In the previous video ‘Why Change is So Hard, Part 1’, you learned how our mind consists of a user (your conscious) and software, (your subconscious), and change is hard when our conscious and subconscious are not aligned or in rapport with each other.
For example, you may consciously say you want to lose 10 pounds, but your behavior (driven subconsciously) doesn’t align with a healthy exercise regime or portion control, which you consciously know is needed to be at a healthy weight.
When our conscious and subconscious are misaligned, our software program/operating system needs updating.
There are approximately 8 billion humans on earth and each one of us has our very own, unique software. So, let’s talk about how our software/subconscious is programmed.
There is a Jesuit saying ‘give me the child until 7 and I’ll give you the man’. Do you wonder what this really means?
Our subconscious begins its programming from the time we’re born.
Of course, depending on your belief system, our programming can begin before birth or during our time in the womb, BUT, for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just focus on the subconscious programming from the time of our birth.
There are four primary periods in life in which our values and beliefs are formed.
The first is the imprint period, which is from the time of birth until approximately seven years old. During this time, the mind absorbs everything like a sponge, it has no filters and we have not yet developed critical thinking.
During these years, the brain waves are in states called theta and alpha which are similar to being in meditative, hypnotic or trance-like states. This is where your subconscious begins its programming and where we’re open to suggestions and have great imaginations. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that the ideal time to learn a language is during these years and that’s because the alpha state is ideal for learning.
The imprint period is when your subconscious is being heavily programmed and when many of our foundational beliefs and values are formed, especially from those close to us, like our parents.
What are some things that can have life-long impacts due to our subconscious programs?
If a sibling tells you that you’re chubby or you hear your sister is smarter than you, or you’re a small boy, or you’re told you’re always misbehaving; he’s the slow one; you have ADHD
You hear sayings such as, boys don’t cry; kids are to be seen not heard; that’s not appropriate behavior for a girl; It takes money to get money; nothing comes easy; there are kids starving in other countries, so eat your food; or money is the root of all evil
If you’re neglected or not getting the attention from one or more parents
If you’re exposed to abusive behavior
The value & belief systems we’re exposed to, particularly from our parents
These are just a few examples.
More often than not, these programs lead to life-long limiting beliefs, such as, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not worthy, or I’ not deserving, which impact our behaviors throughout our entire lives.
So, when our actual behavior contradicts what we consciously say we want, it’s because our subconscious is driving our behavior, based off programs developed in childhood.
Many years before I started doing this work, on two separate occasions, I observed the actions of two high-level executives in meetings. At the time, I thought to myself, I can see how this person must have thrown temper tantrums as a 5-year-old! You could visibly see the child in them right in front of you, and now I understand why.
I mentioned there were four periods, in which are beliefs and values are formed, so I’ll briefly touch on the others so you know what they are:
The ages 8-13 years is considered the Modelling period. Critical and analytical thinking develops, you begin to be influenced by others such as public figures and super heroes.
During the Socialization period (13-21), you’re largely influenced by peers and may rebel earlier programming. If you have teenagers, you’ll understand this.
The last period is called the Business Persona which usually is up to the approximately age of 35 and when we develop our work values.
You can see how important the imprint period is in programming the subconscious and how the Jesuit saying ‘give me the child until 7 and I’ll give you the man’, makes a lot more sense knowing how we are shaped in the first seven years.
If we don’t update our subconscious programs, we become like our mobile phones or computer when the operating system is not updated: slow, outdated and unable to function effectively.
I’ll discuss how we can reprogram our subconscious in a future post.
In the meantime, click here or go to: www.liveyouryellowbrickroad.com/coaching to learn more about change and how a Personal Breakthrough Experience can help you take back control of your life and help you achieve your goals.
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