In the last post we were going over the strongest human need, which is the need to be consistent with how we see ourselves. This is the main, and possibly only, reason we self sabotage ourselves. If we see ourselves a certain way, good or bad, we will subconsciously steer any other action back to our comfort zone.
So if we know this, how can we use it to our advantage?
Easy. But first let’s examine the two minds, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. In summary the conscious mind is the part of the brain that directs our actions and thoughts when we are awake. For instance, talking, daily activities, etc. The subconscious mind lies in a dormant state, and is a much larger and more powerful part of the mind than the conscious portion.
Even scientists and brain experts do not fully comprehend the vast powers of the subconscious mind. It is responsible for all of the normal functions that power your body every day, such as breathing, your heartbeat, regulation of body temperature and countless other tasks. But it doesn’t stop there.
Your subconscious mind is responsible for “how you see yourself” otherwise known as the self-image.
Your self image is the “thermostat” that regulates areas of your life such as your finances, your health, your confidence, your relationships, and on and on.
Let’s go back to the health part of your self image. If you see yourself as being a certain weight, it will be difficult to change that without first changing your self image. You literally have a picture in your mind of how your physical body looks and feels right now. You also link the daily activities of a person that has that type of body to yourself. In other words, in your physical self image there is a corresponding diet and exercise plan that goes with your body. If you see yourself as an athlete, you will do the things an athlete does. If you see yourself as being overweight, you will do things an overweight person does. If you try to break out of that pattern without first changing your self image, your subconscious mind will steer you back to how you see yourself. Happens every single time.
Now here is the exciting part…once you start actively working on shifting your self image, you will be shocked at your progress. Get ready for that truly breathtaking moment when you stop chasing your goals, and your goals start chasing you. While there will be some self discipline involved in making those changes in the beginning, after a few days you will simply “become the person” who does what your new self image would do. For example, if you have not exercised since high school, going to the gym to train will require an extraordinary amount of self discipline. Why? Because going to the gym is not what a person with your self image “does”. Now, change your self image, and “see” yourself as someone who is physically fit, and the discipline of going to the gym becomes much easier. When that time of the day comes, you simply pick up your gear and you “go to the gym” without any thought. You do that because that is what a person with your new self image does, they simply go to the gym. There is no self discipline involved, because you are now that person.
I realize it might sound simplistic and difficult to believe, but step back and look at it logically. Remember, any change has to start with a thought. The first thought and action when working toward a new goal is to invest some time visualizing that goal. It should come as a happy awakening that other people don’t have more self discipline than you do, they simply “see” themselves in a different way.
And the best news is that you CAN change how you see yourself! We will take the plunge in the next post!