Can you really reprogramme your mind like a computer to get anything you want?
Well, according to science and psychology the answer is yes, which means that you can improve your life in more ways than you could ever imagine with some proven techniques.
This is one of my favourite subjects as it’s so powerful and can change people’s lives for the better. I’m amazed how well it works both on myself and my clients.
It means that any negative beliefs and thoughts about yourself can be replaced with some more empowering which in turn becomes your reality.
Before we delve into the business of reprogramming your mind though, I just wanted to do a quick recap into how the mind works in very basic terms.
The mind consists of two parts – your conscious mind makes up 5% of your brain and is in charge of your cognitive activities – these are the thoughts you are aware of and the decisions you make. It is the thinking part of your mind. It’s where we process information and make decisions and plan ahead. I like to think of this as our adult part of our brain.
Your subconscious part of your brain which you’re not actively aware of, makes up the remaining 95% and stores your memories, habits and beliefs and also brings up automatic thoughts, which often have a negative bias. We have around 60k thoughts a day and 80% of these are negative and we repeat these daily. This is also referred to as your primitive or lizard brain. It likes to conserve energy, avoid pain and seek pleasure which is why we like to watch Netflix or consume other activities.
Your conscious mind is the size of a golf ball but your subconscious is the size of a football so that is where all the power is. It’s like David and Goliath, one is more powerful than the other until you decide to change that and rewire it.
We think we can just change our conscious minds but to change our conscious minds we have to change our subconscious first.
So for example, you make a decision, I’m going to get healthy and work out four times a week. You start off really well. But then you get subconscious thoughts that start coming through such as that will be hard, you can’t do that, you will fail, just switch the TV on and have a G&T.
To make real change you need to dive into and reprogramme your subconscious part of the brain as it stores the habits, values, beliefs and thinking patterns and is responsible for regulating emotions and carrying out the majority of daily tasks.
Your conscious mind wants to do better – it wants to be slim, healthy and have a successful and lucrative business. It really tries hard and ends up getting frustrated when things don’t go to plan.
Your conscious mind processes millions of bits of information every day and reacts to different stimuli like people, sights, smells and things it hears because of many things that have happened in the past. This is your subconscious reacting from experience and then your conscious mind catches on somewhere down the road.
If I ask you to focus on your little finger you know it’s there but you’re not aware of it in that moment. This is because your conscious mind is processing things all the time and then focuses on what you ask it to focus on.
It’s like when you buy a new car, you then start to notice lots of cars with the similar makes.
The conscious mind filters out millions of bits of information which aren’t important and filters in what you want it focus on, the important stuff.
Neuro science has proven that our brains are not hard wired. Our brains have the ability to change, adapt and grow and that’s called neuroplasticity. Like hot plastic that can be moulded and reshaped. For years scientists thought that it was only children’s brains that could change via neuroplasticity but in recent years they have found that it applies to adult brains which is great for all of us.
It’s proven that our brains can form new connections and reorganise existing ones and this allows us to learn new skills, change habits, create new beliefs and even recover from brain injuries. So if we can change our brains, we can rewire them for success.
So how do you rewire your brain then?
To rewire your brain, firstly you need to be clear about what outcome you would like, how you would like to change, and the thoughts or behaviours you’d like to have. Do you want to lose weight, get fitter, earn an extra £10,000 in your business or become a more confident public speaker?
Once you have done this, here is how to reprogramme your mind.
- Cognitive restructuring
Firstly we use a technique called cognitive restructuring
This is where we replace irrational and negative thoughts with new, realistic or neutral thoughts. You identify thoughts or thought patterns that are coming up from your subconscious mind and bring them into your conscious mind and find new ways to think about them.
Thought patterns could be always looking for the negative, mind reading, generalising and discounting the positive and magnifying, all are patterns we have used in the past to make sense of the world.
Thoughts and thought patterns always affect your feelings which intimately affect your behaviour and results.
You can’t always choose your first thought, but you can change your second. Your first thought often comes from the subconscious mind and then your body reacts as your conscious catches up so make your second thought needs to be a conscious decision from you.
So say you want to set up a business. Your subconscious then says it will never work, it’s too hard, I’ll fail, people like us don’t do these things, no-one in the family has ever set up a company.
Your second thought from your conscious mind then needs to replace the first to be more helpful to you and support the life you want. You don’t need to believe the first thought. Be aware of the first thought and replace it with 3 pieces of data that challenge these thoughts. So I have been a great sales person in the past, I am really organised, and ambitious and my clients at work have been really happy with my work. These will go against the automatic thoughts, and this is what restructuring is all about.
You are telling your subconscious brain what the reality is and using repeated messages to rewire it.
Your subconscious believes every word you are saying so talk to it from your conscious brain every day.
Another way to look at is if you want a beautiful garden, accept that the weeds will come up, so you have to pull out the weeds and plant the seeds to keep your garden looking amazing. Or every now and then do some weeding by working with a coach.
So it feels like a constant battle with your subconscious and conscious but remember you need to lead with your conscious to get the life you want and become the person you want to be.
You can do this by being aware of your thoughts, watching them and then challenging them as they come up. If you accept the negative thoughts then the subconscious mind is controlling you and you won’t have the change that you desire.
We are like self-fulfilling prophesies so the more we listen to our subconscious minds and believe it, it’s really difficult to change or improve our lives.
Cognitive restructuring is used to treat all sorts if issues including depression, anxiety and OCD as well as lack of confidence. It can help you to think more positively.
When the subconscious mind is still active within 10-15 mins of waking up, create mental images of what you want your life to look like, what your goal is and imagine you working on this goal or what you want. As you visualise, bring in the senses so what are you wearing, what can you see, who are you with, what can you smell and how do you feel. Athletes do this to improve their performance as this tricks your brain into believing that something is real.
- Use affirming statements
Use affirming statements which re-enforce what your conscious mind wants, and these are repeated over and over again to shape new thoughts. These statements have to be believable though to work and you can change them over time. So if you are unconfident, instead of saying I am oozing with confidence, you could say I’m working on my confidence, I’m becoming more confident every time I try to talk to people.
It’s important to write these statement down. The Journal of Psychological Science showed that when we do this it increases activity in regions of the brain associated with self-referential processing which is thinking of self rather than the outside world. It’s been proven to improve confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing. It is brainwashing your mind for success.
Write down a set of statements and repeat them in the morning as you wake and evening when you go to bed.
So that’s how you reprogramme your mind for success. It’s really exciting because it means that you don’t need to be stuck with beliefs about yourself and you are able to change the outcome that you want for your life just by these techniques.
So what do you think about this? How would you change yourself or your life using these techniques?
If you’re interested this subject and would like to book some 1-1 coaching with me to work on your beliefs, then you can set up a free coaching call below.