Research Paper By Saskia Bergmann
(Career Transformation Coach, NETHERLANDS)
The mind is everything. What you think you become. Buddha
We become literally what we are thinking about. Thoughts are producing peptides that are used in cell division that create cells with either positive or negative emotion receptors. According to Dr. Joe Dispenza when a new cell is produced it isn’t a clone of the old but a cell that contains more receptors for whatever peptides it received that cause it to split. The more you feel a certain way the more peptides you create that create cells that have receptors looking for the same peptides. Our body becomes depended and addicted to certain emotions. That is why, if we are feeling anger everything is making us feel even angrier if we are happy everything is making us even happier.
What is our self-identity?
Self-identity is a process that develops over a lifetime, with the rapid formation in childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. The Psychology of Gender and Health
Before we are coming to look deeper into the meaning of self-identity we first need to understand a couple of key terms regarding the identity.
The first is the idea of a self-concept which means according to psychologists being self-aware. The development of self-concept has two aspects, existential & categorial. The existential self is the most basic part of self-concept. It’s the sense of being separate and distinctive from other people. Even babies are realizing that they are existing separate from others. Besides the fact that we are separate from others is the fact that we are also living among others in this world. Each object in this world has properties. A typical categorization is age, gender, skills, size. The basic categorization is age and gender. You always here a kid saying their age or their gender, that is how they categorize themselves. Once we grow older, we start to add more terms to categorize ourselves mainly by comparing ourselves with others. Carl Rogers beliefs that the self-concept has three different components. One of them is the self-image, which implements the view we have on ourselves. Another componence he identified is self-esteem. It’s about how much value we are putting on ourselves. The third one is the ideal self. That is how we wish to see ourselves. Developing the idea of the self-concept further brings us to personal identity. The concept of personal identity is developing in three steps. At first, it is categorizing. All people are categorizing, themselves and others it happens automatically without thinking consciously about it. We all categorize ourselves in a group, where we think we belong, with similar people and we categorize groups that are different from us. An example of that is Muslims, Christians, Asians, Europeans, Americans, Students, Teacher, etc.
In the second step ‘identification’ we adopt the identity of the group we have categorized ourselves in. If we e.g. categorized ourselves into students, we start adopting the identity of a student. We are going to start acting and behaving like a student. The third step of the personal identity concept is comparison. We are always comparing ourselves with others that are also in our nature. We start comparing ourselves with other groups or we are comparing other groups with other groups. The reason we are doing this is to maintain our self-esteem.
Self-identity can be understood as the sum of an individual’s knowledge and understanding of self. It is about our one sense of personal attribute we are putting on ourselves, whether we think we are smart, skinny, fat, sporty, lazy, etc. Identity exists in past, present, and future time frames. It is the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks, and expressions that make a person.
Conscious vs. subconscious mind
By only having positive thoughts we don’t get the outcome we want. When you are having positive thoughts, you are using your mind. The mind influences biology. But there are two parts to the mind, that are completely different than one another, and yet they are working together. There is the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.
The conscious mind is our creative mind. It is connected to our personal identity and our spiritual selves. Each one of us has our own personal conscious mind, which makes us all unique.
The subconscious mind is equivalent to a tape player. It records experiences and then plays them back. It is a realm of our automatic and habitual thought patterns and beliefs.
In the end, we have a thinking mind and a tape player’s mind.
The subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind. Scientists have proven that the subconscious mind runs our biology about 95%-99% of the time. Having positive and happy thoughts with the conscious mind is not what is making the difference. The subconscious mind is running the show. The conscious mind operates only less than 5% of the day, that’s why simply positive thinking is not getting you anywhere. Psychologist believes that the majority of the default programs (our subconscious mind is running) are disempowering, self-sabotaging, and limiting.
Why can we not outperform our self-identity?
Self-identity is the way we see ourselves. Whatever that self-identity is we cannot outperform it. However, you see yourself in your mind, in your unconscious identity und your unconscious paradigms that is what we are.
If for example someone is in its unconscious identity overweight and has been growing up with the identity of always being overweight, then no matter what this person does they will always operate in the context of that identity. People are getting stuck by their image there are having about themselves.
From every experience we make, our subconscious mind soaks in information like a sponge. When you were young the subconscious mind rejected nothing because it didn’t have any pre-existing beliefs to contradict what is perceived. So simply every information you received in your early childhood your subconscious mind accepted them as true. By the time you were 7, you had already a solid foundation of belief based on all that programming from people in your life, media, etc..
The experience we are making, becoming interpretations, it becomes a story, and, in the end, it becomes a belief. That belief becomes unconscious. It is so profound that most people miss it happening.
You are living today what has been created in your mind. The world programmed us to what we are today, as a child.
If we are not getting what we want and what we wished for, we have a tendency to blame the outside world for it. We think our intentions were good and we did what we could to get what we want. We tend to think it can’t be our fault because we had all these wonderful intentions.
What we didn’t see was, while we were having these positive intentions, using the conscious mind for these intentions, the subconscious mind was running the show. We didn’t see that we generally sabotage and limit our own life’s with behaviors that are not supporting us.
And that is all because we can not operate outside of the context of the image we have for ourselves.
To achieve what we want we must first be it in our identity because we cannot outperform our self-identity.
We are not victims of anything other than the programs we are operating from. Change the programs you are operating from. If your subconscious programs match the wishes and desires of the conscious mind, your life will be one continuous honeymoon experience for as long as you live on this planet. Bruce Lipton
How do we reprogram our subconscious mind?
Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality. Earl Nightingale
Our subconscious mind is like an autopilot on an airplane. It has been pre-programmed to follow a specific route and you can’t deviate from that route unless you change the directions programmed into it first.
To be able to create lasting change we must release ourselves from the image we are holding from ourselves of not being good enough, not being worthy, etc.. This differs of course from person to person.
It is important to know that programming still continues every day. With every experience you have, you draw certain conclusions and store the messages that will guide your future actions.
There are different methods to overwrite the limiting or damaging beliefs that are stored in our subconscious mind.
We will focus in this paper on the following methods:
- (Self) Hypnosis
Our brainwaves have a different frequency throughout the day, depending on what we are doing at any given time.
- Gamma: when you are engaged in certain motor functions
- Beta: when you are fully conscious and actively concentrating
- Alpha: When you are relaxed
- Theta: when you are drowsy or lightly sleeping
- Delta: when you are in deep sleep
We can recreate our Theta state of receptivity and use it to re-program our mind in a more conscious way. Each of us has access to this state of being two times per day, right before falling asleep and just as we are waking up.
As you drift off to sleep, there is a part off your brain that turns off. That is the conscious mind. But while we are going off to sleep there is a part of our brain still operating, our subconscious mind. It is always operating 24 hours per day.
As we are drifting off, the mind moves from its active Beta state into Alpha and then Theta before eventually dropping into Delta as we sleep. The Theta window is the most receptive state and responds well to the visions and suggestions we hold in this space. We can listen during that time to subliminal tapes to begin overwriting limiting programs with the new beliefs we want to experience. We can also record our own self-hypnosis audio. The other option is to actually work with a hypnotist which brings us in that more relaxed and receptive state and delivers empowering, positive messages to our subconscious mind.
An affirmation is a carefully formatted statement that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently. For affirmations to be effective, it is said they need to be present tense, positive, personal, and specific.
The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what’s vividly imagined and what is real.
Affirmations don’t work if you just say them once or twice. They must be recited many times throughout the day for the best results.
A mental image or mental picture is an experience that, on most occasions, significantly resembles the experience of perceiving some object, event, or scene, but occurs when the relevant object, event, or scene is not actually present to the senses.
Our subconscious mind responds well to pictures. Visualization is a great way to program your mind with positive, empowering images.
Guang Yue, an Exercise Psychologist discovered that people who did a virtual workout over three months in their minds were able to increase their muscle strength by 13.5% versus 30% by the people who actually did work out. Research has found out that people who imagine themselves performing a task, improve their performance in the task.
This is also a powerful tool to reprogram the subconscious mind.
How does this apply to the coach?
ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
People looking for a coach because they want to improve a certain part of their life, are not happy with something or want to achieve something.
In my opinion, it is crucial to understand how we are creating our self-identity, believes, values, etc. because that is exactly what the client will bring to the session. To have an understanding of how the brain works, which role our conscious and our subconscious mind are playing is vital to be able to help the client to reach a higher state and achieve their goals. It opens up where the focus on the work during the coaching process should be, on the person itself. Helpful tools like visualization & affirmations can be integrated into the coaching session if wanted by the client.
It is not an easy process to change our self-identity and reprogram our subconscious mind, but it is possible. This is the most important thing to know that it is possible. But this reprogramming process needs time to work. It is very important to be certain about the changes we want to achieve in our lives and then show up consistently and persistently working on them.
Knowing that these changes, in the end, will be lifelong gives the motivation to go through that difficult and time-intensive process. It is important to never forget:
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Napoleon Hil