Look below the surface – you’ll be amazed at what you find!
Napoleon Hill suggested that one of the things that successful people do is to create a belief in themselves that they can achieve their goals. This can sometimes mean that we need to be aware of the messages coming from our subconscious mind that can interfere with this belief and stop us from taking action.
The subconscious mind is protected
– which is usually a good thing as it contains all the things we have ever learned and we wouldn’t want to have to re-learn most of them. However, it also contains less useful things that may stop us from achieving all that we might otherwise be capable of.
Fear of failure, of taking risks, of criticism, of losing, of being thought pushy or arrogant or proud are all stored there along with beliefs about whether we are entitled to expect, or deserve, more than we already have.
Anything that comes to us through our five senses is unlikely to affect the subconscious so how do we reach and change those things that are not useful to us?
Hill suggests (long before NLP was invented) that in order to create the belief that we can have something we must imbue it with emotion, imagine that we already have it and create the experience of already having it and then – and this is the really important part – go and DO the things that are necessary to make it happen.
Vividly imagine having whatever it is you desire and experience how that will feel and what you will see, hear, taste and smell. The emotions and physical reactions caused by these thoughts are generated internally rather than coming to us externally through our senses (and could be described as non-sense) and so are more likely to escape the gatekeeper of the subconscious mind.
The subconscious has no critical faculty. It doesn’t decide whether a thought is good or bad, useful or destructive and so once the thought is lodged there it can be useful as a new belief enabling us to do things we previously thought impossible.
There has been vigorous research into how emotions cause physical reactions, how physical sensations trigger emotions and how both emotions and physical reactions can be produced by thought alone. Belief may not move mountains but it can remove limitations and control physical experiences.
One of the most popular sayings arising from these theories is that “Thoughts Become Things” and while it is undoubtedly true that this can be the case, it is also much too simplistic as simply thinking or wishing will not make anything happen and this does not take into account the completely random things that happen to people. I have seen already distressed people puzzled and hurt at the implication that they have brought misfortune on themselves because their thoughts are not positive enough. Moreover, if we all got what we focused on most of the time, teenage boys would live in a constant state of bliss!
However, that doesn’t change the fact that by creating useful thoughts and stopping less useful ones, especially around the area of what we are capable of achieving, there is no doubt that we can make life easier and more satisfying.