.

That night, the alarms were reset to do their job for the next day. But this time, as I drifted off to sleep, I kept reminding myself that I had to be up by 5:00 a.m. Over and over, I kept rolling the time around in my head. The next morning, I woke at 4:57 a.m., unassisted by the demonic bells I had set up next to me. The next day? Exactly the same. Aaaaand, the next.

It seemed my subconscious had taken the suggestion of my wake time seriously and was ensuring my success.  Wow!

Of course, this wasn't the first time I had done this, and I'm sure you can relate to the experience. It's nothing unique or new. Many of us wake each morning just moments before our alarms are set off. But have you ever considered the mechanism behind the phenomenon? It's your subconscious keeping you on the path you have set for yourself. It listens to your intentions; to the self-talk chatter that rolls through your head. Even when you think no one is listening, someone very important is, in fact, listening intently. You!

Your subconscious will not disappoint you. You tell it something is so, and it believes you. It works overtime, under the hood, to ensure that your reality matches  your beliefs and intentions. This is great if you tell yourself that you need to be up early in the morning; not so great if you walk around telling yourself  you're stupid, ugly, or won't amount to much in life. See how that works?

Tell yourself you're an amazing employee, and you will become one. Tell yourself you'll never meet Mr. or Ms. Right, and you most assuredly will not. Tell yourself you're trapped in your life with no way out, and you will be. Tell yourself you are successful, and it will become so. It's not rocket science, it's just the way it works.

Test it. Try it out. See what happens. It's really not some new-age mumbo jumbo; it's how we're built and part of the way we work. We easily accept that our limbs bend and move as they do. We understand that after a certain period of time, we need sleep. We even recognize the limits of our memory. Why is it so hard to accept that our subconscious can guide our lives based upon the information we feed it? I don't feel guilty for going to sleep when I'm exhausted, and I'm not going to allow myself to feel odd for taking the time to affirm various things in my life.

Affirmations can have a massive impact upon our lives. They are just simply the things we tell ourselves; food for the subconscious. What variety of food do you feed your mind? I used to reach low on the shelf and choose the cheap, easy stuff: "You'll never become much," and "Life is too hard and gives nothing back." But these days, I'm treating myself to top-shelf brands: "You can be or do anything you want," and "You are successful and capable."

I've even gone a step further. In an effort to test the muscle of my mind, and lose a few pounds in the process, my new (at least twice daily) affirmation is, "I eat small portions of healthy foods." Sounds silly to say it out loud, but I've lost about eight pounds feeling goofy saying it each day. I'm willing to sound silly to harness the power of my subconscious, are you?

What will your new affirmations be, and how will they stretch and test the power of your subconscious? I challenge you to recognize the ways  you've programmed your mind to this point, and to make an effort to positively program it from this point forward. What you speak becomes your truth.

I'm down to two alarms to get me up for work each day now. I trust my subconscious, but prefer to have added insurance for the moment. They never actually ring. I still wake about three minutes before I need to wake and turn them off before they have a chance to shout at me. I still marvel at it. But each day, it's a reminder that I truly have the power to guide and shape my life, however I see fit. And each day, you have the same.