Friday, August 14, 2009
When We Know Better We Still Eff Up!
Anybody notice that? Yeah, we've all heard "When we know better we do better" but it's not entirely true! You make a mistake or do something you regret and you think "I knew better". I do it all the time! And I don't think I'm the only one!
Let's take a small examples. I stayed up very late a couple of nights ago. I could have slept, I was tired for sure, I knew I had to get up early and I knew I'd be tired the next day. But something here online was so fascinating I got completely sucked in. I knew better. I still did it. And I was extremely tired the next day. I used up all my energy trying to prevent myself from taking it out on those around me. Fortunately they are understanding and I caught up on my sleep the next day!
All of the wisdom of the world resides in us. We know better. We know the things that work in our lives and the things that don't yet somehow we still do those things that lead us away from our purpose, our happiness, our contentment.
Why do we do those things? Well we could just say we're human, which we are, and we make mistakes, but that is often just an excuse. Accepting your humanity is one thing, using it as an excuse that holds you back from fulfilling your purpose and being who you are meant to be is an entirely erroneous exercise in futility and something entirely different. You get to use being human as a reason not to beat yourself up, but not as an excuse for making the same mistakes over and over again!
I've known people who have spent a large part of their lives(and a great deal of money) in cognitive therapy, have come to a deep understanding of their issues and problems and still repeat the same mistakes over and over. And I wonder why. Why can't they let go? Why can't they move on? Why do they seem stuck in patterns that defeat them and are counterproductive to their happiness?
Recently I read a book called The Biology of Belief by Bruce H. Lipton. I think it gives a very scientific and solid explanation for this type of behaviour.
In the book, Dr. Lipton explains about the subconscious messages that are in our brain. He explains that 95-98% of our actions are ruled by our subconscious mind. This is scientific fact. Most of these messages are introduced into your mind during your childhood. So, let's say, for example, if you were told to clean your plate, rewarded with food for good behaviour, comforted with food during sad times, been exposed in great detail to "skinny is beautiful" mentality then it would mean that all of those messages are within your subconscious.
Since you are only using your "conscious" mind 2-5% of the time then thinking conscious thoughts about what you should eat to be healthy is completely overwhelmed most of the time by the subconscious messages that rule your life. And cognitive therapy deals with the conscious mind only. So yeah, you did all the therapy, you discovered your mother gave you ice cream all day long when you were sick/hurt/sad and that's the reason you overeat, but the messages are still embedded in your mind. Now you are aware of them but you've not impacted the part of the brain that actually lives most of your life!
What to do? How do we fix this? Is there hope? Yes. There are ways to reprogram the subconscious mind. There is hypnosis, energy modalities like EFT, meditation, all sorts of therapies that impact the subconscious mind.
This doesn't mean that we should drop our cognitive therapy sessions right away, because knowing better sometimes does help us use more of our conscious mind effectively and we do make many decision with our conscious mind. It's just helpful to be aware of how the mind works.
And once you know that the subconscious mind rules most of your decisions you don't get to use that as an excuse either! Oh no you don't! Now you know better so it's time to do something about it. Your subconscious mind that is telling you the message that is holding you back is YOURS and you do NOT have to listen to it. It can be reprogrammed and it you can do better!
It just doesn't work quite the way we've been told. I highly recommend the book in either audio or standard form. It's a good, easy read and it rings incredibly true.
Breeze Talks About Weight Loss