Are you fully conscious of what you’re doing 100% of the time? Almost certainly, like most people, you are not. You are not always conscious that you go straight into the shower the moment you wake up in the morning, or that you automatically snooze your alarm for 10 more minutes every morning, or that you get dressed within 15 minutes and race off to work and out of the house when you’re already late.
We’ve made many reflex actions out of our daily routines that we are hardly conscious of at the time. And we rely on our habits to get us through our day. Because most of these are repeated actions, they’re effortless and easy, and we need to put little thought into doing them.
Studies show that approximately 95% of our human brain activity is beyond our conscious awareness. The unconscious part of our brain (subconscious mind) is powerful beyond measure.
With that being the case, we should dig deeper into the nature of the subconscious mind to fully understand its real power over our lives. The subconscious mind determines 95% of our actions and automated decisions every waking day, and that is nothing to underestimate.
What the Subconscious Mind is Capable Of
Most people are aware of the presence of the subconscious mind, but because its function is unconscious in the first place, we pay very little attention to it. Subconscious often gets associated with dreams. And because we tend to think they have very little to no effect on our waking lives, it seems that they have no power over us at all.
Everyone has two sides to their brain activity, conscious thought, and unconscious thought. Our conscious mind interacts with the world on a day to day basis. It receives data and new information. It acts on it, even if the action is to ignore it. Later on, like volatile RAM computer memory, it forgets it.
But all of our memories and life experiences never simply evaporate from our minds. Our conscious memory may forget it eventually, but the subconscious mind will stock it up, like an unlimited memory bank. Throughout our lives, our subconscious works on the sidelines, to receive our memories, experiences, predominant thoughts, including personal trauma, if any.
Trauma experienced, as much as we want to forget it, is received by the subconscious mind. And that’s why we develop phobias and fears. Overcoming them will also need to be undertaken on a subconscious level. The subconscious may be that thing in the background that we barely notice, but it drives and influence our lives in a powerful way, far more than we would like it to sometimes. It protects our experiences from being forgotten, with no discernment powers of its own. It blindly obeys and accepts.
As permanent storage of all our life’s records, the subconscious mind is impeccable. If homeostasis keeps our physical body operating autonomically for the rest of our lives, the subconscious mind practices the same homeostatic impulse within our mental and psychological operations.
As we think about something incessantly and learn to accept information within us, the subconscious mind works in the background like an operating system. It receives and stores away data, and later on, makes sense of these by helping us create the circumstances and experiences that match the dominant information it has experienced and accumulated.
Side note: ‘Makes sense,’ in this context means to make sense according to its (your) own belief system, built up from a life’s experience and inputs. This is very subjective and may not be the same ‘makes sense’ that someone else may apply.
The subconscious mind seamlessly automates our actions and drives behavior, more than we sometimes realize. We build habits, identify fears, and develop addictions – all on a subconscious level.
Limitations of the Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is not creative, nor can it freely choose which information to accept or reject. This job belongs to our external environment and our conscious mind’s deliberate actions. We may have little control over what happens in our external environment, but we have influence over our subconscious mind over our predominant thoughts and actions. In this manner, we can apply filters to our inputs.
This is where the help of positive material (books and media) and being in the company of positive people come into play. By mindfully taking an active role in the shaping of our external environment, we are likewise feeding positivity to our subconscious thought.
You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, and the conversations you engage in. You are what you take from these.” – Jac Vanek