Is your subconscious on your side?

Has your subconscious got your best interests at heart? Has it got your back and is it on your side? The simple answer is yes. It absolutely is, but what your subconscious deems to be the right for you, may in fact be the complete opposite! Let me explain…

What is our subconscious?

Our subconscious is an incredibly important and powerful part of ourselves. It soaks up experiences and uses this information to help us understand how we should try and navigate our life. It helps form our moral compass and the way we interpret the world around us. It is, to an extent, our own personal belief system – what are we good at, what do we not agree with, what we ‘need’ in life, etc. 

Over the course of our lifetime, we are influenced by many things: the family and community we grow up in as well as the friends we keep all influence our thoughts, fears, likes, dislikes, perceptions and beliefs. Our upbringing is intrinsic to contributing to who we become as an adult, as it is constantly feeding our subconscious with beliefs or ideas that are held on to and have an effect on the way we behave. That is not to say we end up like our parents, but there is no escaping the fact that our childhood is soaked up by our subconscious and the notions of who we are begin to form. We can, of course, change and adapt as we grow older but, often, our deep-held beliefs, ethics and concepts are firmly rooted at an early age and, even if our conscious behaviour moves away from these ideas, they still lurk in our subconscious. 

Our families can be hugely influential on the perceptions we have of ourselves and our capabilities. If we are deemed ‘the sporty one’, for example, it may be that we overlook our artistic side – our parents put time and money into supporting us with our sporting skills and this begins to define us. Expensive studded footwear or rackets are bought over the art set that was asked for. If in time, we grow tired of this hobby, we are reminded of all the effort and money that has gone into nurturing it over the years or are encouraged to not be a ‘quitter’. We are steered in a particular direction and start to fill the shoes that have been put aside for us, but neglecting others that we can also fit into. This is a very concrete example, but it can be a lot more subtle than this. 

Hypnotherapy deals directly with the subconscious. By relaxing ourselves, we are able to go into a trance state that allows the therapist access to our subconscious ‘garden’.

Back to our subconscious: I’m going to use the analogy of a garden, or more precisely, a patch of fertile soil within the garden. Bear with me, all will become clear. Our subconscious is this fertile patch of soil and anything can grow in it. Every thought, opinion or belief that comes our way is like a seed being dropped on to this fertile soil. It doesn’t matter whether it is a positive notion, such as we are confident, or if it is a negative notion, such as we are loud and annoying – all seeds are welcome in the subconscious garden and, once dropped onto the soil, they will take root. Not all will grow strong, but they will take root. 

Positive versus negative thoughts

If we experience something that confirms a thought, that ‘plant’ grows stronger and stronger. If as a child we believe we are not very good at reading and then our younger sibling ‘confirms’ this by being able to read quicker than us or tackle bigger books, then this notion becomes stronger in our subconscious. If our teacher asks us to read a page of the class book out loud and we falter and make a mistake, again this notion grows stronger. Anything that can be perceived as supporting this belief will be grabbed onto by the subconscious and it will feed that idea – all the while the ‘plant’ growing bigger and bigger, its roots digging deep until it is a firm belief we hold of ourselves. For these negative perceptions, we may as well refer to them as weeds.

Now imagine that something happened that has suggested we were in fact good at reading – that seed will have been dropped as well. That seed will have also taken root in our subconscious but, if the experiences we have confirm the other idea, then that is the one that will grow strong, dwarfing the concept that we were in fact good at the same thing.

These seeds are dropping and being fed constantly by our interactions with others. If we place great value on what certain people think or feel about us, then their influence on our subconscious can be greater and more significant. If we surround ourselves with people who criticise, belittle and moan then that can consume us, and have a huge impact on our own thought process and how we perceive ourselves. Our garden is likely to be overgrown with nasty weeds if our influences are predominantly negative. 

Equally, if we feel valued, supported and encouraged by those around us, then we are more likely to demonstrate those kind behaviours towards others. These encouraging interactions are having a direct influence on our subconscious and the garden is thriving with beautiful strong plants rather than weeds. Don’t get me wrong – some weeds will always exist, but they do not need to dominate our subconscious garden.

So, is our conscious a passive flower bed, or is it active? Most importantly, does it want what’s best for us?

Our subconscious always wants what is best for us. It tries to protect us and shield us from hurt or harm. However, the actions our subconscious suggests may in fact thwart us. You see, if we go back to the person who believed they were no good at reading, there is a strong chance they will read less and less. They won’t volunteer to read in class and they are unlikely to join a book group when they are older. They have the firm concept that they are not good at it, therefore, over time they shun it and tell themselves it brings them little pleasure. Their subconscious has encouraged them to take certain actions to ‘protect’ them from feeling a failure and, as a result, they consider themselves ‘not a reader’. Perhaps the embarrassing experience in class has also told them they shouldn’t ever try public speaking, either. One experience can have many impacts.  

Hypnosis and the subconscious

Hypnotherapy deals directly with the subconscious. By relaxing ourselves, we are able to go into a trance state that allows the therapist access to our subconscious ‘garden’. Deep-rooted weeds can be pruned back. We can overcome fears, gain confidence, learn how to relax, avoid bad habits. 

Long-held concepts of what we ‘need to have’ or ‘need to be’, can be removed altogether from the garden. Addictions can be overcome, anxieties calmed and better eating habits can be introduced. We can even conquer phobias or thoughts that hold us back.

By directly accessing the subconscious, we can cut back the weeds and let the plants with positive connotations flourish. So, are you ready to tend to your garden? 

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Written by Jessica Chapman
Jessica Chapman is a therapist and teacher with a passion for the outdoors and being creative. She enjoys assisting others in making positive changes to their lives alongside working on her own aspirations.
Written by Jessica Chapman
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