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The Underestimation of the Subconscious – That’s How You Don’t Become a Slave to Yourself

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The subconscious

Have you ever experienced a loved one being in a coma? Of course I hope not. Even if it isn’t, we all know how important it is to keep talking to someone who is in a coma. We see it in movies, hear it from others and research shows it. Even though the person in a coma seems to consciously not get anything from it at all, on a subconscious level a lot is apparently happening.

An example closer to home: children. Research shows that most development takes place in the first thousand days of a child’s life. Physically, mentally, but also socially and emotionally. Did you know that the count of those 1000 days starts from the first month of pregnancy! So if they are still a small cashew nut and there is no question of regular consciousness yet.

Commerce is eagerly responding to this. I recently heard to my surprise that a musical vaginal speaker has been developed, also known as the babypod. You insert the device like a tampon, you put on some nice music and tadaa, your baby’s speech development will go crazy later…

The underestimation of the subconscious

So many people are aware of the subconscious of someone in a coma and of babies, but we don’t pay much attention to our own subconscious.

But don’t you ever wonder why your child’s behavior makes you freak out? While afterwards you rationally do not understand why you were so concerned about it?

Or

Why your behavior is becoming more and more like that of your parents. That behavior you used to say you never wanted to be?

Or

Why you can’t, for example, let go of your own perfectionism, while you so desperately long for it (see the article do you lead or suffer your perfectionism).

The 95-5 rule

You guessed it: the explanation lies in our subconscious. Did you know that 95% of all human behavior is unconscious? Researchers showed that only a staggering 5% is conscious behavior. So most of the time you live on autopilot.

And we all just think we make informed decisions and have control over many things. fooled! Yes, because that’s what your brain does. After making a decision by your unconscious brain, a signal is sent to your conscious brain. That will then come up with arguments that make it seem as if you have made a rational decision. In fact, that is not the case.

Now that you know this, it is suddenly not so strange that you start to resemble your parents even though you don’t want to. Or that after a conversation you think “Gee, why did I say that? That’s not what I meant at all!”

I will not make a plea for you to become fully aware of your behavior. In my opinion, that is terribly tiring and, moreover, not at all efficient. After all, that built-in autopilot also has its advantages. Because if everyone were to shift gears very consciously while driving, there would probably be a lot more accidents. After all, more attention when shifting gears means less attention on the road.

Action signals

But every now and then it doesn’t hurt to think a bit more about that 95%. Especially not if you’re feeling sad, frustrated, or stressed.

In our society, these emotions are often labeled as negative. I see it more as action signals. As they say in English emotions are energy in motion .

Look more often in the mirror of your child

Likewise, Dr. Shefaly Tsbary :

“Our children’s problematic behavior originates from a different place than is commonly thought. The majority originates from a lack of awareness of the dynamics our children are triggering in us from our own past.”

I don’t think it always has to do with your past though. When I’m irritated by my child’s specific behavior, I realize all too often that this is the very behavior I know or fear I’m exhibiting. But well, that is of course not a nice confrontation, so many prefer to project it onto the other person.

Do you want to move forward?

That knowledge brings you into the phase of ‘consciously incompetent’.

And to be honest: that is simply not the most fun phase of the growth process. Or rather: I find it the most frustrating. Knowing that you can’t do something, but can’t do it yet. It is, however, the most stimulating phase, if your desire to grow is strong enough, of course.

Need a nudge in the right direction?

The Australian nurse Bronnie Ware worked for years as a death counselor for terminal patients. She discovered a pattern in the things people regretted in their lives. She summed it up in the following 5 apologies:

  • “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life the way I wanted, not the life others expected of me.”
  • “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard and been there for my family.”
  • “I wish I’d had the guts to express my real feelings.”
  • “I wish I had spent more time with my friends and most importantly, that I’d nurtured and made important the friendships that were important to me.”
  • “I wish I had allowed myself to be happier.”

So do you really want to take action and not be a slave to yourself ? Then regularly think about your deathbed and think about how you will look back on your life if you continue in the way you are doing now.

Bronnie Ware concludes that life is a choice and that it is important that you choose consciously. I did and still do it every day. With all the challenges, bumps and bumps that sometimes come with it. What conscious choice do you make?

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