It is good to realize that there is hope even for those who used positive thinking and failed miserably.
The incredible power of the mind
You’ve probably heard about the incredible power of our minds, and maybe about my (Dr. Bruce H. Lipton, ed.) research*. This research on cells provided insight into the way the mind-body connections work. I want to make it very clear that I don’t think that simply positive thinking always leads to physical healing. It takes more than just ‘positive thinking’ to take control of your body and your life.
Only positive thinking has no effect
Indeed, it is important for our health and well-being to direct the energy of our minds towards positive, life-giving thoughts and to banish ever-present, energy-consuming, and debilitating negative thoughts. But, and I mean that in the broadest sense of ‘but’, positive thinking alone doesn’t necessarily have any effect on our lives! In fact, people who fail to think positively sometimes become wearier because they now think their situation is hopeless—they believe they have exhausted all the remedies of mind and body.
The Conscious Mind
What these positive thinking dropouts have failed to understand is that the seemingly “separate” subdivisions of the mind, consciousness, and subconscious mind, are interdependent. The conscious mind – which is the seat of our personal identity, source, or mind – is the creative mind. He can look to the future, look back at the past, or detach from the present moment as he solves problems in our heads. Through its creative capacity, the conscious mind can create our wishes, desires, and aspirations for our lives. It is the mind that can conjure up ‘positive thoughts’.
The subconscious mind
The subconscious mind, on the other hand, is primarily a repository of stimulus-response tape recordings that arise from instincts and learned experiences. The subconscious mind is essentially a creature of habit; he will – to our chagrin – in response to life’s cues display the same behavioral responses over and over again.
How many times have you found yourself going over the edge over something as trivial as an open tube of toothpaste? You have learned since childhood to put the cap on carefully. If you then find the tube without the cap on it, the plugs will ‘blow’ and you will automatically become furious. At that point, you have experienced the simple stimulus-response chain of a behavioral program stored in your subconscious mind.
Which ghost wins?
When it comes to purely neurological processing power, the subconscious mind is more than a million times
more powerful than the conscious mind. If the wishes of the conscious mind conflict with the programs in the subconscious mind, which ‘spirit’ do you think will win?
You can repeat the positive affirmation over and over that you are loving or that your tumor will shrink, but if you were told over and over as a child that you are worthless and sickly, these messages programmed into your subconscious will be your best conscious effort. to change your life, undermine it. Just think how quickly your last New Year’s resolution to eat less was dashed when the aroma of the roast turkey swallowed that resolution.
I think the biggest problem we face is that we think we live our lives with the wants, desires, and aspirations that our conscious mind creates. When we fight or fail to achieve our goals, we generally tend to conclude that we are victims of forces outside of us that prevent us from reaching our destiny. But neuroscience has now determined that the conscious mind is in control only about 5 percent of the time. It turns out that the programs acquired by the subconscious mind determine 95 percent or more of our life experiences.
Since subconscious programs are run without the conscious mind being required to perceive or control them, we are completely oblivious to the fact that the subconscious mind makes our day-to-day decisions. Our lives are essentially a printout of our subconscious programs, behaviors that we actually learned from others (our parents, our family, our community) before we were six years old. Psychologists recognize that a majority of these developmental programs are limiting and disempowering.
But for now, it’s good to realize that there is hope, even for those who used positive thinking and failed miserably. The all-important fact is that disempowering programs in the subconscious mind can be quickly rewritten using techniques such as hypnotherapy, affirmations, body-oriented therapies, and a host of new approaches called “energetic-psychological.”
Exercise: Contemplation moment
While reading this article, has it become clear why positive thinking sometimes doesn’t work for you? You probably have that one problem that keeps coming back, despite your efforts to think positively. The reason that some resolutions and the like fall into the water again, therefore, can probably be found in your unconscious mind. You can now take a moment to examine a problem by asking the right questions. For example, think of:
- What subconscious programs are running in your subconscious mind that keep you failing?
- Did something happen during your childhood that got in the way of success?
- How do you subconsciously think about the topics surrounding this problem?
- How do you (subconsciously) think about yourself?
- What conditioning is getting in the way?
You can use these questions or formulate your own questions.