How Well Do You Know Yourself? Understanding the Two Brains
I heard a hilarious comic talk about the idea that we have two brains. We have one brilliant brain and one dumb brain. He came up with this idea based on some psychological tricks he heard of, where you can change the physiology of your body to be happier when you’re feeling down. The example he used was when you’re feeling sad you can choose to put on a big goofy smile on your face, and your dumb brain thinks “Oh I’m happy now” and it starts to feel better. Ha. There is some truth to this and you can see from this article on all of the studies associated with smiling.
Understanding the Conscious and Subconscious Minds: A Key to Self-Discovery
Using his analogy, for fun, I’m going to share how his joke perfectly aligns with what I teach my clients. What I believe and share is that we have our conscious mind (aka brilliant brain) and our subconscious mind (aka dumb brain). Our conscious mind is where we take in information daily (i.e. using our senses – see, hear, smell, taste and touch) and this information is made up of experiences, social media/news content, interactions with our friends and family, what we read… etc. You get the idea. It's all of the information we take in during our waking hours and we sift through it for what matters to us. In his example, our conscious mind would learn how smiling can benefit us when we’re in a bad mood, so we intentionally choose to smile as big as we can, even amidst the alligator tears.
Now turning to the subconscious mind, this is where we store information that drives our “automatic” or “habitual” thoughts, beliefs, reactions and overall behaviour so as to save energy for acquiring new information. The subconscious mind (aka dumb brain) reacts to the experience in front of us based on previous programming and does not check in first to see if the reaction is the best or appropriate response. It just does its thing… without “thinking”.
When the comedian says something along the lines of “The dumb brain is dumb because it's part of the planning process, but it still gets tricked” It's part of the same brain that figured out how to spur the change. Hilarious! Truth is that it's funny because we can trick ourselves into temporarily believing something new, but to truly make truly lasting change it requires a lot more intention and awareness.
In order to make lasting changes in our lives we need to “trick” ourselves into new beliefs that serve us. Into new reactions (aka ways of responding) that serve us. Our subconscious mind takes whatever information it receives along with any sort of emotional impact (highlighting that it is important) as fact and causes us to act out in a way that keeps us “safe” with this knowledge.
The truth is, the subconscious mind does keep us safe in some circumstances (i.e. stopping us from stepping in front of a speeding car or stopping us from putting our hand in a fire). And it also helps us perform tasks that we enjoy like playing an instrument, skiing, surfing or painting without a ton of mental exertion.
In truth, our subconscious mind isn’t dumb. It’s impressionable. It’s important that we protect it and what we impress upon it by creating boundaries around our inputs. We start to remove ourselves from negative people, fear driven content, draining environments and experiences that we know are not bringing us closer to living the lives we want to live. When we start to surround ourselves with like-minded encouraging people, inspiring and belief building content, supporting environments and intentional growth driven experiences our results will begin to change as well.
I believe our subconscious mind (i.e. dumb brain) is the mastermind behind all of our current results and that we need to not only be aware of what is fueling it but also how it is impacting our perspective on every experience we have. Like training any muscle, for muscle memory to develop, you need consistency, repetition and active stretching. The “work” of retraining your subconscious mind takes much less energy when you are surrounded by a community that sees what you are creating for yourself and believes it is possible for you. It takes a lot more energy to make change when you are surrounded by people who don’t believe in you or if you are filtering through a constant barrage of all of the things you should worry about. Some “shoulds”, “have-tos” and short-sighted beliefs are like weights around your ankles as you are trying to swim to the surface of the water for air. Start fresh. Join us to identify where your subconscious mind is driving your life in ways that aren’t serving you, determine what you want your life to look like with fantastic clarity and put the habit training in place that gives your subconscious mind the proper instructions to propel your life forward.
Discovering Your True Self: An Exploration of Your Habits and Beliefs
To know yourself is to know what is driving all of your behaviour. Those things we do on autopilot, without much thought, are what create the results we are attracting right now. Do you know what you want? What do you want to do for a living? Who do you want to be with? How much money do you want to attract? How healthy do you want to be? How smart are you? How capable are you in the kitchen? How athletic are you? How funny are you?
Really think about it. Don’t just take your first instinct or your automatic responses. Really think about it. I suggest writing out a description of who you are today and then walking away. Come back to that description the next day and ask yourself after each sentence, after each descriptor, is that true? Do I want that to be true? Do I have to accept that? What if the opposite was true?
This can be a very eye opening experience and one that may pop up over and over again through the next couple days. You will realize how many beliefs you are carrying around out of habit or comfort without questioning their validity. And maybe they were true, at some point in your past, but things change. You change. You evolve. Your likes, interests, age, style, hobbies and knowledge all change. Nothing is bad or good. They are simply beliefs you held that you may not want to carry around anymore.
After that exercise, consider my question again. How well do you know yourself? If you were to ask me I would tell you “It’s just the beginning of this new relationship with myself and I am lovingly learning more about myself everyday!”
In conclusion, understanding the relationship between our conscious mind and subconscious mind is a crucial aspect of self-discovery and personal growth. By being aware of the beliefs and habits that drive our behavior, we can start to make intentional changes that align with our goals and desires. The process of self-reflection and questioning our beliefs can be eye-opening and empowering, leading us towards a life filled with greater fulfillment and happiness.
So, I invite you to join the Milli Evolution community and take the first step towards transforming your life. Together, we will work on identifying your limiting beliefs, setting clear goals and creating a supportive environment that propels you towards success. Don't wait, start the journey of self-discovery and personal growth today!