“What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate.”
― Carl Jung
Let me tell you a story from my life that shows you the power of your subconscious beliefs to direct your life.
I’ve struggled for many years to work part-time. I knew that I had a subconscious belief that was sabotaging my efforts. The difficulty was in finding that belief so that I could work with it.
In the last year, I’ve been learning the process of writing a memoir. I learned that we all have a conscious desire we pursue during our lifetime.
You have a primal desire that you want that’s outside yourself.
It might be validation, respect, success, justice, redemption, love, etc. It’s also universal, meaning that it’s something we can all relate to.
When I grew up, my dad told my sister and I, “Don’t depend on anyone, you have to take care of yourself.”
My dad meant well because we all need to learn how to support ourselves but I took it to mean not to depend on anyone (it’s not safe). I have to take care of myself (stay independent).
After I married John in 1995, I started my own business and wanted to continue to grow it because I found healthcare IT PR work stimulating.
John and I went to see his accountant before we were married. As he looked over my annual financial information, he said, “OMG John you’ve got a saver!” I was proud of that because as a single mom I lived on little but saved as much as I could.
I told the accountant that I planned to leave my hospital PR director job and was thinking of starting a business after we were married. The accountant tried to talk me out of it saying I’d have to love what I did for work because I was going to be in the highest tax bracket (married to a physician). I’d also have to pay social security plus high taxes on anything I earned.
In my fourth year of that business, I grossed nearly a half million dollars. The freedom and independence I felt was something I’d never experienced – it was a high point in my life. I love a good challenge so I was thrilled to see the accountant that year and look at his face when he saw my gross income from the business.
I’d done what my dad had said to do but I hadn’t depended on John or my first husband even though it was completely out of my awareness.
In writing the memoir, I looked at the downside of that belief and sadly I realized I’d never learned to depend fully on my partners. I tried to be equal and independent, but that’s not the way to build intimacy.
Whenever we try to accomplish an outward goal in order to fulfill an inward desire we have a dilemma.
There are two ingredients to a dilemma:
- A powerful desire
- A false belief (a misperception of one’s self or the world)
On one side of my dilemma was the false belief – “Don’t depend on anyone because you have to take care of yourself.”
When John and I were in the hospital in San Diego for almost six weeks during my recovery from a motor vehicle crash in Baja, I had to depend on all of my caregivers.
On the other side of that false belief (don’t depend on anyone), is the belief that I want connection (love) and to trust myself.
I had to depend on John now. I told him often that he was loving me back to health. It felt wonderful because I was in a state of peace without fear, and I allowed him to be completely there for me.
I realized why we were in each other’s life.
Our two souls came together to heal each other. During difficult times in our marriage, I chose to stay in the marriage and work on it because I knew that we could heal and grow together.
The other side of this dilemma is that I need to trust myself and I need connection. Don’t get me wrong, John and I love each other yet I still kept myself independent and wouldn’t depend on him.
In the hospital, I learned interdependence, and I took care of John emotionally because I was in a state of peace and love. He was traumatized watching the worst-case scenarios with my healthcare play out in real time.
Now that I’m aware of this false belief, it doesn’t have power over me.
Subconscious, deep-seated beliefs are parts of your personality that you aren’t even aware of — yet they control the events of your life. Until you make them conscious, you’ll just think that life is hard, the struggle is real or the world is an unfriendly place.
How to Find Hidden Subconscious Beliefs
- Write down the pattern in your life that you have been trying to change, but that seems to persist no matter what you do. Describe it in detail and write whatever comes into your head.
My pattern was that I couldn’t stop working full-time so I could work part-time. My subconscious mind was trying to keep me safe by staying independent. Therefore nothing worked when I tried to reduce my work load except the near-fatal car wreck.
2. Journal about this pattern and write down your earliest memories of the feelings that go with those patterns.
In my pattern with being almost addicted to work, it was this subconscious belief that I had to take care of myself. To stop working felt irrationally frightening.
3. Under each of those notes, write the beliefs that come to mind when you read through the notes.
When I was in the hospital and my sister and I talked for the first time, she said, “I think God wanted to slow you down.”
I agreed and we talked and she said, “Don’t you remember that dad always told us girls, ‘Don’t depend on anyone, you have to take care of yourself.”
My body started shaking all over. The body never lies. The mind lies all the time, which is why inquiry (The Work of Byron Katie) works best.
A participant in Smart Women Make Money joined the program because she was constantly broke and she had a successful business.
2. Memories of this Pattern
She remembered in talking to me that her family had a saying, “People like us just can’t keep money.”
Her family bonded over this belief. Her fear was that her family would not love her anymore if she made more money than they earned. This is why her subconscious (which controls 95% of your habits and behavior) had her spend her money as soon as she earned it, so her family would love her and not reject her. The role of the subconscious is to keep you safe.
People like us just can’t keep money.
Your external experiences are a direct reflection of our internal subconscious and conscious beliefs. These beliefs shape our perceptions, decisions and actions and create our reality.
Your subconscious beliefs are often picked up during childhood from your parents or the world around us. It’s easy to inherit your parents’ beliefs around money, family and worth in relationships. However it can be much more than this. Limiting, subconscious beliefs often show up when you feel resistance, self-sabotage or doubt your potential to achieve success.
Reprogramming your subconscious mind by changing your subconscious beliefs is a powerful way to resolve the unwanted patterns showing up in your life. With repetition, commitment and positive reinforcement, you really can change your life. Anything is possible.
How to change your subconscious beliefs:
Be really honest with yourself and ask yourself:
Where am I experiencing limitations in my life currently?
Where else has this shown up in my life?
When did it start?
What are the beliefs I have learned/inherited that are not serving me?
What do I need to do to change these limiting beliefs?
What are new beliefs I can create now to overcome these blocks?
How will I ensure commitment to using these new beliefs in my life to keep moving forward?
Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is one of ways of reprogramming and removing blocks. It’s a form of guided meditation lasting between 20-60 minutes. You choose an intention or affirmation. For example, my intention is that my book is read by thousands of people.
You repeat this intention at the beginning and at the end of the meditation when your subconscious mind is open and receptive to new neural pathways.
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How have you uncovered your subconscious beliefs? Let me know in the comments below.