Self Sabotage and Crazy Bad Math
How Our Subconscious Mind Gets Things Wrong Lots of Times
In the last blog, I promised to show you how your sub-conscious mind files information. It’s been doing this odd type of filing from BEFORE you were born up until about a second ago.
So, it’s going to be helpful for you to understand the rules it’s playing by – so you can set yourself up to win – if you should choose to start filing information more accurately!
Here’s the 4 Rules your subconscious is playing with:
- Good and True
- Like with Like
- Familiar = Safe
- Your Power Leak = Your Comfort Zone
Before we’re around seven years old, our subconscious takes everything in as Good and True.
Zero evaluation. You experience or feel something, and it is filed and remembered as Good and True!
Think about your opinion on - team allegiances, political affiliations, or religion – how about the color of your skin vs the color of someone else’s skin? How about respect for certain jobs or careers and disdain for others? Were you trained to believe you were better than some or just a wee bit less than others?
You may still be working on other people's opinions about you from those early years too - whether you were too tall, too short, too assertive, or not assertive enough, too skinny, too fat, slow, quick, inconvenient, unlovable, special, not special, precious or expendable. None of this filed information needs to be explored or explained. It’s lodged in your mind, therefore it is good and true.
Now your mind does something even more screwy, it files Like with Like. Let me explain.
Let's say I'm a little kid and I'm walking along the street and I pass a blue house. In the yard is a large green tree, a swing set and a red ball.
Out of no where - a large dog comes at me and barks. It quite literally scares the crap out me. Thank goodness it was on a leash and was stopped before it could do any more harm.
Now, you know from listening to that story that it was the dog that was scary - but your ego (subconscious/unconscious) mind could just as easily associate the blue house, the large green tree, the swing set and the red ball as threats – and file that all together.
Next time you see a red ball or a blue house or a green tree you could unconsciously start moving more quickly or to the other side of the street because on some level your body is getting prepared to avoid the threat.
It's a pretty imperfect system - but just the fact that you're getting this - will already change how you evaluate your feelings from now on.
This is big stuff - and very few people really understand how much their sub-conscious is leading their lives.
So along with "Good and True" and this "Like with Like" scenario, your sub-conscious has determined that those feelings are FAMILIAR to you.
The ego then makes the leap that Familiar equals Safe. In other words – it is operating on the premise that you enjoy feeling a certain way – so it keeps moving you towards actions that will ensure you stay in that feeling state.
So, I’ve been describing these unconscious behaviors and beliefs as Power Leaks. And your subconscious thinks your Power Leaks = your Comfort Zone. Crazy eh?
If you’re hearing this for the first time – it sounds crazy. He!l, even if you’ve heard this a thousand times it sounds a little crazy.
As you try to do something different - like paying attention to or stopping your Power Leaks – your ego (subconscious/unconscious mind) is going to panic.
It knows that your Power Leak has been your go-to response for a very long time. So when you try to move away from the Familiar equals Safe scenario – your ego assumes you’re in jeopardy so it will do everything in its power to move you back to the old way of doing things.
Being aware of what your ego is doing – gives you the winning edge as you try to change and grow.
Let me say this another way.
Your ego will put these types of thoughts in your head so that it can keep you in the familiar zone of comfort. Any of this feel or sound familiar?
- tomorrow would be a better day to start doing this work
- this sounds way too good to be true and likely won’t work
- this is way too much work and I’ll probably fail
- I’ve heard this type of stuff before and it didn’t work
- it will take too long or be too painful
- you’re too old or too young or too poor or too rich or too tall or too short (spoiler alert the ego gets rather desperate sometimes)
- maybe it will even try to convince you that you’re going to lose family and friends if you look too closely at this stuff or worse – you’ll lose yourself
What does your ego try to lull you back to sleep with? Maybe it suggests that it’s time to watch a little Netflix…after all what’s the harm in just one more episode? Or perhaps tea and cookies, another glass of wine or one more bag of chips will do the trick?
Think about what you use as an excuse – it might be more than one – remember, this isn’t YOU this is your ego trying to keep you from moving forward. Little sneak! It’s cunning and clever because it wants to keep its job, and you, waking up to your own behaviors and Power Leaks – means its job is in jeopardy.
Well, truth is – this isn’t its job. It was never designed for this kind of reasoning - your ego-mind (where all your subconscious/unconscious beliefs are stored) is prehistoric. It wasn’t designed to be a critical thinker. It was only built to keep you safe from tigers, falling rocks, dinosaurs, and that big beautiful neanderthal in the bushes over there - with a big club in her hands.
But you’re learning to step out of your ego and into a much more effective way of navigating your life.
The most important thing to understand at this moment, is if you can be programmed to have a Power Leak – you can be programmed NOT to have a Power Leak.
Are you starting to connect some dots? I often use the term Fix of Familiarity - because Power Leaks can become an addiction. Maybe you’ve heard the term Self-Sabotage? Yep, that’s what happens, and you unconsciously [email protected] things up for yourself.
Now, remember in Blog #1 where I talked about my Missing Bedroom and my Disappearing Friends and how those two experiences planted the seeds that told me I was inconvenient, forgettable, invisible, and unworthy.
This is how that played out in my life…
I tried to be indispensable or self sacrificing. I'd say yes, when everything in me wanted to say no. I put everyone else's priorities above my own - so much so that it took years to figure out what actually makes me, happy. After all, why would I ask a question like that of myself?... on an unconscious/subconscious level I believed I wasn't worthy!
I even spent years expecting no one to wanted me to be friends me so I just stayed on the sidelines - my expectations of others was spectacularly low and my expectations of myself were spectacularly high and all of this kept me feeling inconvenient forgettable invisible and unworthy! All familiar feelings.
Is this resonating with you or have I left you stumbling around in the dark?
I don’t do that stuff any longer because I have come to know that it is my soul's journey and responsibility to find this sense of belonging in myself.
When I was finally able to embrace the brilliance of who I am, I got my first taste of being truly connected to the divine. I call her my intuition! And when I pay attention to her – she speaks more clearly and more often.
Oh, I still fall back into all thinking patterns. I still take little excursions away from that sense of knowing how magnificent I am. But thank goodness, when I do that, it triggers such a feeling of loss in me, that I claw my way back as soon as I possibly can.
Look, realizing and understanding the truth of who I am, what I am connected to and what I want to experience on this journey - did not come quickly or easily but it did come with purpose and intent. And you can experience the same thing if you want – it’s entirely up to you!
Here’s the simple truth! We all came in - so perfect - so complete - so intentional - and all of that is still true. It doesn't actually matter what anyone said to the contrary - all of that amounts to a big steaming pile of poop!
So where are you wasting your energy - still caught in an old thought loop? Do you know what power leaks you need to plug?
If you stick with me, I promise you you're going to get finely tuned to recognizing where you're playing small, when you get disconnected from the truth of who you are. It’s gonna be work – but the work will be worth it!
I hope I’ve got your curiosity up! Next time we’re going to talk about what it’ll feel like without your power leaks – and how good you can get at creating the life you came to live.
By Layne Smith-Brown