How to train your subconscious mind: A simple analysis of Freud’s complex finding for modern-day scatterbrains.

Image owned by Roger Hargreaves

Well hellooooo world! How are youuuuu? Yes, I’ve been gone for a minute, trying my best to manage the different things I’ve got going on in my world: school (my new schedule’s whippin’ me like cake batter), my daughter’s active social life (she’s currently putting mine, or lack thereof, to shame…smh…), the ups and downs of self-employment, and keeping my goals and ambitions at the forefront of my mind. Nonetheless, I know there are other graduate students out there leading active and demanding lives, who still would prefer the craziness over the mundane. Therefore, I will continue to write, I will not complain, and I’ll do better with communicating various ideas to all of you beautiful people! Muah! Now, onto the task at hand: the subconscious mind….

So, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) introduced the world to the idea of the unconscious mind or unconscious motivation, which pretty much fuels our conscious mind, experiences, and behavior. Freud believed that for the most part, human beings are driven by sexual and aggressive instincts. As a child is taught how to function in this world, part of the problem, according to Freud, is as follows:

…Society does not teach the innocent child about sexuality and aggression. Instead, the child is born with sexual and aggressive drives. Society curbs those drives, teaching the child to inhibit them. One outgrowth of the conflict between the individual drives and social demands is misery and neurosis. To Freud, the price of progress in civilization is personal misery, the forfeiting of happiness, and a heightened sense of guilt (Pervin, Cervone, and Oliver, 2005, p. 79).

Sigmund Freud

According to Freud (and put in my own words), since the world kind of sucks (in a way) the human psyche has developed several defense mechanisms that are used instinctively to ward off the anxiety that develops from pervasive feelings of guilt and unhappiness. These feelings of anxiety are also closely attached to occurrences that took place during childhood, and aren’t necessarily recalled by the conscious mind. A few defense mechanisms  include denial, projection, rationalization, and repression.

Repression is the most intriguing of all the defense mechanisms, in my opinion, and I’m not exactly sure why. I do understand, however, that most defense mechanisms are repressive in nature, and that severe repression of traumatic events can cause physical illness. Pervin et. al. (2005) suggest that people who insist that they are “OK” when they are clearly unwell are also practicing a repressive coping style. While people who do this may think that they don’t want to bother others with their problems, they must bother someone or something with their problems, or otherwise risk their relationships with others (and themselves), as well as personal good health if they do not address pervasive issues.

Remaining on track, I wanted to provide that bit of information to lead you to the discussion that heads this blog post, and that is of ways in which to train your subconscious mind. Many of us don’t have a clue as to all the junk that’s in our subconscious minds, and we probably don’t want to know either; I don’t know about you but for me, don’t tell me what’s in there. You can go in, have a looksie, if you see anything that’s unhealthy and needs to come out, get rid of it. But psychoanalytic therapy does not work that way, and is definitely filled with its own limitations. For instance, whose value system determines what’s “healthy” and “unhealthy?” Denial can be both healthy and unhealthy in that it may be healthy to be in denial about a terminal illness so that you spend the rest of your days in a good psychological state, yet it is clearly unhealthy to deny the existence of a destructive habit or behavior, which ultimately suggests failure to address this problem.

Moving on, I read an awesome article about how the subconscious mind works. Karim Hajee (n. d.) describes the relationship between the subconscious and conscious mind as driver and passenger, respectively. Hajee (n. d.) says “think of it this way: you’re [sic] riding in a car driven by your personal driver, and everytime your driver asks you where you want to go you simply say ‘I don’t know. Wherever you want to go is fine with me'” (para. 12).  How much of a fail is that? Massive, EPIC even. How do you get your subconscious or unconscious mind to drive you to your desired location? Well first off, you might want to be clear about where you’re going…I’m just saying…

Hajee (n. d.), Steve Pavlina et. al. discuss how you have to stay focused on your goals and objectives without changing your mind when things don’t go your way. Also, when the mind first gets used to being and staying focused, it’s not going to be easy; in fact, your mind is going to constantly want to revert back to “the way we used to do things ’round here,” which will only stifle your growth. One recommendation is to start your day by reciting your written (or memorized) goals statement; something that summons within you emotions of happiness, joy, excitement, and the like when you say them. Don’t just say them with no feeling, and out of obligation to something outside of yourself, but say them with determation, and SEE yourself in possession of whatever you are visualizing. This practice is vital to the rest of your day, because it is with this exercise that your day will begin to take shape.

Next, make a daily to-do list; this helps to keep you on track to carry out the tasks that are related to your personal goals. Turn off that daggone television and that radio (unless you are getting paid to have them on), and listen to audio CD’s and other forms of media that are discussing issues relevant to your goals. This will keep you excited throughout the day, it will imput or download new stimuli into your subconscious, it will feed your conscious mind, and bring you closer to finding ways to manifest your dreams.

These are but a few recommendations, and for time’s sake I’ll stop here, and add a few suggestions for further reading below. Let me just say, though, that we all have goals, ambitions, and dreams, and we have to take immediate action to go from one side of the street to another. We are not going to be the same people we used to be as we traverse new territory, so be open, willing, and excited about change. Find a support group of individuals who share your same desire to do things BIG, take-over style. Find some other people who are doing what you want to do, and either ask for their mentorship, or watch them from afar. At first, all of this is going to require a bit of diligence because you’re not always going to want to do it. But, as they say, success is doing things that others won’t so you can live the way that others can’t. *duly noted*

"I always knew I was going to be rich. I don't think I ever doubted it for a minute. " ~Warren Buffett

To your success!

K. Nola Mokeyane
References
Hajee, K. (n. d.). How to Train Your Subconscious Mind/101SelfHelp SuccessMotivation.com. Retrieved from http://www.101selfhelpsuccessmotivation.com/Articles/trainingthemindandsubconscious.htm
Pavlina, S. (2010). How to Order/StevePavlina.com. Retrieved from http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2010/02/how-to-order/
Pervin, L., Cervone, D., and Oliver, J. (2005). Theories of Personality. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
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3 responses to “How to train your subconscious mind: A simple analysis of Freud’s complex finding for modern-day scatterbrains.

  1. A very interesting read Sweet Pea! That subconscious mind can be a doozie.

  2. cool.thanks

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