One thing we all need to do is to clear all the old negative beliefs and patterns from the subconscious mind. The subconscious is a powerful mind but it is a non-reasoning mind. Your conscious mind must be in charge of the subconscious and clearly choose what beliefs and thoughts you want to store in it.
As a child you just accepted and took in all the thoughts and beliefs that were around from your parents, teachers, family, culture, religious groups, TV etc. So your subconscious holds a lot of stuff that needs looking at and sorting and clearing.
One main way we become aware of the contents of the subconscious mind is when we react to something. When we react we are coming straight from the subconscious, the non-reasoning self.
When we respond, the conscious mind has taken charge and made a choice.
One of the big ways we tend to react is when we find ourselves criticising – another person says or does something and we react immediately with a critical thought or words. I have found self-criticism and criticism of others to be one of the big hurdles for me – and as I worked to change this pattern I became more and more aware of this pattern in myself.
Now the important thing here is not to get discouraged and use this as more ammunition against yourself! This is just more of the criticism pattern!
We need to celebrate that we are awake and aware and prepared to look at negative patterns we have, to take responsibility for them and learn to change patterns that don’t serve us or anyone else. We need to love and forgive ourselves and see this awareness and understanding as the way forward and the way to grow.
Also know that we all have some version or other of these negative patterns.
The other wonderful thing you discover as you take this on board, is that, as you open to look at your own negative patterns and to clear these, you have more mercy, compassion and understanding for others and their negative patterns.
So, back to the habit of criticism. How do we work to clear this and any other negative thought pattern that we discover to be held in the subconscious mind?
The first step is awareness and this is greatly helped by journaling as this helps us to see more clearly what happened and how we reacted. It also enables us to see more clearly the effects of our criticism and to be more sure of how we desire to be and what we want to create in any given situation.
Self-criticism and criticism of others makes us and others feel badly, unlovable and unworthy. It’s an old habit that continues mostly because that’s the way its always been – sure isn’t that how we learn? No – it doesn’t help any of us at all.
Now feedback, constructive feedback, given with love and the intent of empowering and building the other, is a very different thing.
Just observe how you feel when you criticise yourself and give yourself a hard time over something you did or said or didn’t do. Also observe the effects of your criticism of another. Then clearly choose what you want. I often say something like [to myself or in writing] “I really want to love myself or this other person, I want the best for me/them, I want to empower and build, I want to feel good and to help others to feel good. What good does criticism do ever, really? What damage does it do? What am I choosing?”
The 2nd step in clearing the subconscious of negative patterns and beliefs is to get clear about the beliefs you hold and to think about these and question them and choose clearly the beliefs you want to hold.
Thirdly, use affirmations. These can be powerful if you say them with strong positive emotion and keep saying them regularly. Affirmations can replace the negative thoughts you have stored – you are letting your subconscious know what thoughts you want to hold and these will replace the old negative faulty ones.
Try these ones and better still, create your own affirmations about the thoughts you want to have and to live by.
“I love myself with all my heart and soul and mind and might”.
“I deserve love and so do other people”.
“I want to feel good and empower others in every way I can”.
Photo thanks to Maggie Boate.