If you want to create lasting positive changes in your life, superficial tweaks won’t cut it. You need to reprogram your subconscious mind. Here’s how to do it.
We all have something we want to change in our lives.
But doesn’t it feel like sometimes you get stuck in a rut? Even if you really want and try to change, everything seems to slip right back to where it was.
We think that if we try harder, work longer hours, and put more effort, then things will eventually come our way. But many times they don’t, so we quit, we get frustrated and upset, and sabotage our chances at happiness and wellbeing.
95% of our lives are guided by our subconscious programming. That means that, most of the time, we run on automatic pilot, not even aware of why we do what we do. We are so involved in our emotional experience that it’s beyond our scope of awareness.
We can’t help acting the way we do, because we have a lifetime of programming that supports those behaviours. But here’s the thing: you can’t change a situation with the same mind that created it.
If you want to see real change, the only real, lasting solution is to reprogram your subconscious mind so it furthers your growth and happiness instead of stalling them.
Here are the steps to reprogram your subconscious mind.
Understand the Mind
The first step to change is to identify our unconscious automatic thoughts, feelings, and behaviours – to become aware of who we are being.
How do we do this, you may ask?
To recognize our unconscious programs, we need to practice being aware at all times so that nothing slips by unnoticed.
Pay attention to what comes easily in your life. Whatever you do effortlessly feels easy because you have a program for it. In contrast, whatever you have to work hard for or struggle with feels difficult because you don’t have a program for it.
Where are the troubles in your life? Does making money feel easy for you? Or you constantly struggle to make ends meet? Do you immediately get defensive when you get bad feedback at work, or think you’re not smart or capable enough?
Whatever you do and think first and in an automatic way is what your subconscious programs are supporting. By becoming aware of this, you can shine a light on what your programs are and pick the ones you want to change.
Break the Habits that Keep you Stuck
The next step in your subconscious reprogramming is to make sure that your habits, cycles, and addictions don’t have a grip on you anymore.
You need to break the habits that keep you stuck and create new, better ones. This may sound hard, but it’s your ticket to freedom. Luckily, the brain has a phenomenal ability to change and rewire itself.
I’m not going to lie: creating lasting change takes a generous amount of energy, awareness, and discipline.
As you move into the uncharted territory of your new habits, your body – informed by the mind – will resist. The brain doesn’t like change; it will try to drag you, kicking and screaming, back into your old ways.
Every time this happens, pause, breathe, slow yourself back down into the present moment, and remind your body that it’s safe, that it’s ok to change.
When you’re in this process, it’s important to remember two things:
- When you do something new, there will be a great deal of discomfort. This is the brain resisting, and it can manifest as physical pain or tension, psychological distress, anxiety, or even panic.
This is a natural response, and it’s in fact a sign that you’re on the right path. Welcome. Eventually, when your brain creates new, strong enough pathways, the new habits will start feeling easy. Don’t give up.
- Another crucial point is to NOT listen to the negativity and judgement from others. The people around you only know the old version of yourself, the one you’re trying to change. If they show resistance or judgment towards you changing, that’s their problem. You are the only one who knows what’s best for you. Stick to your guns.
So how long does it take to reprogram your subconscious mind?
Generally speaking, it takes a minimum of 21 days to create a new habit, and 90 days for it to become a program. This is an average estimate. It could take longer. The answer will depend on how deeply carved the bahaviour is.
Master your Mind
This step is all about training your awareness and changing your energy so that the conscious and the subconscious become more in sync, which makes the subconscious more receptive.
One of the evils of the modern world is that we’re constantly busy, switching from task to task, unable to focus on anything for more than a few minutes. This leads to… nowhere, and it drains our energy, leaving us depleted at the end of the day.
You need to train your awareness to go where you want it to go – be it the present moment, or a specific goal or task. But it’s always one single thing. Awareness cannot be in two places at the same time.
Ultimately, the long-term solution to create lasting change is to achieve mastery of your mind. This takes discipline, willpower, and super focus over a long period of time.
In the meantime, however, there are “shortcuts” you can use to start reprogramming your subconscious mind via theta state.
Theta is the frequency that brain waves reach during the transitional state between wakefulness and deep sleep. It’s those moments when you feel drowsy right before you fall asleep every night and wake up every morning, when you’re neither fully asleep nor fully awake.
In this state, the body and mind relax completely, and the door to the subconscious opens up. Research suggests theta activity can promote changes in white matter and enhance neuroplasticity.
Two subconscious mind exercises you can practice to reach theta state and reprogram your mind are meditation and mindrest.
- Meditation can help you get into the theta state and rewire your neurocircuits, pruning away the least used connections and strengthening the ones you exercise the most, not to mention the huge improvement in attention and awareness.
- Mindrest (also known as Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep) guides you inwards into a harmonious state of deep, effortless relaxation and awareness, somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.
Activities like Yin Yoga and breathwork can help you prepare for deeper relaxation, release tension from the body, calm your mind, and get into a deeper theta state during meditation.
A word about meditation: many people get frustrated when meditating because they think the goal is to empty the mind, so they end up quitting. This is a misconception: meditation is not about stopping the endless stream of thought, but about being aware of it. It’s much easier and effortless than people think.
Remember: “where attention goes, energy flows.” Mastering your mind starts with mastering your awareness.
Create the Life that you Want
With new habits and improved awareness, now it’s time to manifest the life that you want so that your way of being is more aligned with your intention.
Most of us, in our daily lives, tend to focus a lot on what we don’t like or want. This is partly due to how the brain is wired: in the early days of human history, paying attention to danger and threats in the environment was literally a matter of life and death, so our brains evolved to focus more on the negative. This is called “the negativity bias”.
To counteract this bias and create lasting positive change, it’s important that you focus on what you do want, and align yourself with that. This will build new neural structures in your brain.
Instead of focusing on the outside circumstances, you want to focus on the inner world to draw in what you wanna create. What’s your truest, deepest desire? What do you want to achieve? And more importantly, how do you want to feel? Redirect your awareness to that.
The trick here is to focus on the feeling you want to feel when you get what you want, not on the thing itself.
Because, the truth is, you don’t really want the thing. What you desire is the feeling that comes with it. You don’t want a partner, you want the love they may bring. You don’t want money, you want peace of mind.
Practice imagining yourself having achieved those results and feeling the emotions they bring. Feel the love, feel the peace of mind. You can even imagine telling a friend about how good you feel.
When you focus on that feeling, you become what you want to attract.
You don’t have to wait until you get the thing to feel like that. You can have it now. You can feel the peace and the love now. And that’s when the magic happens, because whatever you feel, you attract.