This motivational tip is probably the most powerful method for getting unstuck and moving towards your goals. It is incredibly simple, and it is sad that most people ignore it and keep using the old willpower methods, which almost never work.
There are several powerful ways to program our almighty Subconscious Mind. By far the most important is emotion.
When we feel good about something, our Subconscious gets the signal “Great, let’s do this again.” When we experience negative emotions, we program “Stay away from this, it’s bad for ya.” Mixed emotions get us confused about how we feel, and our Subconscious gets confused, too.
What typically happens when we set a goal and try to use our willpower
What happens when we set a goal and then start working towards it?
Let’s look at dieting, for instance. It’s a perfect example for illustrating how this works. When you decide to stop eating sugar and bad fat, just the thought of doing it already makes you feel uneasy. Especially if you tried this before, and it didn’t work. All sorts of doubts and fears surface: Can I do it? Would I enjoy my life without it? Is it even worth trying?
Look at what happens when you are tempted.
You’re at a party and a lovely cake is being served. You say “no” to yourself, and you feel bad: you’re missing out on this wonderful taste, everyone else is enjoying it, your friends are pitying you (they don’t, they may even be envious of your willpower, but you think they do!) – so many reasons to feel terrible! Your Subconscious gets a very simple message – refusing a cake is bad for you.
What is even worse is that when you take a bite, a sudden short burst of satisfaction immediately follows. “Good” thinks our Subconscious, “more cake, please”. Beating yourself over later on for having that cake is counterproductive – I’ll write a separate post about it later.
How to use Subconscious Mind to stay motivated
A much better strategy is to catch yourself taking those baby steps towards your goal – “I should probably pass on that cake” – and really take the time to encourage them by generating positive emotions right here, right then. When you only as much as think about refusing the cake, and particularly when you say “no” to it, even if only delaying it for a few minutes, take a pause, feel the strength and willpower growing within, say something really nice to yourself like “Fantastic! What’s happened right now is absolutely excellent! I’m so proud of myself for this!”
Personally I often do this…
I might do this…
and sometimes I even do this…
OK, I do it when no one’s looking. No one needs to know how awesome I really am (modest af).
Emotion is the key to your Subconscious Mind’s programming
The key here is to really create that strong emotion of pride and joy, no matter how small the achievement was – even if it was just a thought. Don’t let doubts creep in on you at this time – Oh, but I won’t last long… I could have done better… It’s too difficult… These thoughts are saboteurs and they will confuse your Subconscious. You wouldn’t do this to your friend or a loved one, would you? If they said “no” to their temptation, and you knew how difficult it was for them, you would have told them “Good job! Way to go! You can do it!”, wouldn’t you? Why aren’t we treating ourselves like a friend?
The clearer and the stronger the positive emotion you create to associate with your tiniest step forward in the right direction, the easier it would be to do it again. It will probably take some time to rewrite the entire program, because our Subconscious takes into account the sum total of our experiences and emotions, so if we had lots of negative programs in the past, we need to create enough positive emotions to outweigh them. The good news is that our Subconscious gives more “weight” to the most recent events, so it shouldn’t take too long before you really start seeing great results!
And if you make a mistake or give in to temptation, give yourself a mental hug: “It’s OK. It happens to everyone. I’ll do better next time.” You would do that to a friend, right? Well, why not start by becoming your own best friend?
Mental hugs, everyone! You’re awesome!