From the moment of birth, we received societal programming from our parents, media, and friends. Growing up, we learned to model others’ behaviors and we internalized beliefs and habits to “fit in”, as well as to feel worthy and loved. What we may not know is that much of what we learned in these early years of our life is unconscious, but still responsible for much of our daily reactions.
In fact, when we are overtaken by a strong emotion, it’s our subconscious mind that’s pulling the strings. When your subconscious mind feels threatened, it doesn’t respond analytically and logically; it reacts automatically as a way to protect itself from getting hurt.
In relation to this, the most common question I get asked is: how can I work through my conditioned beliefs if they are mostly unconscious?
My answer: by examining your triggers.
Different situations that cause you to react tend to have a common thread that tie them together- an underlying pattern. This pattern is often the unconscious belief that trigger your emotional reactions in seemingly unrelated situations.
If we are willing to decondition, we should practice being aware of the ways we are triggered and feel pain. Charged emotions (such as insecurity, shame, fear, unworthiness, anxiety…) shed light on the hurtful subconscious conditioned aspects of our self.
For instance, say that you are triggered in the following situations: when you are given constructive criticism, when you have to give your opinion in social situations, and when you compare yourself to others. In these different situations, the underlying belief you experience is low self-worth, a feeling of “not being enough”. Although it can show up in your life in many different ways, this is an extremely common belief that we may have acquired growing up and, whether we are aware of it or not, it may still live in our subconscious to some extent.
So, the fact is that triggers are the stepping stones that direct us to where we must grow if we want to get closer to our most authentic self. When you decide to decondition, life become your teacher as it shows you where, for instance, your self-worth is low.
The next time you’re triggered, pause and take a look at your conditioned thought or reaction as it comes up. Self-awareness is the first step to self-regulation. The “space” in which you are mindful and observing of your triggers allows you to shift from unconscious and automatically reacting to consciously responding. When you realize you have a choice, you are no longer a victim of your subconscious programming. As the saying says, “what you don’t own owns you”.
If you want to take this process one step further and learn to reprogram you subconscious beliefs you can contact me.