When we talk about the way that our brain works, it’s important to remember that we’ve got two parts of our mind; one part is what we’ll call our ‘conscious’ mind, which is the stuff that we’re really aware of, and then there’s a whole other part of our brain that we call the ‘unconscious’ or ‘subconscious’.
About 95% of what goes on in your head takes place in what we call our ‘unconscious’ or ‘subconscious’ brain. If you picture an iceberg – about 95% of an iceberg is located underwater – and our brain is not that different.
I see this all the time; that the stuff you think you can control is the bit of a tip of the iceberg – that’s just the part that’s outside the water that you can see, but there’s a whole heap of other stuff going on under the surface that you are not even consciously aware of, such as memories and experiences.
And it’s this subconscious thinking that really determines our behaviours. It affects the way that we feel, the way that we think, and probably even some of the things that we do.
So, you can imagine at a much deeper level, that if we’ve got goals that we want to achieve, but we’ve got all of this subconscious stuff going on in head that’s holding us back, it can make it really hard to move forward.
Imagine, as an example, that you want to lose weight and you’re making an effort to eat healthier. But instead of making a healthy breakfast in the morning, you’ll find some reason not to, and you’ll end up buying something unhealthy on the way to work. And you might have the intention of exercising at lunchtime, but for some reason, you don’t do it. And then when you get home, you mean to go for a walk but instead you find yourself on the coach, eating junk food and watching reruns of The Block, so what you find is that you’re falling back into bad habits and not achieving your goals.
Subconscious behaviour might be getting in the way, but once we can identify the things that we’re doing, then we can ask ourselves why we do it, and this is where using a life coach or doing some work with a therapist, can really help us to understand why we are the person we are, and why we do the things that we do.
You can have all of the good intentions at the conscious level, but if you’ve still got bad habits from when you were a kid, it’s time to realise that these are longer serving you, or helping you to achieve what you want.
One of my specialities is helping people to focus on better eating, breathing, sleeping moving and hydrating, and a lot of my clients come to me because they want to lose weight, and learn how to do all of those things really well, however the biggest challenge is often self-sabotage.
Let’s talk about some quick and easy ways you can shift your daily habits, so that no matter what roadblocks your subconscious might be putting up, you’re still making progress.
The reality is that there’s a lot that you can actually do with your conscious mind. If you think about what your day looks like, the reality is that there are plenty of opportunities for getting proactive.
Improve your eating:
Start to focus on the way that you’re eating and start to notice the things that you’re eating. Are you making really good choices? Or can you start to educate yourselves about how to make better food choices? Are you starving yourself and then realizing that it’s three o’clock and you haven’t eaten, so you’re eating junk?
Are you moving enough in the day, or are you sitting down all day? Could you consider switching to a standing desk? Can you schedule more movement into your day – even just stretching for a couple of minutes each hour?
Get serious about your productivity:
Consider setting a timer for an hour of productivity each day. Turn your phone and devices off, and clearly focus on your goals, your action steps and then, at the end of the hour, reward yourself by taking a break to go for a walk or sit in the sun.