The Battle Of The Conscious Minds
Today I want to talk about a kinda ‘battle’ that happens inside all of us.
That once balanced, creates magical results in your life.
Something few ‘entrepreneurs’ or marketers ever talk about, mostly because they don’t understand how it works.
The battle of the conscious and unconscious mind…
…and how to make them work together to achieve your goals.
Now there are two sides to ‘the battle’.
On one side the unconscious mind is a goal seeking mechanism. It acts as a kind of servomechanism, always moving you towards specific outcomes automatically, 24 hours a day.
Here’s the problem. When you have crappy beliefs, your unconscious often won’t allow you to move towards certain goals.
Maybe you were taught that money is the root of all evil growing up. Now back then, you couldn’t decide whether or not that was true.
Your brain didn’t have that kind of thinking ability.
With that deep-rooted belief, your conscious mind might say “I wanna make $500,000 this year” while your unconccious replies “yeah right, that’s never going to happen, don’t you remember that money is evil?”
The unconscious works to move you towards your goals automatically, handling 99.9% of the information around you at all times.
Its job is to move you towards pleasure and away from pain.
When you have that screwy belief set, the unconscious says “money is evil, bad – must avoid”, so it finds ways of sabotaging your efforts.
Then there’s the second side. The unconscious will first agree with what the conscious mind tells it. So you have this kind of phenomena where a lot of people decide to start a business for one reason or another.
They think it’ll be cool to own a private jet or purchase a Lamborghini Gallardo. Upon creation of the shiny ‘goal’ – a negotiation starts between the conscious and unconscious mind.
At all times, your unconscious is negotiating with your conscious. If you don’t acknowledge your unconscious’s rules/guidelines– you run into problems every time.
The battle of the minds…
Conscious mind: “I’d like this big goal (like the private jet), it’ll be badass when I get it, but I have to work really hard, understand?”
Unconscious mind: “Work hard now (pain), get badass private jet (pleasure) later, got it – let’s begin”
To begin with the unconscious agrees with the logic of delayed gratification. Some pain now for lots of pleasure later.
So it suspends its natural tendency to avoid all pain for the time being. Until something interesting happens.
An epiphany occurs. People realize it’s harder than they thought. The business learning curve is longer than anyone imagines.
Many give up.
Especially the kind of people who are used to things being easy. The kind of people who find school easy, landing high paying jobs – they quit most of the time.
Those who carry on realize they need more focus; they need to be more productive or disciplined.
So they focus on working harder, longer, more often.
Lots of these people cut out everything else from their life. They convince themselves they shouldn’t focus on anything else but their business, that it’s fun.
As a couple of months or years go by, the unconscious starts to get annoyed.
It starts challenging the idea.
Unconscious mind: “Been doing this ‘working hard’ thing for a while now, it’s painful, and there’s no private jet yet?”
Conscious mind: “Turns out that building this business is a lot harder than I imagined, but it just means we gotta work harder with more structure, discipline and effort.”
It’s usually at this time your unconscious says ‘screw this, it isn’t worth it’.
Either it decides the pain isn’t worth it, or it doubts the goal will ever come. Perhaps based on past experiences, what you were taught growing up – or whatever else.
As a result, you lose all motivation and desire to keep working. You begin ‘self-sabotage’, you find yourself missing opportunities and watching TV when you should be working.
Now consciously you have no idea all this internal dialogue has been going on, you just experience things like a lack of motivation without realizing why.
The unconscious mind works as a kind of quantum computer, always analysing all possible future outcmoes – deciding which actions you take now will result in the best possible outcome in the future.
Which is why when it decides your efforts right now aren’t going to result in the best outcome, it hits the breaks.
All of a sudden you find yourself sleeping till 3pm, not getting out of bed, watching TV and surfing Facebook when you should be working.
This is just the unconscious mind trying to create pleasure in the present, without any concern for your future.
Ask your unconscious mind what the rules are, and start having fun – now. After a long time of struggle, your unconscious stops believing you.
Visualizing your private jet, new home or car isn’t enough, it wants pleasure right now. Stop delaying gratification. You need to reward your unconscious mind’s cooperation after every big burst of motivation/effort. Otherwise it turns against you, every time.
Ask your unconscious mind, what guidelines you have to live by in order for it work with you to achieve your goal. Repeat “Unconscious mind, what do I need to do in order for you to work in cooperation with me to achieve my goal within X time?”
Ask yourself several times, until you go deep down and have no answers. Eventually, things will appear as if from nowhere.
For some people it’s taking time out every week, not over-working or something more personal. The ‘guidelines’ will revolve around maintaining pleasure and avoiding pain.
Your unconscious has a kind of monopoly on your internal resources. It controls which resources are distributed where.
You need to condition your unconscious to equate pleasure to working. Reward yourself with each small milestone you hit.
A big goal in the distant future won’t motivate you to reach it (most times). The 5 year plan or when I do ‘this in the future’ then I’ll hit my goal thinking is broken.
You need to reward yourself regularly, every day.
Do this for long enough and your unconscious mind will associate working with pleasure right now, so it can use all of you internal resources to guide you towards your goal automatically, 24 hours a day.
P.S. Leave me your thoughts and comments below.
P.P.S. Here are some things I recommend you follow: My Empower Network Blog – this is messages to my personal team.
The Corporate Blog at Empower Network – by far the most badass videos you’ve ever seen, come out every night.