Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

Mind Mastery: Take Control of Your Subconscious Thoughts

December 14, 2023 MaryAnn Walker Episode 73
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
Mind Mastery: Take Control of Your Subconscious Thoughts
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to the podcast! Today, we're diving into the fascinating world of conscious and subconscious thoughts. Picture your mind as a ship, with the captain representing your conscious mind and the crew as your subconscious. While the captain guides for long-term success, the crew sometimes takes charge, causing unexpected twists.

In real life, our subconscious thoughts often dictate our actions, shaping our results. 

To make these subconscious thoughts conscious is to take control. Consider the thoughts: 
"I'm not good enough"  
"I must be perfect to be loved." 
"Nothing ever works out for me."
"I can't change. This is just who I am."
"I must avoid failure at all costs."
"Having success means sacrificing happiness."

Do any of these beliefs resonate with you? Recognizing them is the first step to change.

Our brains seek evidence to confirm our thoughts, influencing our reality. But we can challenge these thoughts, steering our ship deliberately.

Two powerful tools for self-discovery are coaching and journaling. 

A coach provides an external perspective, revealing hidden thoughts. 

Journaling allows you to analyze your thoughts objectively. Highlight facts and separate them from the stories you tell yourself.

Remember, our subconscious aims to protect us, associating discomfort with danger. Be kind to yourself when the captain (conscious mind) is temporarily offline, and the crew (subconscious) takes over. Nurturing your captain mind, especially when tired or stressed, ensures better navigation.

Challenge your subconscious, question its stories, and consciously choose your thoughts. This week, focus on nurturing your captain mind and notice when the crew tries to take control. If you'd like personalized guidance, come and work with me. Click the link to apply now.

Virtual Tip Jar:  Several of you have wondered how you can say thank you for all of the free support I offer on my podcast, so here is a virtual tip jar!  If you find value in the content you've found here, feel free to click to buy me a drink!  Thanks for the love!  I couldn't do what I do without you. 

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Well, hello and welcome back! So today we're going to be exploring the idea of conscious versus subconscious thoughts, and specifically we're going to be exploring the idea of our subconscious thoughts being what is actually driving our actions and behaviors, and what is actually creating our results. So, I want you to imagine for a moment a captain on a ship. The captain is there to tell the crew what to do and how to navigate the water safely in order to get them to their desired destination. The captain represents our conscious mind. And our conscious mind, it seeks to make the best decisions for us for the long term. The subconscious mind is represented by the crew and the crew usually follows orders, but every now and then there might be a mutiny where the crew is just going to do what the crew is going to do. Now the crew might be assuming that they know what's best, even though they don't have the experience or the perspective that the captain has. And so sometimes then they might be doing these things out of just pure rebellion, right? In the case of mutiny. Or maybe they really are doing the best that they can while the captain is temporarily offline. So maybe the captain is taking a nap or getting something to eat or is sick below deck. We don't really know what's going on with the captain, but something's going on with the captain and the crew is just doing the best they can with the tools that they have and with the experience level that they have. So the crew represents our subconscious mind, and while ideally the captain and the crew are working together, ultimately it's the crew, or our subconscious mind, that is deciding where it is that we go. But the cool thing is that the more we can make our subconscious thoughts conscious, the better our chances are of getting to where it is that we want to go. So to illustrate this point, first I want to share with you three examples. Okay. The first example is Mark. Now, Mark has found himself repeatedly attracting toxic relationships. Unconsciously, he believes that he doesn't deserve genuine love and acceptance. And this subconscious thought is leading him to sabotage otherwise healthy connections and really settle for less than what it is that he truly deserves in relationship. Alright, example number two is Sarah. Sarah has a recurring pattern of procrastination, especially when it comes to facing challenging tasks. And she has this subconscious thought that, Well, if I never try, I can't fail. And this thought is controlling her actions, and it's really preventing her from reaching her fullest potential. And because she isn't consciously aware of this thought and what it's creating for her, then she's remaining stuck and disappointed in life. And she might even be having other thoughts like, well, everybody else just has more luck than me or more opportunities than I've had. Alright, example number three, Amanda. Now Amanda is a super talented professional who consistently struggles in job interviews even though she has a really impressive resume and a lot of experience. So unbeknownst to Amanda, Bye. She has a deep seated belief that she will never be good enough. And this belief, it manifests as nervous body language, she avoids making eye contact, and she's also offering up self doubting responses during these interviews. And that's ultimately hindering her chances of getting any of these jobs that she's interviewing for, even though she's highly qualified. So in each of these examples, subconscious thoughts are driving the ship. So to speak, and these particular thoughts are not steering them in the direction that they want to go. Now, when I'm coaching somebody, it can be really interesting to see what thoughts are actually driving my client's actions. And once these thoughts have been pointed out to the client, oftentimes the client is surprised to learn that that is just a thought. Because they've been navigating life as if this was actually So here are a few thoughts that I might see in my coaching sessions. And as I'm saying that out loud, I want you to feel into your body and just observe if any of these really feel true to you. And if they do feel true to you, I want you to kind of question it a little bit and ask yourself, okay, what is that thought creating for me? Alright, you ready? Okay, here we go. I'm not good enough. Nothing ever works out for me. If somebody isn't happy, it's my fault. I'm a failure. I could never do something like that. I don't deserve to be happy. I could never make that much money. I can't change. This is just how I am. I'm too old. I'm too young. It's just safer for things to stay the same. This is out of my control. I must avoid failure at all costs. I must be perfect before I can be loved. Having success means sacrificing happiness. I can't trust anybody. Asking for help or support is a weakness. And if I ask them for help or support, they're going to know I'm weak and they might leave. I will never be as good as they are. So notice which of these thoughts felt true to you and then explore what that thought might be creating for you. Because our subconscious thoughts really are creating our reality. So I wanted to share one silly example of this that really illustrates this well, and it happened in a conversation I had recently with a friend of mine. So this friend absolutely loves ceramics and has really been wanting to learn how to spin pots on a wheel. And so when I saw that the local ceramics studio was offering a free scholarship for a six week course, they were going to offer a free six week course and then also a half tuition six week course, I was so excited about it. And all you had to do was comment on their post. to be entered to win. So I commented on it and said, Oh, this is so cool. I hope I win. And then I sent it to my friend via messenger and I told her, Hey, you should totally apply. This would be so much fun. Wouldn't it be cool if we both won and we could take the class together. And I never heard back from her. And when I saw her again, I said, Hey, like, did you get my message? Did you see that contest? And she said, well, yeah, I did see your message, but I didn't enter the contest. And I said, well, why not? It was so easy to enter. And she said, well, I mean, it sounds silly, but I didn't enter because I never win anything. So why should I try? And I couldn't help it. I just blurted out, well, yeah, you just guaranteed that you wouldn't win. And it was just so interesting. Just see that really obvious example of how thoughts create our reality. So as a side note, I did in fact win the half price scholarship for their six week course. And I won all because I was willing to think the thought, why not me? I have just as good of a chance as anybody at winning. So as you're bringing these subconscious thoughts into your conscious awareness, remember that sometimes the captain is offline. We like to think that we can just always be acting through our highest mind, but that's not always the case. So sometimes the captain might be sick, or sleeping, or otherwise unavailable. So just notice for yourself that when you're feeling sick, Or tired. Or hungry. Know that it's during those times that more than likely the subconscious thoughts are going to be sneaking in and taking over the ship. And this is normal. So give yourself some grace. Take a nap. Get some food. Nurture yourself back to health. And just be kind to yourself. Until your captain mind can come back online again. And also don't be too hard on the crew. The truth is that the crew, our subconscious thoughts, they really are very well intentioned. They're doing the best that they can. And ultimately our subconscious is just trying to keep us safe. Our subconscious wants to keep us alive and make sure we don't experience any pain or discomfort. So for example, I'll kind of refer to the examples from earlier. With Mark, then himself, sabotaging his relationships. It was preventing him from being in any relationship at all, good or bad, and that can often feel safer than being in a relationship when you have a fear of worthiness or a fear of abandonment. Sarah's thought that if she never tried that she won't fail, then that did in fact limit the number of failures that she was experiencing, right? If you never try, you aren't going to fail. But it was also limiting the number of successes. And Amanda's fear of not being good enough, it really helps to keep her off of everybody else's radar. So then she never actually has to step out of her comfort zone to really step up in the workplace. Because nobody knows how awesome she is. So our subconscious is there to really keep us safe and It really associates danger with discomfort, and so our subconscious thinks, Uh oh, you're experiencing a little bit of discomfort. You're experiencing a little bit of insecurity. This means death, essentially, right? It's like, uh oh, this is the end of the world. Our ship is sinking. Quick, what do we need to do in order to save ourselves? But really just remind yourself that nope, this is just what my brain is going to do and it's okay. My brain is well intentioned. It's okay, subconscious. I've got this. It's going to be okay. The ship is not sinking. This is just a little bit of mild discomfort. So another really interesting thing to notice about the brain is that Our brain is going to be looking for evidence that whatever it is that we're thinking is true. So if you're having these thoughts, so let's just go back to the example of Mark, if he's thinking that he doesn't deserve a relationship, then every time a relationship fails, he's actually going to be experiencing a little bit of a dopamine hit. Because his brain is going to say, Huh, I told you so. See, I was right. You should have listened to me. And the brain, it wants to be right even more than it wants to be happy. It's kind of the crew versus that captain mind. Right, so the captain knows what is going to create that long term success. But the crew is still learning, and they're stumbling around and doing the best that they can, but they really want to be right even more than they want to be happy. So just kind of know that about your brain, and check in with self. Allow your captain mind to come back on line, and really choose what it is that you want to create on purpose. Knowing that, yes, this is going to be a little bit uncomfortable, but this is the route that I'm going to take, this is the way to get to my destination, and I'm willing to lean into that discomfort in order to get there. Alright, so now that we know the importance of these subconscious thoughts and how they really are the ones driving the ship, how can we come to better identify these thoughts? I want to share with you my two favorite ways. So the first way, of course, is get coached. It can be really, really helpful to have somebody outside of you reflect back to you what it is that you're thinking and what it is that that is actually creating for you. So even though I am a coach, I still get coached regularly because I know that those subconscious thoughts are pretty sneaky. And when those subconscious thoughts come in, our brain wants to look for evidence that they're true and it doesn't want me to question it. But somebody observing me and observing what it is that I'm expressing, they can help to reflect that back to me. So I can be like, Oh wait, yeah, you're right. That's not the route that I want to take. So if you have a coach, awesome. Go and book a call with them. Highly recommend. If you don't have a coach, I would love to be considered as your coach. So you can click the link in my show notes to come and find me. I would love to work with you. All right. The second way that we can identify these thoughts is to journal. Just do a thought download. And then look objectively at what you wrote. I know that for me, I can type a lot faster than I can write. So I'll sit at my computer and type it up, and then I'll feel for a bit, I'll take a little break, and then when I come back, I can try to read it a bit more objectively. And as I'm reading, I try to go through and highlight what the facts are. And once the facts have been highlighted, then I can use that as a reminder to my brain that, Oh, that means all the rest of this is story. And then it helps me to see a bit more clearly what that story is creating for me. So for example, maybe I'm doing a thought download on holiday parties and maybe one of the facts is I hosted a holiday party and four people RSVP'd. Now that would be a fact. It could be proven and everybody would agree. They could see that, oh yes, she is hosting a party and oh yes, I can see these responses from these four people that RSVP'd. That is a fact. But everything else would just be story. So for example, maybe you're writing that everybody is just so super inconsiderate. I can't believe they did RSVP. Or maybe you're telling yourself the story that, well, they must not like me. Or maybe they don't like holiday parties. Or maybe it was this party in particular that they just don't like. Maybe they think I'm bad at hosting parties.

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We have all of this story around it and just to take a minute and remind ourselves that nope, okay, these are the facts and this is just story and it's going to be okay.

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And isn't it interesting that I'm making it mean something about me? So notice what that would be creating for you. So if you, for example, have the belief that, well, maybe people aren't going to RSVP because they want to keep their schedule open just in case they get invited to an even better party. How is that going to be impacting how I show up? As the hostess of this party. I'm probably going to be a little bit more nitpicky. You know, I'm not going to be as engaging. I'll probably be feeling pretty down on myself. It's going to be impacting how I show up at that party. Right? But if I'm just able to be like, Oh, hey, they showed up. I'm so glad that you're here. You know, maybe I didn't get an RSVP, but I can still just be so happy. that they made it. And then that's going to shift how I'm showing up in that situation. So just notice what your thoughts are and really kind of think through, okay, what is that going to be creating for me? If that is the thought that I'm believing, how am I going to be showing up in this situation? How can I activate my higher captain mind? You know, I want to notice more when the super well intentioned, but not super wise Subconscious mind is wanting to sneak in and try to fill in my stories for me. So for this week, do all that you can to really nurture your captain mind. notice when you're feeling tired, take a nap, eat some healthy food, take a break when you need it, do whatever it is that you need to do to keep your captain mind online. And also notice that when your subconscious mind wants to take over and they want to take control of the ship again, remind yourself that, Oh, isn't that sweet and well intentioned, but I've got this, it's going to be okay. And again, if you would like some help and support learning how to better navigate your mind and choose your thoughts on purpose, come and work with me. I would love to be your life coach. So you can click the link in the show notes to apply to work with me now. And yeah, I hope you have a great week and let's talk soon. All right. Bye now.