Until you are about 4-5 years old you have very few filters; in fact the Imprint Stage where we are absorbing information spans from 0-7 years. However, those years between 0 to 4-5 years are spent mostly engrossed in our senses. We get to play, imagine, make up songs, pretend for hours and generally get swept up in the moment without much thought.
Can you remember that? Getting swept up in the moment without much thought? What a wonderful place that would be.
Somewhere around 4 or 5, when a child starts school – we move from being in our senses to being in our head. We are then taught to think and pay attention and be aware. Slowly, our sensory play ends in some way and at some level. Now, some adults still have the ability to play and get lost in the moment; but most get lost in their head.
Thinking or being focused internally is a learned behaviour. And it is a behaviour that we needed to learn. After all, thinking and analysing helps us to move forward in life, get things done, choose appropriately and be an adult. However, overthinking, over analysing, over-processing can create interferences and issues.
Being in your head too much – can create patterns of perfection, a need for certainty, a sense of mindless superiority, procrastination, fear of failure – and the dreaded paralysis by analysis.
Again, thinking is important – but not thinking is more important.
The conscious mind – that is the part of your mind you think, analyse and reason with makes up approximately 10% of your mind. The remainder is your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind is responsible for your perceptions, emotions, storage of memories, creation of chemicals and hormones and it runs your body.
Without any conscious thought, your unconscious mind is currently processing what you are reading, making sense of it, relating this to what you’ve learned in the past, future pacing to how it might be useful in the future; plus it’s digesting the last meal you had, producing saliva, beating your heart, compressing and expanding your lungs, producing and distributing chemicals, blinking your eyes, swallowing pre-mentioned saliva, breaking down the glass of wine you had yesterday and producing antibodies to keep you well. All of this before you blink again.
Can you recall a time when you want to recall a quote you read from a book – you know what it was about, but can’t remember the exact words? But, you know what book it was, and that it was toward the back of the book, on the top of a left-hand page? It’s your unconscious mind that knows all of that. Your conscious mind only knows “I want to remember this quote”.
Even if you were to recall that quote immediately, it is still the unconscious mind that stores the quote that its read and it is the unconscious mind that gives it to the conscious mind.
Think of the conscious mind as the screen of a computer and the unconscious mind as the computer. It’s the computer that stores and runs everything – the screen just shows you what is going on.
When we interview people who are successful at something, be it business, career, a hobby, relationships, life – anything really! Most of them tell us that they don’t spend much time dwelling or ruminating over anything. They think, process – tap into their body (head, heart, gut-brain) and make a decision and move on.
We train a lot of entrepreneurs and business leaders – many of them start their NLP journey by being in their mind a lot. But, after making friends with their vast and friendly unconscious mind they find out that less is oftentimes more. Less thinking, less worrying, less need for control bring more. More confidence, more energy, more time, more freedom, more peace of mind.