Have you given up on your potential with excuses like I’m exhausted, I’m not coping or I haven’t got what it takes? Ever found yourself trying to make positive personal and professional changes only to hit a roadblock and scuttle back to the safety of the status quo or the warmth of your comfort zone? Maybe you’re one of many waiting to be rescued by the learning and development team at work? If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
As leaders, we need to stop wasting time moaning about external factors and start leading ourselves and others from the front again. With subconscious mind strategies you can self-mobilise one specific component of self-leadership. Your mindset.
Where’s your head at?
Your time, energy and willpower are all depleting resources. If you want to supercharge your life, you need to tap into the power house that is your subconscious mind. Why is it a powerhouse? It is responsible for 95% of your brain activity, while your conscious mind is responsible for only 5%.
Let’s now look at a simple compare and contrast of the two minds.
The conscious mind represents:
- 5% of your brain activity
- Short term memory
- Willpower, short term memory, critical and logical thinking
- Logic-led reasoning
The subconscious mind represents:
- 95% of your brain activity (auto-pilot)
- Long term memory
- Emotions, imagination, creativity and intuition
- Mental-imagery and auditory responsiveness
If you want to truly change how you lead yourself, is critical to harmonise the two minds. This is about evolving your inherited emotional responses and belief patterns from your formative years.
There are three key options for you to consider: Clinical hypnosis, habit formation and theta-hacking.
Looking for remarkable results for the most deeply engrained beliefs? Then clinical hypnosis may be an option for you to consider. Hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation that bi-passes the critical faculty of the mind to pattern interrupt and reprogram thought patterns, habits and the effects of trauma.
The founding premise of hypnosis is that it only works if the patients wants it to. Think of the critical faculty as your judgement filter, which has evolved from your upbringing, social circles and education. It is designed to block or filter out unwanted suggestions that are not aligned to your beliefs. This is where indirect suggestion techniques come into play.
Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your GP in the first instance. Only then should clinical hypnosis be considered with an accredited clinical hypnotherapist.
Change your habits, change your life is a common catch-phrase. While habit formation sounds easy, most of us can probably attest to it being more challenging that first thought.
In fact, it takes a minimum of 21 days to form a new habit in short term memory, and this is for simple habits like drinking more water. This perceived time frame stretches out depending on the level of intensity and personal stretch. Phillippa Lally’s study on ‘How are habits formed’, found that on average it took 66 days for the new behaviour to form in long term memory and become automatic.
Consider taking the express route by committing to an upgraded identity instead. From my personal experience, the fastest way to form a habit is to assume the identity in the first instance. For example, when I was writing my book, my self-talk included coaching myself by saying, “As an author, what is or isn’t acceptable in this scenario?” Nearly every response was to sit down and keep writing until the book was completed.
James Clear echoes this in ‘Atomic Habits’ with his three rings of behaviour change that commence with identity, then process and then outcomes.
Did you know that under certain brainwave patterns, specifically slower wave variants, you can more powerfully influence your subconscious mind? Introducing theta-hacking.
When cortisol (the stress hormone) is pumping around your body, you are the least open and malleable to change. Here, your body and mind are primed to protect, charge and fight. The polar opposite of this state is referred to as theta state, where your brain is so deeply relaxed that it’s malleable.
There are two naturally occurring windows of opportunity to theta-hack, both of which last around eight minutes. These are known as the pre-slumber brain wave state (the nodding off state) and the post-slumber brain wave state (the waking state). Use this time wisely by avoiding the urge to reach for technology and substituting in either gratitude, visualisation or journaling. Suggested sentence openers sound like, ‘I am grateful for…’, ‘I am cultivating this emotion…’, and ‘I am laser-focussed on…’.
When theta-hacking and gratitude collaborate, you can expect phenomenal outcomes. This includes activating positive neural circuits near your brain’s bliss centre. If today’s content has been new territory for you, have the conviction to test out theta-hacking and reset your mindset.
Ciara Lancaster is a change fatigue and resilience specialist at Reimagine Change. Her focus is to help leaders at all levels to manage uncertainty, mitigate stress and modernise their mindset. She is also the author of the new book Reimagine Change: Escape change fatigue, build resilience and awaken your creative brilliance. For more information on Ciara’s work visit www.reimaginechange.com