How Our Subconscious Affects Performance and Success

Success isn’t linear, and it wouldn’t foster growth if it was easy to achieve. To be successful, you have to be able to take risks, overcome obstacles, and welcome failure. Self-doubt or fear can get in the way of that, making you believe you aren’t as capable as you truly are. But in order to progress, these issues need to be addressed right away. A powerful method is to alter your subconscious mind to achieve peak performance and gain the results you want.


What Exactly is the Subconscious?

The subconscious mind is a mysterious aspect of the brain that isn’t as readily accessible as the conscious mind. And yet it’s this part of the brain that motivates the actions we take, usually without our knowledge. It also controls our immediate reactions to things, which can be irrational at times.

Sigmund Freud compared the mind to an iceberg, with the conscious mind— thoughts, emotions, and actions— as the tip. The larger, unseen part of the iceberg is the subconscious, or unconscious mind. (Freud used both terms interchangeably.) It houses repressed memories and emotions, including unconscious ones. Habits and beliefs are also found there.

The subconscious affects how we perceive the world around us, including ourselves. In turn, it affects how we interact with our environment. Additionally, the subconscious absorbs subtle messages that don’t necessarily register to our conscious mind.

Adopting Beliefs That Inspire Action

Improving your mindset is all about uprooting your core negative beliefs. You need to have a goal first. What is it you want to improve about yourself? In “Conscious of the Unconscious” for Psychology Today, author Matt Hames likens the subconscious to a child who subscribes to the morals imparted by their parents or peers. This means that most of our beliefs and behaviours stem from what we absorbed during our formative years. Pay attention to your thoughts and habits, and consider why you think and behave the way you do. Then, look for ways to improve those habits or actions.

Affirmations work too, so long as they don’t conflict with your current beliefs. For example, if you have a presentation coming up but feel nervous about public speaking, it may stem from a negative experience in your past. It wouldn’t be useful to affirm, “I’m an influential public speaker.” Instead, take a step back, acknowledge your past experience, and say, “That doesn’t define me. I’m capable of comfortably speaking in front of a crowd.” The latter is a smaller, more specific step toward your bigger goal. You can also ask yourself what good came out of the past situation; It might help you see things in a brighter light.

Working Consistently Toward Your Desires

Having a consistent routine helps transform your habits. Routines are a great way to get your life in order or increase productivity. Routine can also reduce stress. If you want to sleep better, you could develop a nighttime routine to help you unwind and re-balance your body’s circadian rhythm.

Consider hiring a life coach if you feel like you can’t overcome an obstacle by yourself. Many life coaches train in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), a communication method used to change behavioural patterns. It’s one way that a life coach can help you achieve consistent results. If having a life coach isn’t your thing, try using NLP techniques on yourself. Stars like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Russell Brand, and Pharrell Williams use NLP to boost their performance on a regular basis.

The subconscious can be fun to work with. Whichever method you choose, you’ll uncover some things about yourself you didn’t even know, or have long since forgotten.


Joséphine Mwanvua | Staff Writer



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