Before I start: I’m not a psychologist or a therapist. I’m a personal growth enthusiast and I love to do my research. I can’t help but test everything and I’m more than happy to share my experiments with you! 🌻
Before we talk about how to reprogram the subconscious mind, we need to understand how the mind works. As they say, you can’t control what you don’t know.
Our mind is “divided” into two parts: the conscious and the subconscious. The first is what we feel (our senses) and what we think, the part with which we identify ourselves, the I Am. The fact is, however, that most of the decisions in our daily lives are made by the subconscious.
Our brain has a perfect mechanism for conserving energy: an “autopilot” system we call the subconscious mind. Most of it is absorbed in the first 7 years of our lives. Everything that does us good and bad is recorded in those first 7 years and kept in the system.
You must have experienced this “autopilot” whenever you do routine things like driving the car from home to work, making a cup of coffee in the morning, or any other repetitive activity in our day. These are aspects of our daily routine that our mind has saved in the subconscious to avoid using up too much energy.
But what if we have become accustomed to or learned behaviors that work against us?
For example, I had realized that I had big problems around keeping money. As soon as it came in, it would magically go out so that I could buy “everything I need.” As it happens, it’s the same way with the parents I “monkeyed” as a child. “The monkey sees, the monkey does” is the phrase that explains this phenomenon so perfectly. I understand well where this fear of money can come from because for my ancestors during the communist period in Estonia, having money could land you in jail.
But how do we get rid of this counterproductive “autopilot”? The subconscious mind has nothing to do with reason. I personally love and respect money. Money is energy, “I don’t want to have money” is equivalent to “I don’t want to have energy”– it makes no sense… yet here I am.
Getting to the point…one can reprogram our “autopilot” mind.
The 3 steps to reprogram our subconscious mind.
1. Identify the blockage
- Keep a personal journal where you write down all the thoughts that pop into your mind. Especially those that say “I can’t do … because …” Keep track of your beliefs about yourself to unearth limiting thoughts. Find that part of you that needs to be healed and pampered. If you have experienced trauma or abuse, also keep a contact of professional help on hand.
- Shadow work (shadow work): make a note whenever something about someone bothers you. Stay with it. Often this gives us signs about something we suppress in ourselves. Here you can find insights into your own thoughts. You can also try The Work of Byron Katie to investigate even more about what is true and what is not (it is available in almost every language).
2. Establish affirmations.
- Once you have identified your limiting beliefs, choose one. You may want to work on all of them together, I know. But start with the most impactful one.
- Find the affirmation with which you would like to replace this belief. At the end of the article you will find some affirmations to take your cue from.
3. Repeat in your own way
- Our subconscious mind “saves” our habits to save energy. This brings us different ways to implement positive affirmations, and they all have in common the factor of repetition.
- I recommend that you find YOUR best method. Are you a more visual, auditory or kinaesthetic person? How do you learn best for long-term memory? Reading, writing, repeating aloud, etc.?
- Create your own way of repeating affirmations every day for at least a month. The time actually is approximate because everyone’s neuroplasticity is different. It would be fair to say repeat until you notice a major change, something that marks that your previous belief has been replaced. When the statement sounds more than obvious to you.
Get creative about how you want to integrate these affirmations into your day. Maybe you want to include them along with a change in routine? Maybe you want to repeat them to yourself in front of a mirror or looking at a childhood photo of yourself? When we do something differently than usual, we make new connections between neurons. The more we use the new connection, the more it is established. Don’t miss this excellent opportunity to experiment and get to know yourself. We are unique, and free to create our own unique way of healing.
I, for example, took a cue from the ancient method of Japamala beads. I created my own affirmation necklace. There are 108 beads and every day I create a special moment, just for me. I light an incense, relax in meditation and repeat the affirmation 108 times. Each time, I visualize with my mind the affirmation in practice and try to feel it with my emotions.
At the end, I thank myself for creating space for me, sometimes giving myself a hug. This moment becomes an act of love towards myself. You can’t pour from the empty pitcher 🥰
Examples of positive affirmations
I am now immensely happy.
I am deeply grateful.
I am MY superhero.
I can overcome every fear.
I am unique and my uniqueness is my gift to the world.
Abundance is my birthright.
I am 100% honest with myself.
I know myself, accept myself and am true to myself.
I am the soul that creates and receives.
I am safe and thrilled in being seen.
I am safe and it is wonderful to have money in abundance.
I am a child of the abundant universe.
I deserve the best and accept the best now.
I am enough. I am complete. Everything I need is inside me.
I am strong, I am happy, I am enthusiastic every second of my life.
I can change anything that stands in my way. I am unstoppable.
I am so wonderfully blessed.
I am a leader, I am a believer.
I am the force for good.
I give myself permission to be completely myself.
I am full of confidence and self-love.
Some “rules” in affirmations
- Avoid phrases that include “no/not” and similar. Our subconscious mind does not see the NO. For example, if you repeat “I am not sad,” you risk letting the subconscious get “I am sad.” Better replace it with “I am happy.”
- Use words that boost positive emotions. Ex: “I am immensely happy” touches the emotional chords better.
- Speak in the present tense. The mind can’t quite where’s the future & past, but it understands well the present. Ex: “I am immensely happy now/now.”
- The clearer and more coincidental the statement, the better.
In my journal, on the last page I wrote Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote:
“Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”
Wishing you the best for your path of personal growth,