Originally published on LinkedIn May 3, 2019
Early life experiences act as a recording in the subconscious mind, which can thwart conscious decisions to change behaviors and thoughts.
Last week I had lunch with Jane Rubinstein, friend, mentor, and energy medicine instructor. She’s been in the field of self-development and the healing arts for forty plus years. Our conversations are an eclectic mix of human behaviors, meridians of the body, and the latest neuroscientific research. We always laugh, and she never ceases to amaze me with her observations.
Jane has been teaching a small group of long-time students and friends introductory techniques and information regarding energy medicine. Several of the students are professional therapists, while a couple work in social services. All of us are having varying degrees of success understanding the complexities of the training and adjusting to a novel way of perception.
During lunch, I asked Jane, “Why is change so difficult to accomplish?” She and I have been working to uncover and revamp my own subconscious patterns. I wondered how my classmates were faring with the process–cause it ain’t easy, the process of change. Jane looked at me with shining light-blue eyes, “Well . . . “ she stopped and thought. “The hardest part is the commitment to change. A person has to be willing to do the work by following through with the suggestions and discoveries that are made in individual sessions.”
Now, Jane’s helped thousands of clients and seen methods and modalities come and go. She has an uncanny ability to see through people and discover the crux of a problem. What she said sounded so simple: commit to change, then follow-through with a plan.
“That doesn’t sound so tough Jane” I responded. “A lot of people commit and follow through with a plan, but they still don’t change.” Jane replied with a wink of a an eye. “To change means to leave your comfort zone and shift into being someone else. Who will you be if you allow the shift to happen?”
She had a point.
What Does it Mean to Change?
Humans are complex creatures. Our experiences, emotions, and expectations are layered in our memories and intertwined with our beliefs and experiences: all of which exert power over our behaviors and thoughts from the subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind is like a sponge in childhood. Early life experiences from birth to ages 5-7 form behavior and thought patterns that develop our understanding about life. Interactions with our family and friends–including the rules and beliefs that we are taught in early childhood–are imbedded into our operating system, which is the subconscious mind.
As we mature, the subconscious mind acts as a tape recorder, playing the information we learned early in life just below our conscious awareness. The recording of our early childhood experiences affects our emotional and mental reactions as we grow up and become adults. Whatever we learned and understood in our formative years sets the stage for who we become as adults.
For example, if I learned that money is meant to pay bills, and there isn’t much of it–no matter how hard I work–then the experience or belief about money is entered directly into the operating system of the subconscious mind, where it controls how well money is earned, and how difficult it is to make. The perception about money controls my accumulation of wealth, and the effort exerted to amass it.
Thus, while my conscious mind is busy learning how to market myself better and practice various skills, so I can parlay my knowledge and skills in the marketplace to earn more money, the pattern of my subconscious mind repeats what it learned early in life:
The subconscious pattern affects my emotions and thoughts when I surpass my comfort zone to create better, stronger, and more means to earn more money. Inevitably, the struggle is so great that I give up:
My conscious mind analyzes the situation and observes that somehow it must be my personal efforts. I’m not lucky, or capable, or any plethora of negative self-talk that will explain the reason for my limited financial capacity.
When all along, the culprit that sabotaged my conscious efforts to make more money was an observation made in early childhood, which plays like a recording in my subconscious mind, affecting my current life. My early understanding about money–the thoughts and feelings regarding money that I may not even be aware I have–now control my current experience regarding it. No matter how hard I work to change my perception of money, my subconscious exerts control of my perceptions.
Change is Difficult Because the Subconscious Mind is in Control
Change is so hard because the conscious mind only controls approximately 5% of our thoughts, feelings, and actions. The remaining 95% of our inner and outer lives is controlled by the subconscious mind. So we can think we want more money, or a new job to our heart’s content, but if the conscious desire goes against our subconscious’ programming, which is already in play just under conscious perception, the dream, the desire, the want is not realized.
Change Has to Occur in the Subconscious Mind to be Realized
The formidable task of making change begins by examining the underpinning subconscious programming. It’s the subconscious that requires evaluation. Reviewing and changing the structure of perceptions about life–already running in the subconscious mind–is the component that must be shifted. Making changes to those perceptions–which are based on interpretations of past experiences that occurred in childhood–means changing who we become as adults.
Hence the reason long-term change is so difficult to achieve: change is not a part of our conscious control. The conscious mind can desire change, but until there is a commitment to change who we are by re-evaluating our interpretations of past experiences, thus shifting subconscious programming, change will elude us or be short-lived. No amount of reading self-help books, willpower, or positive affirmations and visualization will change subconscious programming.
To Create Change is to Rethink the Personality
The question is not about what conscious behavior needs to change to make life better. Instead the questions are about our personality, and how we perceive our life:
Understanding the subconscious mind and how to change it is the subject of study for many professionals. Thirty plus years of research in psychology and neuroscience have revolutionized the field of self-development. Doctors, scientists, and authors, such as Dr. Joe Dispenza, John Assaraf, Gregg Braden, and Dr. Bruce Lipton, and documentaries such as Emotion 2.0, as well as movies such as What the Bleep Do We Know shed light on the possibilities of changing subconscious patterns of thinking.
Programs from Dr. Joe Dispenza and John Assaraf, for example, provide a means to actuate change and reprogram the subconscious. There are many other practitioners with training and tools can help uncover obstacles that stagnate success. Jane is one example of a professional who can uncover subconscious blocks and establish new ways of thinking. Currently, her practice centers around helping people uncover subconscious patterns that retard progress toward achieving personal and professional goals.
To Change is to Feel Differently
“The best way to tackle change is to know who you want to become,” said Jane. We had finished eating, and were packing up to leave. “It’s very important to understand your current beliefs, but it is just as important to know what you want to replace the old belief with.” Her blue eyes held a glint of mischief. “You may think you want to be a millionaire, but if you don’t feel worthy of the wealth, then no amount of thinking will change the belief about money.” I held the door for her, so we could leave. “Jane are you telling me that it’s not thinking alone that supports change?” My eyes slanted and my mouth curved into a smile. “You have to change how you feel too, right?” She replied, “Yep, cause it ain’t all in your head!”
Change isn’t all just in our heads; it’s in our hearts too. Belief is a combination of thinking and feeling. Our subconscious programming is a combination of thoughts, experiences, and feelings that we lived as children. Regardless of how we feel and think as adults, our subconscious programming supplies us with the recording from our formative years–affecting our current personality. Thus to change is to make the commitment to become the person you have always wanted to be.
Aren’t you worth the effort to figure out what’s holding you back from the life you really want to live?
Find Jane Rubinstein on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/jane-rubinstein-6707b611a
Learn more about the Neuroscience of Consciousness: