There is a lot of conversation going on about the mind these days. Thought indulgence, calming the mind, mindfulness, consciousness and the like. The mind is actually is like an empty fertile ground where we can grow whatever we wish. If we fill it up with negative thoughts it can break us, but on the other hand if we know how to direct the mind to fulfill our goals, it can make us. For those on the spiritual path, the main hurdle to cross is the barrier of the mind. Those who have successfully crossed chasm of the mind, have become enlightened. So the mind is a very powerful instrument that we can use to create whatever want in this world.
There are many parts to the mind – conscious (waking state), unconscious (dream state), subconscious (deep sleep), and consciousness (Absolute state). In our current state of conscious awareness, the subconscious part of the mind becomes relevant. The subconscious mind has something called a homeostatic impulse, which regulates functions like body temperature, heartbeat and breathing. According to Brian Tracy ” Through your autonomic nervous system, it maintains a balance among the hundreds of chemicals in your billions of cells so that your entire physical machine functions in complete harmony most of the time.”
The subconscious mind stores all our memories, thought patterns and habits. This is the place from where the data is stored and retrieved – like a library. However, the data is not organized in chronological order and therefore we have trouble recalling events, places, names etc. Stress also disrupts memory recall.
Because it is a big memory bank, the subconscious mind makes sure that we stay in our comfort zones. That is why at times we are fearful of breaking out of our comfort zone. This is the sign that our subconscious mind has been activated. It is important to remember that as conscious beings, we can control the subconscious mind, in terms of making a change in our thought patterns. As the subconscious is like a warehouse of thoughts and habits, we can also put happy thoughts, thoughts that will help us function better in this world and whatever else we want to realize in our conscious state.
Writing smart goals, time management tips/objectives, saying affirmations, positive thinking, forming life changing habits etc are all ways of harnessing the subconscious mind. All these instill a new comfort zone that it will adapt to. Successful and ambitious people have employed these above techniques to harness the power of the mind to their benefit. They are aware that complacency is the enemy of growth and constantly seek to break out of their comfort zone.
One way to recognize that your subconscious mind has taken over is the repetitive action/s – which are guided by the same set of thought patterns. For example, having coffee at exactly 8:00 a.m. or keeping things in a certain order which if broken will cause some emotional discomfort, having dessert after every meal, negative thought patterns etc. Once you have recognized the patterns, then it is a matter of putting a plan to break out of it so that you are the master and the mind, your slave.
Breaking out of the comfort zone is not easy. We have to be willing to take the risk of things not working out, or feeling awkward and out of sorts while breaking out of the comfort zone until it we master the process. The fun ride of life is all about taking risks and jumping into the unknown which brings intensity and thrill. Otherwise life becomes repetitive and boring.
Here are a few tips of how to break through the comfort zone
1) Practice daily affirmations. Do it when you are relaxed – right before bed or just after waking up.
2) Identify 3 things about yourself that are holding you back. Create a short plan of how you will overcome it. Tie it to the daily affirmation process. Put your plan into action. Work on it diligently for 6 weeks. This is about how long it takes to reprogram the subconscious mind. Take the next 3 things and work on it as above. Keep repeating the process.
3) Practice visualization. Think of something that you always wanted to achieve, but have been putting off because you “thought” it is not possible. Start with something small, realistic and achievable. Clearly visualize your goal and put the achievement plan into action. Walk the walk and see it through. Translate this to a bigger goal and finally to your life time achievement.
Time to break out of your comfort zone. Success is in your hands!
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