I share a startling revelation in the introduction of my best-selling book The Love Code: our subconscious mind is a million times stronger than our conscious mind. If our subconscious directly opposes our conscious willpower for any reason, our conscious mind will lose every time. This is why self-help books and programs fail 97 percent of the time! Just like a computer, our built-in programming makes us hardwired for certain behaviors and actions.
Think about when you’re driving and an animal darts in front of your car. Your instinct is to slam on the brakes, right? Well, you may think that you made a conscious decision to do this, but the reality is that your unconscious mind completely bypasses your optical system and sends an immediate signal that directs your foot to slam on the brake.
This happens constantly. It’s second nature to us and we think it’s our mind controlling our actions and it is, but it’s our subconscious mind, not our conscious mind.
Unfortunately, over the centuries our definitions of life or death have devolved, rather than evolved. In caveman days, kill meant kill. Life was pretty straightforward. There weren’t thousands of stressors bombarding us daily. Today the average person has hundreds of definitions for dead and kill. Now these aren’t “literal” life or death situations, but our subconscious treats them as such. We even have expressions that illustrate this so-called angst -- “if this traffic doesn’t clear up I’m gonna die!”
Your conscious mind would know, of course, that you don’t literally mean I’m really gonna die, but your subconscious mind takes everything literally. It’s all black and white. This affects your physical well being and bodily functions, everything from your digestive to your immune system. Your conscious positive thoughts even halt temporarily because you’re suddenly in life or death mode.
The latest statistics say the average person experiences these fight or flight occurrences 5 to 30 times a day. It’s so commonplace to us that we don’t see it as a malfunction, however. We see it as completely normal.
How do you know when your subconscious is controlling your decisions and how can you stop it? Simply put, if you are feeling negative thoughts and feelings that are not consistent with your circumstances, then your subconscious is navigating your actions.
In other words, although no life or death occurrence is happening, you are feeling anxiety, fear, stress, anger. This can be a seemingly innocent trigger like traffic. Take, for example, two people stuck in traffic - one is about to blow a gasket and the other is calmly listening to music and talking on the phone and taking it all in stride.
The issue is that people think “this is just me.” I’m here to tell you it’s not you. You’ve got wrong programming in your mind. I’d love for you to get to the point where something like traffic doesn’t take two years off your life because you are sent into a life or death mode driven by your subconscious! A good way to determine if your internal programming is driving your actions is to ask someone you trust if you are having a “normal reaction.”
What is your “I’m not ok when this happens place?” This is where you are being controlled by unconscious programming and it won’t stop until it is unprogrammed.
I encourage you to welcome these stress triggers because they can help you make a diagnostic of how you are focused on the wrong goals. Any emotions from the anger family are the best diagnostic -- irritation, resentment, bitterness, anger. If you’re feeling these then have an incorrect goal based on circumstantial expectations. This is a happiness killer and it spikes your stress.
What I wish for you more than anything is the opposite of this stressed-out programming. The opposite of this is peace. You can fake happiness, joy and even love. You really can’t fake peace. You either feel it or you don’t.
Work on the issues controlled by your subconscious until you reach a point of peace. It doesn’t mean you like your circumstances, but that you are at peace with them.