Our habits, beliefs, values and all the decisions we have ever made make up our neural blueprint. That schematic is what determines everything we do and don’t do and is found in the Unconscious Mind. So how can we create permanent change by accessing the bottom of our metaphorical icebergs?
The thing we call the “Mind” is divided into three systems that each have their unique functions: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the unconscious mind. It is useful to compartmentalise them, particularly when we are seeking to break a habit or to transform our thinking.
The idea that we have three levels of mind is not new. Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian psychologist was the first who popularised it. His theories have since been disputed in psychology circles, mostly because separating the mind into three distinct levels is difficult to scientifically prove. Though it does help us in the transformational sciences to use this model. So Freud created a useful model of the mind, the conscious mind or ego, the preconscious or subconscious, and the section that we will pay the most attention, namely, the unconscious mind.
To make this easy for you, I have illustrated this concept into a visual form. Using the iceberg analogy to show the conscious mind, which is all you see of an iceberg. This represents around 10 percent of your brain capacity. In other words, the reason why we find it difficult to alter our habits and patterns is because our habits and patterns are not conscious. They are found in what you will come to know as the “Unconscious Mind” or the “Unconscious.”
The Subconscious is much larger than the conscious and stores many of the things that you cannot remember consciously, but with some focus or meditation, you may just access your mother’s phone number for example, or where you left your car keys. It accounts for around 50-60 percent of your brain’s capabilities.
For permanent change to occur, it must occur in the unconscious.
The next section, the area below the subconscious is known as the unconscious mind. It accounts for the other 30-40 percent of your brain’s capabilities. It is holds all your suppressed memories and is like the vault to all experiences. It is deep and vast, and is largely inaccessible to conscious thought, a bit like the dark depths of the ocean. Though using Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnosis, we can access this level of thinking. So let’s explore them in detail.
The conscious mind is your being aware of the present.
The consciousness mind is your awareness at this present moment. You are aware of something on the outside of you as well as some specific mental functions happening on the inside of you. Being aware of where you are right now for example, or the knowledge of your current emotional state, and if you are super conscious, you may even be aware of the timing of your heartbeats. Though can you recall the colour of the walls in the room where you awoke on your first birthday? Probably not. You’ll have to go deeper to access that.
The subconscious mind is the holder of superficial memories.
The subconscious mind or the preconscious is filled with accessible information. While you can’t remember certain things consciously, if you relaxed and focused your thinking you may recall information deep in your subconscious; an old phone number perhaps. Think of this as your access to surface memories. For example; while you had to be conscious of everything you had to do in order to drive a car when you were learning, that information is now stored in your subconscious. No doubt you sometimes wondered how you drove home, as you made a phone call or thought of everything and anything, but driving. The reason you can do that is thanks to your subconscious.
The unconscious mind is the holder of superficial memories.
The unconscious mind is the deep library of all your experiences. It’s like the library where you have read every book, yet their contents are vaulted in some deep, dark back room with a secret door. However, under hypnosis or deep level meditation all the books in your library can be recalled, though this access is not for the fainthearted. Unless you’re a trained NLP professional, access is denied.
While the unconscious can seem like a black hole of unacceptable impulses waiting to trip you up, it is a resource awaiting perfection. It can be the source of hidden beliefs, fears, and attitudes that interfere with everyday life, though once given a spring clean, it can become a major allay to success. Most forms of psychotherapy including neuro linguistic programming aim to bring into conscious awareness many of these hidden hindrances, so that we can examine them and choose how to deal with them.
The unconscious travels at over 300,000 mph!
The unconscious mind has by far more data than the other two combines, so it must process information at lightening speed. It is the fastest operating segment of mind and is purported to travel at over 300,000 mph (482,803.2 km/h).
During our childhood, as we climbed trees and created worlds of make-believe, we acquired numerous memories and experiences that formed who we are today. So within the vault of our unconscious live our beliefs, our values, unconscious patterns, subjective maps of reality, every decision we ever made and the source of every emotion we ever experienced. There is gold down there to be mined and garbage that should have been thrown out decades ago.
It is for all of these reasons that NLP Practitioners and NLP Masters are highly valued because they are trained to open doors that have been shut for generations. They have a master key to transformation.