We all know that success and higher performance has to do with your mind and your mindset, but there is a difference in knowing that, and being able to apply and integrate that knowledge to effect outcomes. There is a difference between getting new information and adding it into your system, and assimilating it. We know the science, but how do we master the art of reprogramming our mind to work for us? That’s the topic of today’s podcast episode.
You can listen to the full podcast episode here, or continue reading below.
According to a study by BCG, 85% of companies have undertaken a transformation during the past decade. The same research found that nearly 75% of those transformations failed to improve business performance either short or long-term.
Why is transformation –personal or corporate — so difficult to achieve?
Among the many explanations, is that too much focus is spent on strategy and execution and not enough on overcoming the fears, insecurities and internal obstacles which keep us locked into behaviors that don’t work for us—even when we are aware of them.
Why? Because most don’t know how to break through the old patterns and programming of the mind. It is easy to understand the science, but how do we master the art of reprogramming our mind to work for us?
If you’re like the masses, you’ve probably become trapped working hard to make a change but confused, despite your efforts, as to why the progress is slow or non-existent. You’re not alone.
Most people are trying to make career changes or grow their business to the next level by relying on their effort and their hustle. Most have made the decision to put in the hard work and grind it out because that’s what they’ve learned, and that’s what the experts have told them.
But maybe you’re already working hard, and you’re doing everything you think you should, and no matter how many new strategies, or new motivational talks you hear it’s not getting you further than burnout and exhaustion. This is frustrating because you’re smart, and you’ve had a decent level of success.
Your solution: re-program your mind to work for you.
In quantum physics we’ve learned that the physical world bends and morphs to reflect the non-physical world. In other words it means your thought creates. This isn’t opinion. This is fact. And not understanding and being able to assimilate the information, is what keeps too many repeating things in life that they don’t want or plateauing.
First, what do I mean when I’m talking about your subconscious mind? The best metaphor is the iceberg. The iceberg has 20% of it exposed above the water. Think of that 20% as your willpower, conscious decision making and thought. It is what we use to force or exert change. The bottom 80% is the part that’s unseen and that represents your subconscious mind. Like the bottom of the iceberg, your subconscious mind is actually the power house behind your life. The truth is, the subconscious runs everything.
Just like when you drive somewhere and you talk on the phone, and then realize you’ve arrived at your destination without actively thinking or working on it, you can do the same thing by reprogramming your subconscious mind to effortlessly drive you to your goals without the will power, grit and force.
How do we reprogram our subconscious mind to work for us? How do we program our life?
The best and most succinct formula (AKA the ‘secret sauce’) to reprogramming your subconscious comes from a favorite teacher of mine, Jim Fortin. Here’s his formula to reprogram the subconscious mind:
Consistent repetition of emotional imagery accepted as already achieved.
Broken into steps:
Step 1: Consistent repetition. Through repetition our brain creates new neural pathways which, in turn, process information differently. Anything we master is because we repeat it. More specifically, brain research shows that things stick after about ten times of repetition. You can think or do something one or two times and it’s interesting. But at ten times, the brain wakes up and starts to dig a new neural pathway which is like a superhighway to a new habit or default.
Step 2: Emotional imagery. The subconscious mind‘s language is emotional imagery, that is, the five senses; seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing, and touching. The more visceral and emotional an image your brain can produce the more it can “connect” and become comfortable to make it real.
Step 3: Accepted as already achieved. The subconscious mind, unlike the conscious mind, doesn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. It simply accepts whatever it is you’re telling it and seeks to make it true. Speaking to ourselves as though something is already achieved, exists or is true allows our brain to go forth and find ways to act that are congruent with that vision.
How do you apply this formula? There are a couple ways but my favorite way which can be done on your own is an exercise I did 20 years ago. I’ve used it ever since. Write a movie which includes the three parts of the reprogramming the subconscious mind formula above. Write as though your supersonic movie (interpret vision) in all categories of your life is already achieved. Make it descriptive. Think Technicolor. Through your writing you should be able to see, feel and smell it.
Then the next critical step: imprint the movie by reading and re-reading at least once daily. Once you grow comfortable with your movie and take on the identity of it as though it is already achieved, your habits of behavior will became consistent with making it so.
A couple tips when writing your movie:
- Don’t be logical or rationale about what you tell yourself is possible for this next phase. Answer the question, “What would I attempt if I could not fail and there were no rules?”
- Write in the active tense (instead of future tense).
- Read and visualize your movie each morning as a reminder to your brain of what to look for throughout the day.
- Imagine what a person who already has achieved what you want does, thinks, feels, and behaves life. Then operate with that same identify.
What you’ll find when you take those steps over and over is that your actions will be handed off to your subconscious. You’ll take those steps without thinking. Because at that point, they’ve become a habit.
You’ll find new resources, suppliers, clients, partners, friends, money, opportunities, time, energy, and ease with change will be in front of you, because now you’ve trained your brain to look and see them.
Do the internal work of programming your mind first, and the external world will oblige. That’s how TRANSFORMATION works.
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About Rita Hyland
With over 20 years of experience as an executive and leadership coach, Rita helps leaders — emerging and established — excel in corporate and entrepreneurial environments.
Rita believes if leaders were more clear about how transformation really works and more intentional about creating what they want, their impact, success and influence in the world would be unstoppable.
Through her coaching programs, private coaching and masterminds, Rita shows leaders how to win consistently and create the impact and legacy they desire.
Central to Rita’s work is the understanding that you will never outperform your current programming, no matter how strong your willpower.
When you learn to use Rita’s proprietary Neuroleadership Growth Code, a technology which uses the best of neuroscience and transformational psychology to hit the brain’s buttons for change, YOU become both the solution and the strategy.
Her mission is to end talented, hard-working and self-aware leaders spending another day stuck in self-doubt or confusion and not contributing their brilliant work and talent the world so desperately needs.