The other day I was chatting with someone who was interviewing me on his podcast and he seemed honestly perplexed over the term “conscious creation.” It was pretty clear to me that he thought it was a new-age, woo woo term, which I quickly corrected. “You do want to use your conscious brain to plan your life, right?” I paused, and he got it.
The truth of the matter is that the alternative is to allow your unconscious brain to plan your life. Sadly, this is what most people are doing, even if they are not fully aware of it. And hey, sometimes it turns out okay, but for many people, the reason they stay stuck is because the unconscious brain is flying the plane. Your unconscious brain is a good guy though, so don’t take away his pilot’s license quite yet. However it’s important that he’s been given the map we’d like him to follow. Remember, he’s got a heavy workload. The unconscious brain keeps our hearts beating, as well as the millions of other bodily functions that allow us to survive.
Speaking of survival.
Part of the unconscious brain’s responsibilities, is in fact to help us survive. That’s why anytime it perceives a threat, it alerts Air Traffic Control (the amygdala) to take immediate action (release of cortisol) so that we can land safely (fight or flee). The trouble occurs when that pilot of ours “thinks” calling a client or giving a presentation is dangerous. This is based on the “instructions” the unconscious brain has been given. If you give your pilot a map to Peoria, Illinois, you can’t expect to land in Los Angeles, right? Yet most of us are walking around wondering what the heck there is to do in Peoria after dark.
Was the pilot flying blind?
In reality, we can’t blame it on your brain. Part of the unconscious brain’s job is to help automate your thinking. In other words, thoughts you’ve had repeatedly become beliefs. Beliefs are then stored in your unconscious brain as a way of helping you navigate the friendly skies (aka, your life). We have to remember that our conscious brain (prefrontal cortex) is only 3-5% of our thinking. In other words, if we had to keep track of all the 65-75 THOUSAND thoughts that rattle around in our heads all day, we’d go nuts by noon. This is why your pilot has a nifty little process that allows him to install the destination into his GPS so the plane flies by itself and he can sit back and have a beer.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that the “destination” we give our pilot is really encrypted beliefs that we may or may not even be aware of. We may think we’re telling him to land us in LA, but the instructions he decoded from a life time of your beliefs tell him head somewhere else. Just imagine if you put an incorrect address in your GPS and then, of course, you end up at the wrong place. Do you throw the GPS away, or do you work on inputting a more accurate address? And to make matters worse for our obedient pilot, he’s got a flight attendant who is just as automated in her processing (am I being sexist making the pilot a boy and the flight attendant a girl? Maybe, but work with me here).
The flight attendant is known as your reticular activator system. She’s the filter. This system makes sure that the world you experience is in alignment with the beliefs stored in your unconscious brain. For example, if your experiences in life have led you to somehow believe that you are unworthy or that there’s never enough money, then your reticular activator system is going to filter out anything that’s contrary to those beliefs. And you thought she only passed out peanuts.
We now know through neuroscience that this is true, and that our unconscious brains are in fact maps that create the reality we experience. That’s why the same situations tend to resurface in your life, time and time again, even though you “think” you want something different. The majority of your thinking real estate is done without you even being consciously aware of it. It’s like your GPS got set by a grade schooler.
So how do we change the destination, or otherwise change beliefs and habits that are standing in the way?
Well, the technical answer is to create new neural connections in our brains which will cause electrical impulses that when coupled with positive neurotransmitters will, with repetition, begin to interrupt and replace the patterns that run on auto-pilot. The brain wave functionality has to be conducive to change as well.
Try this: You’ve got to get on the plane, push the pilot aside, and plug the new destination in the GPS. Essentially, your conscious brain has to “tell” your unconscious brain what it wants through the process I teach called “Medicreation.” Brain scan research tells us that when our brain wave activity is reduced (like right before you fall asleep or first wake up), that connection between the two brains is most open. From there, we feed a new image and emotion, giving the pilot and the flight attendant new marching orders, which they will be happy to carry out, once they see you’re serious.
Well, are you?
In order to train your brain, you ultimately have to mentally become the person who already has whatever it is you want in life.
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