Episode 1: Freeing Yourself From Your Mind
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Freeing Yourself From Your Mind
Step 1 To Living Your Ideal Life
Are you someone who’s had an inkling that there’s got to be more to your personal or professional life than what you’re experiencing? Are you ready to live a more ideal life? Then I’m excited to hear it because that’s exactly what we’ll be showing you how to do with Guiding You Through The Maze.
I’ve got so much to share with you that can literally change your life for the better and help you live the life of your dreams. As a psychologist, I’ve spent decades helping people live more ideal lives and that’s exactly what I want to help you do. In this three-part series, I’ll be walking you through my process for living your ideal life. I’ll be sharing the inside scoop on how your mind works, how you can discover your true purpose and passions and then how you can program your mind so that it creates the life of your dreams. Whether you realize it or not, your mind is the most powerful factor in how your life ends up looking. It can be either a major liability that keeps you trapped in dysfunctional patterns throughout your life or your greatest asset in creating your ideal life. My goal with this show is to help you become a true master of your own mind.
The Coaching Connector
Before I get into my process for helping you live your ideal life, I wanted to explain why I started The Coaching Connector and why I believe in the life-changing power of coaching. For many years, I personally felt like a mouse in a maze trying to figure out the secret to living a truly content and rewarding life. I spent years reading psychology and self-help book upon self-help book. I spent hundreds of dollars on seminars trying to figure out the secrets of successful happy people had learned to use their minds so effectively. Just like the mouse in the maze, I came to many dead ends and went down some rabbit holes before learning how to navigate the maze much more easily. What changed my life was when I began working with coaches. With a coach, it was like I had a map to navigate my way through the maze. Coaching enabled me to make exponential progress in my life and that’s exactly the success I want to help you create in yours with this podcast and the Coaching Connector. The reason we often need the perspective of a coach or a mentor to make progress in our life has to do with how our mind is designed, particularly our subconscious mind.
What many people don’t understand is that over 90% of our thoughts and behaviors are influenced by our subconscious mind. That part of our mind that’s outside our conscious awareness. This subconscious mind is an extremely powerful part of our mind. It has an amazing ability to create a reality that fits the way it’s been programmed by our past experiences. While our subconscious mind is extremely powerful, it’s not very smart per se. It will create a reality that fits its programming regardless of whether it’s in our best interest or not. The subconscious mind also prioritizes our safety and survival, while our happiness is put on the way back burner.
The majority of the struggles and dissatisfaction we experience in life is due to our subconscious mind. This is why coaching is so important to helping us make lasting positive changes in our lives. Because our subconscious mind is outside our conscious awareness, we often have little to no idea about how it’s impacting our lives or sabotaging the progress we’re trying to make. A talented coach provides one of the most valuable assets you can have in trying to overcome the impact of your subconscious mind. The guidance, encouragement and accountability a coach can provide is often the difference between breaking free from the constraints of your subconscious mind in living your ideal life or forever repeating the same limiting patterns despite your best efforts.Your mind is the most powerful factor in how your life ends up looking. Click To Tweet
I’m particularly excited about the many highly talented coaches we’ll be introducing you to during subsequent episodes of the show. Each will be describing in detail how they can help you in sharing concrete tools or information that you can begin using right away to make progress on your journey through the maze. Let’s dive into my three-step method for living your ideal life, which includes step one, freeing yourself from the database of your mind. Step two, discovering your true self and step three, learning to think constructively. I’ll be explaining each of these steps in the first three episodes and then we’ll jump right into the different coaches who will be able to guide you more specifically through the process and into your ideal personal and professional life.
The First Step: Freeing Yourself From The Database Of Your Mind
Let’s begin with the first step of the process of living your ideal life. Freeing yourself from the database of your mind. In order to do this, one of the first things I need you to understand is the difference between your true self versus your mind’s database. Think for a moment about the day you were born. When you entered the world, you did so with what we refer to as a unique consciousness. An awareness that began to check out the world, your parents, the hospital staff, delivering room, etc. That unique consciousness is your true self. It’s something that remains relatively stable throughout your whole life. The metaphor that I always use when referring to our true self is that of an acorn. An acorn contains the full potential of an oak tree. It’s never going to be a maple or a pine no matter what.
Similarly, every newborn baby enters the world with a unique set of potentials that only he or she could bring to the world. Every one of us is innately designed for a unique purpose. Your unique consciousness that entered the world the day you were born, came into the world with two incredible tools at its disposal. Your body that it’s embodied in and the database of your mind or what many refer to as the ego. What was ideally supposed to happen was that you were meant to stay grounded in your true self and use your mind’s database to help you manifest your innate inclinations and talents or grow your acorn, if you will.
However, from your earliest moments, your database began continuously collecting information based on your interactions with the world. As you started gathering more and more information about the world, you started forming mental models and then core beliefs about yourself, others and the world in general. Especially when you started developing language, the beliefs and thought patterns in your mind’s database grew exponentially. Examples of core beliefs might include, “I’m lovable and worthwhile or I’m not. Relationships are a source of comfort or they’re unpredictable. Emotions are a normal part of being human or they’re scary and to be avoided or only certain ones are “allowed.”
As your database started developing more and more programming based on all your interactions with the world, you likely started living life more from inside your database, losing sight of your true self or acorn. Instead of being fully grounded in your true self, listening to your innate inclinations alone, you likely started listening more to your database as if it was absolute truth. Letting it define who you were, whether you were worthwhile or not in what you were capable of doing or not. This unfortunately is how your mind’s database began to trap you. You likely fell into the same trap the majority of people fall into. Treating the information your mind’s database is telling you as if it’s the absolute truth that came down in some stone tablets.
You need to realize that the information in your database is not absolute truth, but rather reflects the relative health or dysfunction of your parents, family, friends, school, society, culture, media, magazine, covers, billboards and the internet. Think about this question, if I were to ask you, “Are you in charge of your life? What would you say?” Most likely you would say, “Yes.” What you might not realize is the tremendous role your subconscious minds or your database plays in every moment of your daily life. Learning to become more aware of this influence and how to free yourself from your mind’s database is crucial to living your ideal life. Imagine there’s a spectrum of how connected to your true self or acorn you are versus how trapped by the database you are. The more you can free yourself from your mind’s database and ground yourself more in the perspective of your true self, the more content and genuinely engaged in life you’ll be.
This is also exactly one of the key things a coach can help you do. To help accelerate the process of getting you free from the database of your mind, I wanted to share with you some key information about your mind’s database that not many people fully understand. Learning more about how the database of your mind actually works gives you a key advantage to helping you get free from its trap. First, let’s remember that our mind’s database is one of the most incredible survival problem solving, thinking machines ever created. It’s just unfortunately not yet well designed for our happiness. To create enduring happiness in your life, you need to learn to master your mind rather than being at its mercy. The information I’m sharing will help you do that. Let’s talk about the two components that comprise our mind’s database because this is key to understanding why it does what it does and how it works.
There are two memory systems that your mind uses to get information into your database. The first is your explicit memory, which is your conscious rational memory. This is the memory system that you would be referring to if you said you were remembering something. For example, if I say I’m remembering what my grade school building looks like, I’m consciously calling up that memory. I know I’m doing that and I also know that there’s the distance between grade school and now. In order for me to have done that, at some point in time I had to consciously pay attention to what my grade school building looked like. Your explicit memory organizes information logically and chronologically. If I asked you about your life story, you would likely start from your childhood and work your way through various chapters of your life to the present. You would be answering from your explicit memory. Your explicit memory doesn’t come on board until around age two to four when language comes on board. This is why you don’t have any conscious memories from the first year of your life.Every one of us is innately designed for a unique purpose. Click To Tweet
Also, your explicit memory is relatively small. Most estimates put it at only about 5% to 10% of your mind’s database. The other memory system that is likely made your life more complicated as it does for many is your implicit or subconscious memory system. Your implicit memory has been there since the day you were born or many people say even before at some point in the womb. Aside from the timing of when it develops, there are several key differences between your explicit and implicit memory that you need to understand if you want to free yourself from your mind’s trap.
While your explicit memory requires your conscious attention to get information into it, your implicit memory does not. Instead, it continuously collects information like a sponge. This is why when you see families who’ve grown up together, they make gestures at the same way or hold the fork the same way. No one specifically teaches them how to do this. Their implicit mind simply picks it up. Your implicit mind does not require your conscious attention, it is much faster and can hold a much larger amount of information than your explicit memory ever could. Being constrained by what we can consciously attend to, the explicit memory is greatly limited in the amount of and speed at which it can manage information.
Because your implicit memory is not conscious, another phenomenon is that when one of your implicit memories are triggered, you wouldn’t necessarily have any awareness of memories that has been triggered. Therefore, you’re frequently being impacted by your implicit memories without even realizing it. Another major drawback of the implicit memory is that it’s not smart per se. The implicit memory organizes information based on neural associations or classical conditioning. If you’re familiar with psychology at all, you might recall Pavlov’s experiments with dogs where he paired the sound of a bell with food. The bell and the food became associated. That’s classical conditioning. That’s how the implicit memory organizes information, not on logical reasoning. In many cases, especially when we were in the wilderness, this served us well. For example, seeing birds take off may have been associated with the predator nearby. However, in the modern age, organizing information based on classical conditioning rather than logic can be less adaptive. For example, if someone broke up with you and there was a particular song on the radio, as far as your implicit mind is concerned that song is “dangerous.” Therefore, there may be years later, you hear that song on the radio and you get a pit in your stomach without even realizing why.
Let’s review the key characteristics of the explicit and implicit memory. The explicit memory is conscious. It’s rational or smart. It organizes information by logic and chronology. It develops around the age of two to four. It has a relatively small capacity and it’s relatively slow. The implicit memory is subconscious. It’s not smart per se. It organizes information based on neural association which does make it great at pattern recognition. It’s present from birth, it has a large capacity and it’s relatively fast. Becoming more aware of your subconscious programming is crucial to freeing yourself from your mind. Having your own personal coach is one of the greatest assets you can have to help you become more aware of your subconscious programming and see it how it might be limiting you and your life. I’ve also designed a self-assessment tool called The Constructive Thinking Profile based on my book, Constructive Thinking: How to Grow Beyond Your Mind, which is available on Amazon. You can use The Constructive Thinking Profile by yourself or in conjunction with a coach to help you become more aware of some of the dysfunctional core beliefs you may have acquired while growing up.
While becoming more aware of your subconscious programming is necessary, it’s not sufficient for freeing yourself from your state of minds’ database. That’s because your mind’s database or ego does not like giving up control of your life easily. Your subconscious mind wants your reality to fit its programming, even if it’s destructive to you. Like a computer, your subconscious mind does not have the rational ability to evaluate the beliefs it’s been programmed with. Instead, it will use its incredible power to create a world for you that is in line with programming even at your own demise. As far as the subconscious mind is concerned, same as good, bad is different. If your life reflects its programming, all is right with the world. However, if you try to create a life that is significantly different from the way it’s programmed, it will use many tactics, including sabotaging your life in order to realign your life with its programming.
Let’s say I had the belief that I was not a good math student. Here’s a bit of a trick question. Would my subconscious mind be happier with the 65 on a test or a 95? The answer is 65. If I get a 65, all is right with the world as far as my subconscious mind is concerned. My reality reflects my programming. If I should happen to get a 95 at a subconscious level, I’d likely experience a feeling of angst and may say things like, “That must have been the easiest test ever. She must have given everyone an A.” I would try to somehow invalidate my score so that my core belief that I’m not a good math student stays valid. My subconscious mind would then likely try to decrease the amount of attention I paid in class or the effort I put into my homework so that my next test score would be closer to the 65 rather than a 95. Remember, the subconscious mind is not smart. It just wants your world to fit its programming regardless of the impact on your life.
Are you starting to comprehend how critical it is for you to become more aware of your subconscious programming in order to live your ideal life? There’s more. One of the reasons making lasting changes in our lives so difficult has to do with our subconscious mind. When we try to break free from our subconscious programming and adopt more constructive ways of thinking or behaving, our subconscious mind will often use certain tactics to help us get us “back in line.” From my experience, some of the subconscious minds’ most common weapons include fear, doubt, guilt and insecurity. As you try to move outside of your comfort zone, your subconscious mind will often turn up the volume on thoughts giving rise to feelings of fear, doubt, guilt and insecurity. When this happens, the vast majority of people will fall back in line returning to their old patterns even if they were dysfunctional.
When you do this, your subconscious mind is relieved and those feelings of fear, doubt, guilt and insecurity subside. In order to make lasting change in your life, you must learn to persevere past these feelings, to continue to take constructive action in spite of the fear, doubt, guilt and insecurity. This is where we see the true value of having a coach. Having your own personal coach who can help you both anticipate, move past the self-sabotaging tactics of your subconscious mind can be such a tremendous asset for helping you actually break free from your subconscious mind once and for all. Because the subconscious mind can be so powerful in sneaky, I personally don’t see how someone could break free from its trap without the help of a dedicated ally who could give you a perspective on what it’s doing to you.To create enduring happiness in your life, you need to learn to master your mind rather than being at its mercy. Click To Tweet
That now brings us to the end of this episode. The take-home message is realizing that we have a true self or acorn as I like to refer to it that is a separate entity from the database of our mind or ego, which often ends up trapping us. In order to live the life of our dreams, we must learn to free ourselves from the grips of our ego. A coach can be one of your greatest assets for doing that. In our next episode, I look forward to discussing the second step of my process for living your ideal life, discovering your true self. I hope you tune in as I look forward to being part of your journey. Also be sure to visit our website, www.TheCoachingConnector.com. There you’ll find a plethora of articles designed to help you with your journey to your ideal life. You can also explore our ever-growing database of coaches who can help you with the process. I’m wishing you much success.
- The Coaching Connector
- Constructive Thinking: How to Grow Beyond Your Mind
Lentino, L.M. (2014). Constructive thinking how to grow beyond your mind. Sudbury, MA: Grow Beyond Your Mind.