Harnessing Subconscious Behavior to Move Into Conscious Leadership
With our constant stream of text messages, emails, meetings, conference calls, and so on, it is a minor miracle that any of us can accomplish anything. With our smartphones surgically implanted into our hands, our time is sliced so thinly that we never have room for error, focused time to develop big-picture perspectives or the time needed for an action plan, let alone the time to execute it.
“Ineffective daily routines, superficial behaviors, poorly prioritized or unfocused tasks leech leadership’ capacities—making unproductive busyness perhaps the most critical behavioral problem” in our lifestyles today.
For so many of us—whether CEOs for major corporations, small business owners or solo-entrepreneurs—there is a fundamental disconnection between knowing what needs to be done and actively taking responsibility for it. Calling this disconnection the “knowing-doing gap,” Stanford University researchers Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton pose the question: “Why does knowledge of what needs to be done frequently fail to result in action or behavior consistent with that knowledge?” Is there anyone who hasn’t wondered the same thing? The answer is both simple and profound. We can sum it up with the term “willpower.” The problem is not that we self-manage poorly or that our time is divided ineffectively, but that our consciousness or “will” is divided as well; according to the theory of mind model, our "will" aka conscious mind only controls twelve percent of our behavior whereas our subconscious mind controls about eighty-eight percent of our behavior.
Getting things done requires two critical components: energy and focus. Sadly, both are at risk in our modern lifestyles. Building a bias for action in yourself and your career requires developing and reinforcing the skills to become a “purposeful” vs. “volitional” individual. These are people who can consistently achieve their objectives by making an unconditional commitment to their self-regulation goals and sub-conscious strategies — leveraging the power of that intention to overcome the obstacles in their way, whether their personal doubts or the bureaucracies within their organizations.
“Purposeful action-taking depends on engaging the power of the subconscious mind,” according to John Assaraf of NeuroGym. “Not only does your sub-conscious mind galvanize your mental and emotional energy -- it also enables you to make your intention happen against the most powerful odds: distractions, temptations to move in a different direction, self-doubt, and negativity. Sub-conscious brain power is the force that strengthens your energy and sharpens your focus throughout the action-taking process.”
Here are four steps that form the basis of successfully taking action:
Challenge your beliefs
Your goals must be in alignment with your core beliefs. Your professional beliefs must be aligned with your personal beliefs so you can distinctly visualize its success. Your beliefs will affect your habits and perceptions.
Empower your subconscious mind
Empowerment is a significant step. When we do not take the time to align our beliefs with our intentions, a chaotic mental vibration causes us to feel uncomfortable; doubts, fear or anxiety begin to set in. This chaos is because our subconscious mind which governs approximately 88% of our behavior creates conflict with our conscious mind which regulates about 12% of our response, leading the amygdala to release stress hormones, so we revert to our old habits, thereby creating difficulty in accomplishing our new goals. Causing us to engage in former states of homeostasis.
Guard your intention
Once you have made your commitment, you have to protect it from forces both within yourself and your environment.
Disengage from your intention
Your point of success—or failure— from which you walk away and take up the next challenge depends on whether or not you can allow the seeds you're planting to grow. Many times we stunt our growth by
not allowing the changes we’ve put into place to come to life naturally.
From your commitment comes both the emotional energy and the focus that are critical to your success. In short, the process of getting things done in business is pretty much the same as in any other aspect of life: The only things that get done are those that we genuinely believe in and believe will get done.
To your success!
Anutza Bellissimo provides individual coaching and group training on the power of the subconscious mind and how to use your brain power to harness your ultimate goals and success at The SAMI Group. Schedule your consultation here.