Do you have negative self thoughts?

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Do you feel unfulfilled?

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Rules for Your Subconscious

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Author: dshipe

Angry gets shit done

Angry gets shit done

Need motivation to get something done? How about anger? Angry gets shit done.

Have you ever been told by someone close to you that you could not accomplish something? For example, ever been told by your spouse not to do something. My wife actually told me that she didn’t think I should install the fire alarm myself. She believed that it would be an electric fire hazard. It would be ironic to have a fire started by a fire alarm. I’m not saying this to ridicule my wife, she simply tends to be very paranoid. My point is, the only effect of her saying that was it made me angry. I felt she was calling me incompetent, or at least incapable. I wanted to prove her wrong. I wanted to drop what I was doing and immediately install the fire alarm. Had she asked me to do it, it probably would have just gone on my to do list.

Angry gets shit done.

Is there someone in your life who you dislike being confronted by? Perhaps it’s you spouse who tells you can or cannot do something. Perhaps you have brother or sister and some sibling rivalry. Perhaps your parents don’t believe you can accomplish something. This is likely someone close to you who you love. But, at the same time this closeness makes their contradictory opinion even more hurtful. Would you do almost anything to prove this person wrong? Maybe there’s even extreme cases where you would accept losses in money, time or material goods to prove that person wrong.

That’s called motivation.

We all have self doubt. We all have an inner dialogue that is sometimes negative. When you begin to have these negative thoughts or feeling, imagine them being said by that one person you would absolutely hate to have say it.  Over time you may be able to that negative inner dialogue into motivation.

P.S. I hope she doesn’t read this blog. She could use this tactic to get me to do all kinds of things with a little reverse psychology.

Fear

Fear

Your negative inner dialogue usually results in one thing, instilling fear. It can make you afraid to approach some you are attracted to. It can make you afraid to speak to your boss or take risks at work. You must overcome your fears.

One method to overcome fear is to consider the downside. What happens if you take action and the worse happens? For example, imagine you are afraid to speak to someone you are attracted to. We’ve probably all been that situation. Ask yourself what is the worst that happen. The other person rejects you. That is not that drastic of an outcome. When viewed from the negative perspective there is almost nothing to lose.

However, you may find that this leads you only to consider the negatives. It’s also important to consider the positives. Sometimes there may be significant consequences of an action. But the rewards may outweigh those risks. If you only consider the negative you may not take action.

Another method for overcoming fear is just to force your way through the fearful situation. For example, imagine steep trail or winding stair. You may be fearful of falling, but you can simply grit your teeth an proceed regardless of fear. There is a old Arabic proverb that says “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.” Think of this as the fear is nagging at you to stop but you push forward anyway.

Fear Profits a Man Nothing

The video is from the movie The Thirteenth Warrior. It is an adaptation of the Michael Crichton book The Eaters of Dead. This book is based on the Scandinavian saga of Beowulf.

In order to set the scene, Beowulf and his companions have come to the great hall Herot. They anticipate a night raid by Grendol, or in the Crichton book and move the Wendol. The enemy has not yet been encountered, and at this time is a unknown foe.

Two of Beowulf party are Ahmad ibn Fadlan and Herger the joyous. Ahmad ibn Fadlan is Arab ambassador sent to the lands of the North men and through circumstance alone has found himself in foreign land in a terrible situation. Herger the Joyous is a viking and thane of Beowulf.

The group prepares to spend the night in the hall. They anticipate an attack be the unknown foe. The vikings appear to going to sleep. Ahmad ibn Fadlan has the rather understandable reaction of asking how can Herger sleep knowing the attack is coming. Herger replies

The All-Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won’t live one instant longer. Your fate is fixed. Fear profits a man nothing.

Herger has stated simply that Ahmad ibn Fadlan is in the situation he’s in. Dwelling on the fear of what may happen is pointless. You’ll gain nothing from fear.

It is interesting that Herger’s calm comes from a sense of determinism. Your fate is fixed says that if today is your day to die, it will happen regardless of your actions. Or perhaps that fate has already considered the actions you will take. Herger attributes the fate to the all-father, which is Odin or God who laid out Ahmad’s life and death when he was born. In modern scientific form it can be said that there is no time and the future is no less real as the past. The movement of every participle in space-time is fixed and there is no free will.

Deep Rotting Fear

The video is from the movie Apocalypto. A father instructs his son not to live with fear in the following monologue,

Fear. Deep rotting fear. They were infected by it. Did you see? Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it. It has tainted your peace already. I did not raise you to see you live with fear. Strike it from your heart. Do not bring it into our village.

Fear is the Little Death

The video is from the movie Dune. The main character uses a mantra to overcome fear. He is using is concious mind to repeat a phrase to calm the subconscious. It is called the litany against fear.

I won’t repeat actual text here since it is from a work of fiction. But you can use a phrase personally meaningful to overcome fear. Repeat it to yourself when you feel afraid.

The Power of Compounding

The Power of Compounding

The plan

Compounding

You are probably aware of the concept of compound interest.  It is a financial concept and it is defined as follows

Compound interest is the addition of interest to the principal sum of a loan or deposit, or in other words, interest on interest. It is the result of reinvesting interest, rather than paying it out, so that interest in the next period is then earned on the principal sum plus previously-accumulated interest.

The heart of the idea is that continued little increments plus time can make significant changes.  This same principal can be applied to other things.  This is compounding.  You make a commitment to do some small step toward self improvement.  You do it daily, without fail.  Persistence is the main factor of success.

For example, imagine you wanted to get in better shape.  You could do 10 push ups a day.  In a week you’d have done 70 push ups.  In a month 300.  What do you think that would do for your body?

Or imagine you wanted to reduce stress and improve your mental state.  You could begin meditating for 15 minutes a day.  15 minutes is not much, but over time the effect could be tremendous.  In a month your stress and cortisol levels could drop significantly.

The first 30 minutes of day

The average day can get hectic very quickly.  It may be difficult to find time to focus on even a small self improvement task.  The solution is to use the first 30 minutes of your day for these tasks.  This will be before the phone starts ringing and before the emails start piling up.

You may need to set your alarm 30 minutes ahead to get the time.  If you do, that time will be yours.

Here are some examples of what you could do in that 30 minutes

  • Going over the things you are grateful for to improve your outlook
  • 10 pushups or similar exercise to get in better physical shape
  • Writing down your thoughts, reflections or diary
  • review your a list of things your want to accomplish for the day, or review your goals
  • meditation

What separates successful people from unsuccessful?

The following is a TED Talk from Claudiu Moldovan.  He talks about compounding.  The title of his talks says it separates the successful from the unsuccessful.

The Rules for Your Subconscious

The Rules for Your Subconscious

  1. The subconscious mind works to make what it expects into reality.
  2. The subconscious mind has its own language.
  3. The subconscious mind does not reason.
  4. The subconscious mind may not make logical sense.
  5. The subconscious mind does not recognize negatives.
  6. The subconscious mind does not understand time.
  7. The subconscious mind processes everything it recieves.
  8. The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between imagined and real.
  9. Imagination beats knowledge.
  10. You cannot hold opposing beliefs at the same time.
  11. The subconscious mind cannot retain beliefs that are proven wrong.
  12. The subconscious mind retains all beliefs until they are replaced.
  13. Each belief realized makes it easier for successive beliefs.
  14. Conscious effort decreases subconscious response.


1. The subconscious mind works to make what it expects into reality

Your brain and nervous system respond to the the images held in the subconscious. It becomes a blueprint that you follow.


2. The subconscious mind has its own language.

Your unconscious deals in images, emotions and sensory input. It does not process language. For example, if you think of the word car, you are likely to get an image of the car you drive.

Words with no image or emotion attached to them have no meaning to your subconscious. This is the reason you want to use you imagination to craft images for your subconscious. Words and language may not get properly translated. If you create a mental picture of your desired state there is less chance of miscommunication.


3. The subconscious mind does not reason.

Your subconscious does not try to reason. It does not attempt to think through beliefs. It will simply hold them. For example, as a child you may have been told that you should not talk to strangers. It is likely you still have and recognize this belief as an adult. You no longer need this belief, but your unconscious does not think about it.

A person with a strongly held religious, political or emotional belief will not respond to counter arguments. Such beliefs cannot be over turned with logical arguments.

Your subconscious will seek out supporting experiences. Groups of individuals can come together over shared belief. This validates and reinforces the belief.


4. The subconscious mind may not make logical sense

Your subconscious may connect emotions, images and sensory input in way that are not logical. You may experience fear of the dark or hear strange noises while watching a scary movie. Your conscious mind is aware that there is no danger but that will do little to calm your fear.


5. The subconscious mind does not recognize negatives.

Your subconscious deals in images not words. The phrase “I will not smoke” will translate to an image of smoking. The negative does not have an associated image and will get lost. This may actually reinforce the opposite of the intended belief.


6. The subconscious mind does not understand time

Your subconscious knows only the present time. It is concerned with your immediate well being and happiness. Goals set in the future will no immediate action are disregarded until they are imminent. This is the cycle of procrastination. When the conscious mind realizes the goal is approaching you go into panic mode. The subconscious goes to work to alleviate the discomfort.


7. The subconscious mind processes everything it receives

Your subconscious process all the images, emotions and sensory input you receive. It does not filter the input. Any positive or negative experience can generate a new belief or reinforce an existing belief.


8. The subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between imagined and real

Your subconscious will respond to imagination and visualization as it were reality. For example, you may react physically to a dream with sweat or elevated heart rate. It may take several minutes after you wake for you to realize you had dream. A particularly vivid dream may remain in your thoughts.


9. Imagination beats knowledge

Your subconscious mind responds to images and emotions. What you know will not over power them. For example, people with a fear of flying know it is statistically safer to fly than drive a car. Despite that knowledge they still fear flying. But they will drive their cars without a second thought.


10. You cannot hold opposing beliefs at the same time

Your subconscious will not have two directly opposite beliefs at the same time. It will believe one and disregard the other. People with a religious belief in creationism will not also believe in evolution. Nor will someone with a belief in science and evolution believe in creationism. An argument like intelligent design at it’s heart supports the creationism belief.


11. The subconscious mind cannot retain beliefs that are proven wrong

Introducing evidence that disproves a belief will cause that belief to be dismissed. For example, you may believe that you cannot run a marathon. If you were to train and become proficient at running you would be submitting evidence that you can run a marathon. Any opposing belief would be dismissed.


12. The subconscious mind retains all beliefs until they are replaced

Your subconscious will retain all of your beliefs. Including the beliefs from childhood. All of our experiences shape the person we are. The longer a belief is held, the more ingrained it becomes. To change a belief you must replace it with another belief.


13. Each belief realized makes it easier for successive beliefs

Every belief, suggestion or goal that you act on and achieve makes it easier to achieve the next. Successfully completing small commitments leads to more successes. Similarly failure can breed additional failure.


14. Conscious effort decreases subconscious response

An example of this phenomenon is insomnia. When you try to consciously force yourself to sleep the less likely you are to fall asleep. The key is to distract the conscious mind and prevent it from focusing on sleeping.

Hypnotize Yourself

Hypnotize Yourself

The plan

The last 15 minutes of the day

Highway hypnosis is an example of how you’ve already been hypnotized. Your subconscious mind simply took over the tasks of driving. The next step is to use your subconscious to accomplish tasks that you decide. You want to program yourself.

For example, let’s say you have a job interview the next day. Normally you might go to bed anxious. This is a very normal reaction. As a result, your a likely to anxious in the interview. Your palms may sweat. You may assume a closed posture. You may stutter when you speak. These are the physical manifestations of an anxious subconscious.

To change this you want to use the last 15 minutes of your day. At night before bed you enter into a natural receptive state for suggestion. This is the time you can replace random or negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

You will want to visualize yourself walking into the interview confident and with your head held high. You’ll want to imagine a strong confident handshake greeting. You’ll want to imagine a relaxed, open posture. You’ll want to imagine speaking clearly and distinctly and giving the perfect answers to any questions.

The subsconscious cannot tell the difference between a visualization and reality. Use your imagination to construct images in your mind of how you would want the interview to go.

Your subconscious will also act in accordance with it’s expectations. You are purposefully setting your expectations on a positive experience and outcome. Your subconscious will then work toward that goal. Instead of expecting to be anxious, you will be expecting to have a good interview.

Dan Candell talks about using the last few minutes of each night to hypnotize yourself in the following video. He talks about seeting the expectations for the following day in your mind.

Affirmations

The last 30 minutes of the day is also a good time to repeat some affirmations. The subconscious responds to repitition. The more you repeat a belief the more engrained it becomes.

For example, the following are some messages that you may want tell yourself

  • I am good at my job
  • I am confident
  • I am smart
  • I like challenges because they help me grow

You will want to make list of the messages you want. That way you can repeat the same messages each night.

Your subconsious will be skeptical of anything that contradicts an already established belief. For example, perhaps you believe you are not smart. Maybe you’ve struggled with a particular subject and had a low test score. This has indirectly told you are not smart. Perhaps then your own inner dialogue dwelled on the idea and you’ve inadvertently reinforced it into a stringly held belief.

You will find it harder to overturn this belief. You may need a very specific message to overcome it. Find a positive belief you hold and build on that. Ask yourself what subjects are you good at or when have you been smart. Build on those positive beliefs while chipping away at the negative ones. Construct your affirmation list to be specific for you.

Draw your future

You’ve learned how to use your imagination to construct visualizations. These will be pictures in your head. The human brain relies heavily on vision.

Patti Dobrowolski says a picture is a way of visualizing your goals. She encourages you to draw a physical picture of the goals you want to achieve. That’s right, get a piece of paper and pencil an draw. Just like writing helps you remember more than listening, drawing will help you remember more than just visualizing. Better yet, you will then have a drawing you a pick up and look at each night. That repitition will help plant it into your subconscious

Change Your Inner Dialogue

Change Your Inner Dialogue

We have all had negative self thoughts.  These are the times you’ve said to yourself “I can
‘t do that” or “I’m not qualified”.  These thoughts are coming from your subconscious.  This is the part of brain you are not aware of. 

Your brain has three layers.  The outer layer or the neocortex is where your conscious mind lives.  It’s the rational brain you commonly think of.  Below that are more primitive layers.  There is the older limbic brain where your emotions from.  This is why it is sometimes hard to express how you feel, since emotion and rational thought are from two different systems. Finally, at the core you have the reptilian brain which is instinctual and handle routine functions like heartbeat and breathing. The subconscious mind is composed of the limbic and reptilian layers.

The subconscious is  key in terms of your self esteem. This is essentially the inner dialogue that directs your day.  let’s talk about some examples of the subconscious at work.

Subconscious at Work

Have you ever experienced this particular phenomenon while driving? You’ve been driving along and suddenly you realize you can’t remember the last couple of turns or red lights that you’ve actually passed. You think back and say, was that last red light I went through was that green or red? Or maybe you’ve been driving on the highway and suddenly realize you can’t recall the last few miles. What has happened is your conscious mind got distracted. That is why you can’t remember. Your subconscious mind took over the driving task. It may be a scary feeling, but don’t worry your subconscious is a very good driver due to the ten thousand hour rule.

The ten thousand hour rule is something that is used in athletic settings. The basic idea is that if you practice a task for ten thousand hours you will become an expert at it. For example if you want to be a NFL Football field goal kicker, practice for ten thousand hours. If you were to practice 3 hours a day it would take 9 years to reach ten thousand hours. The idea behind the rule is that it takes time and repetition to become an expert.

It is really the subconscious at work. That time and repetition will program your brain and autonomic nervous system. Your subconscious can now kick field goals without your conscious mind focusing on it. The same goes for driving. After years of driving, you programmed your subconscious to be able to drive. You simply do not need to think about it.

The term for driving without conscious awareness is “highway hypnosis”.

Remember when you learned to ride a bike? You probably started with training wheels and had difficulty balancing. But with practice the task became easier and easier. Finally it reach the point where you no longer need to concentrate on it. You programmed your subconscious to ride a bike. And it was likely in significantly less than ten thousand hours.

Can you walk down the street while completely engaged in conversation with the person next to you, or on your cell phone? Your subconscious is handling the walking.

Driving, riding an bike and walking are just three examples that you have already programmed your subconsious. Imagine what else you could program your subconsious mind to do.

Have you ever delayed a big decision until you have had chance to sleep on it? Perhaps you even felt exhausted thinking about it and thought you would get a fresh perspective in the morning.

Have you ever solved a problem in the shower? Maybe there’s been a problem at work you’ve been unable to solve. In the morning you get up, shower and start thinking about your day and realize there’s something you hadn’t thought of the day before.

These examples are times when you’ve given your subconscious time to work on something. The subconscious is actually at work during the night. The following are few examples of what it does.

  • consolidating and categorizing memories
  • synthesize proteins and hormones
  • immune system functions

Put Your Subconscious to Work for You

You’ve probably not given too much thought to your subconscious.  But it has been paying attention your entire life.  It has formed a set of beliefs and these are your inner dialogue.  If it’s saying negative things or lowering your self esteem, then it’s time to change those beliefs.

How do you do that?

The plan

How to Become Fulfilled

How to Become Fulfilled

The following is a very interesting talk from Simon Sinek. He talks about how fulfillment comes from helping others. Whatever area of life you feel you are unsatisfied with, ask yourself how you can help those around you.

Your brain functions on neurotransmitters. These chemicals are responsible for your happiness and well being.

  • Endorphin (Released under physical strain. The runners high.)
  • Dopamine (Released when you achieve a goal or accomplish a task.)
  • Serotonin (Responsible for pride and status. Establishes relationships and alpha hierarchy.)
  • Oxytocin (Responsible for love, trust, the feeling someone has your back.)

Biology wired us all to be social animals. Back when we were hunter and gathers living in social groups of 100 to 150 people, we need each other to survive. You had to count on your neighbor to wake and warn you of danger while you slept. Otherwise you would not be able to sleep as each individual would be responsible for his own safety.  The groups who produced these neurotransmitters cooperated survived and thrived.  These are the genes you inherited.

Oxytocin is the neurotransmitter you get for helping someone or doing a good deed. It strengthens the bonds within a social group. It helped us build trust and empathy. Serotonin is responsible for pride and status. It helps us build social relationships, like boss and employer or coach and player.

These two chemicals play a major role in your happiness and well being. If you want to be fulfilled, you need to serve others.

Oxytocin and serotonin are the more powerful social neurotransmitters.  Dopamine is the addiction chemical.  Alcoholics get the pleasure from dopamine.  The highly successful Alcoholic Anonymous program is a twelve step program.  If you complete eleven of the twelve steps, but not the last step you will likely relapse.  If you complete the final step, you are are likely to beat the disease.  What is the last step?  It is coaching another alcoholic.  Volunteering to do a service for someone else.  Oxytocin and serotonin win out over dopamine.

You may recognize the names of these chemicals.  Many anti-depressant drugs on the market attempt to increase levels serotonin or dopamine in the brain.  The drugs are attempting to increase the feelings you should be getting from beneficial social interaction.

Heroes

Simon speaks of the military hero Johnny Bravo in the first few minutes of the video.  It’s a story of a pilot who risks his live to save troops on the ground.  Simon meets Johnny and asks him why he risked his life.  It’s a similar answer that most military heroes give.  Johnny says he did for those troops because they would have done for him.

The military does an exceptional job at instilling serotonin and oxytocin based bonds among servicemen.  Every enlisted man knows his fellow soldiers will not leave him behind.  He is then willing to risk life and limb to make sure no one else is left behind.

Imagine you worked at place where the number one concern is the well being of your fellow employees.  It would be easy to get up for that job each morning.

The Deadliest Catch

Simon shares some examples. He talks about an episode of the TV show Deadliest Catch. The crab fishing boats go out in competition with each other to catch crabs. It’s basic capitalism where they compete for crabs.

This one episode has a terrible accident where a fisherman was washed overboard into the Bering sea. This is an extremely dangerous situation because the water is so cold that hypothermia will kill a person in 90 seconds.

The other boat with the camera crew who witnessed the accident immediately turned toward the man in an attempt to rescue him. They reached him, pulled him out of the water, got him wrapped in blankets and saved his life.

The man was a stranger. He was from another boat that moments before would have simply been a competitor.

Everyone on the boat that saved a mans life went home fulfilled. It was more meaningful then the biggest crab catch or highest paycheck they received.

The Please Help Sign

Another  example is a homeless person asking for money on the street. She had a sign that is typical. I am homeless, I am hungry, I have children, I am a veteran, please help. She would get $20 to $30 a day for her effort.

Simon realized that giving money to a homeless person is a transaction. You pay money for a feeling of good will. But her sign was “me” oriented. So Simon changed her sign to read the following

If you only give once a month please think of me next time.

The sign addressed two big reasons people don’t always give. One, I can’t give to everyone. And two, how do I know she really needs it. The new sign addressed both of those concerns. The homeless person made $40 in 2 hours. She had changed her sign to make it about the giver, not herself.

 Afghanistan

Simon also relates a personal experience.  But just not in the videos above.  Simon traveled to Afghanistan with the U.S. Military.  He ended up stranded on a forward operating base with no idea when he would be able to leave.  Worry, fear and frustration we the natural responses to this situation.  Simon found himself dwelling on thoughts of me, me, me.

He made a decision that since he was stuck, he would volunteer to help in any way he could.  Carrying boxes, sweeping the floor or any tasks that needed done.  He realized that when he made that decision to help the worry and fear vanished.