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Which to Trust?

Conscious vs. Subconscious Mind

Hi, EFTer,

The question of trusting one’s unconscious processes came up recently with a coaching client and I thought it was an interesting subject to explore.
I’ve noticed that for some of us our conscious minds don’t always trust our subconscious/intuitive minds to make our decisions for us without the conscious mind intervening or understanding what we are doing – giving us conscious permission. The conscious mind wants to run the show, to be in charge and to understand the process before it puts its seal of approval on a decision (some call this the ego).
We frequently give more importance to the conscious part of our minds than to the unconscious part and that is, I think, an error in some cases. We feel that if we can’t explain things rationally then we shouldn’t make a decision in a certain direction even if the unconscious part of us is leaning that way.

This hesitation and lack of trust of our subconscious minds can impede the natural intuitive process that can otherwise give us great results in our choice making. We are sometimes limiting our best options by believing we must be able to consciously lay out all the rational reasons for making a particular choice before trusting our inner knowing.

Mind Model
Conscious vs. Subconscious
image from: Kelly Roughton

In the best of circumstances, the conscious mind can hold within it only a tiny fraction of what the non-conscious part of the mind can hold or process at one time.

“You could say that what we are conscious of is a subset of things we are aware of. And what we are aware of is in turn a subset of what we are "processing".” – Yohan John, PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University.
Most studies indicate that our conscious minds can only hold 7(+/- 2) “things” in it at once. More often than not, the things about which we have to make choices have more than seven variables to consider. So it is simply not possible to be consciously aware of and measure all at once all the variables necessary to make certain choices.

Even Simple Choices

Here is a very simplistic example: What will you have for lunch? A soup or a salad? You might need to consider: preferences, allergies or intolerances, is it warm or cold out, what you ate for lunch or supper yesterday, when you last ate both of these two options, whether you like soups or salads, what the ingredients are, whether one or both foods are ready to be eaten immediately, etc…. and that’s just your lunch! Imagine the pieces of information you need to take into account when you’re choosing a new home to live in or when you have a new career path to take!
When we’re being intuitive or we’re in a “flow state”, that’s often when we make the best decisions. It means that our smaller, less efficient (for this type of task) conscious mind steps aside and allows the unconscious mind to sift through all the numerous variables to be considered, weigh them to make the most intelligent choice.

Choice: Exit Now
image from:

How often do you try to control with your conscious mind things that you should be letting your subconscious mind take care of? Do you have this tendency to second-guess your instinctive/intuitive answers? Is there some way you could learn to trust or at least test your unconscious mind’s decisions? It really does have a greater capacity to quickly seize all the elements involved in a situation and find invaluable solutions.
If you’re interested in the scientific studies that have been done on the subject of making decisions with our intuition or the non-conscious parts of our brains, read this great book by Malcolm Gladwell: “Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking”. Another good one is “How We Decide” by Jonah Lehrer.

Good Instincts

Learn to trust your subconscious-intuitive mind. It will often make better choices and decisions than your conscious mind will, even though your conscious mind can’t always figure out rationally how or why.

Trusting this part may take some work. We've been conditioned by our society to value conscious thought above all other. EFT and hypnosis are powerful ways to explore and create this trust between the two parts allowing them to work together so you can make the best choices for yourself.

Please contact me if I you'd like some help with this,
Kelly. xo

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