Hey, it’s Shay from StéphandShay.com—with a quick idea for you to ponder.
How much do you trust your gut?
Would you bet serious money on it—like a year’s salary?
Would you bet your personal happiness on your intuition?
That “gut feeling” or having an intuition about something is not a gamble. You may have thought you received a premonition, but that feeling is rooted in senses coming from your unconscious mind.
With resilience and mental toughness training, you can actually learn to focus your mind so that you can feel secure in, and take advantage of, your intuition—you can even bet on it.
The problem for most people is that they don’t take control of their unconscious mind—where gut feelings come from—and end up cresting thought habits that hold them back from achieving their goals.
According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, stem cell biologist and author of Biology of Belief, “As human
beings, we usually spend (at best) only 5% of our time in our conscious mind and the other 95% in our subconscious mind.” The subconscious mind is referred to today by many in the field as the “unconscious mind” simply because it’s the mind we’re not conscious of.
There are volumes of research that have concluded the unconscious mind is aware of something else going on in the environment and creates that gut feeling you may or may not always trust. When you get that feeling—maybe about a person or a part of your business—here is what is really happening. Your mind is taking your intuitive experiences, which are all based on the instantaneous evaluation of internal and external cues. Your mind and your gut instinct are one and the same.
And if we spend 95% of our time in our unconscious mind, then shouldn’t we be following our gut more often?
Here’s is what I learned, and what Stéph and I now teach in Mindpower trainings: Your purest intuitions are always right! Period.
Intrinsically, neither the conscious nor unconscious thought processes are better than the other. In other words, the conscious mind and unconscious mind work together to create your understanding of the world around you. It’s your own thoughts and emotions that may only be partially correct or even completely wrong that go in and confuse things. Stéph and I call it Running Parachutes. I’ll explain this in just a moment, but first, I will continue with the unconscious mind and why it is holding us back.
The Unconscious Mind and Feeling Stuck
One of the biggest groups of people feeling stuck right now is the middle-aged millennials. As millennials begin to turn 40 in 2021, we have to recognize that this generation has grown into adulthood during the Great Recession, a Covid-19 pandemic, student loans, stagnant wages, and rising costs of living. And then pile on that, just as many of them have hit mid-level management positions, companies are starting to eliminate their corporate tier. That’s a lot for the unconscious mind to process!
Feeling stuck is really about feeling uneasy or dissatisfied about your situation or place in life—no matter what age. Maybe you’re feeling left behind by your peers, out of place at work, unestablished, or you find that you’re constantly in transition — from one job or relationship to another. So, you’re overcome with a sense of urgency. This urgency becomes an extra layer of stress. When this happens, your gut feeling tends to send you in any direction that reduces this feeling of urgency.
Consider the millennial that has repeatedly been offered a lower salary—the experience could be that they are not valued. Or the millennial that is caring for an aging parent—the experience could be that they have lost some of their own time and resources with no end in sight. Just like tying our shoes becomes something we don’t think about, our unconscious serves us back these negative experiences without us realizing it. This is where the unconscious mind can hold you back.
How Can I Take Control of My Negative Unconscious Thoughts?
Stéph and I worked with a woman in one of our Mindpower Breakthrough cohorts who was literally enrolled in the 6-week course so she could learn how to stop dating jerks. Yes, her life was being held back by a habit of dating only jerks, and it was impacting her so deeply that she enrolled in Mindpower training.
Stéph and I asked her how many jerks she had dated, to which her reply was, “over a dozen.”
A note here: she wasn’t consciously choosing jerks. She didn’t wake up one day and think, “Ah, yes, let’s score a date with a good old jerk. I’m in the mood to get my feelings hurt!”
She was unconsciously attracted to the arrogant or rude part of them while consciously attracted to the part of them that appeared to be friendly and attractive. Ring a bell?
So, we asked her, “What do you want instead?” Her face lit up, and she started unloading all of these positive characteristics verbally.
We didn’t let her lightbulb moment stop there.
We told her to write all of these down and start focusing on that rather than all the jerks she had been recycling.
She focused on dating a nice person and, instead, keying into the things she wanted to bring into her life. This simple exercise of writing down what you WANT rather than what you don’t want was a massive breakthrough for her!
Yes, it can be that simple to take control of your unconscious mind. There’s no real difference between the habit of tying your shoes and the habit of thinking about yourself in a certain way.
Here’s the thing about the unconscious mind—if you don’t control it, it will control you.
Our unconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is “imaginary” and what is “real.” Any thought you repeat or visual image you create and hold in your mind are examples of the “operating system” that you program into your unconscious mind. We have the ability to store just about anything in our unconscious mind, whether it be a memory, a past experience, or even repressed trauma. The problem is, a lot of what has been imprinted or programmed into the unconscious mind are what Stéph and I call running parachutes.
The unconscious mind comprises the core of mindpower because we can’t fully empower our mind until we understand, embrace, and reprogram the unconscious. The first step is to discover these mental and emotional barriers or limitations, which we like to metaphorically call “running parachutes.”
We go through life doing our best, but as the years go on, we start to carry more and more limiting beliefs, unresolved negative emotions from our past, and internal conflict. These create drag and resistance, inhibiting our performance and our ability to move forward in our lives toward our goals.
This “drag” is just like the running parachutes athletes use intentionally. Professional athletes train with running parachutes strapped to their backs to create resistance and condition them to become stronger runners. Then, when they remove the running parachutes for races, they experience faster top speeds and more explosiveness off the starting line.
We are all running through life with running parachutes that we’ve been accumulating throughout our lifetime—from every time we experienced a negative emotion or took on a limiting belief. They’re invisible, so we seldom know they’re there—yet they exhaust us, just as they would if an athlete kept them on while running a whole marathon. Once the limitations are gone, however, you’ll experience the most significant level of natural energy you’ve ever had. You’ll no longer have to overcompensate for the mental and emotional barriers holding you back.
Some of the most common running parachutes we have encountered while working with thousands of clients are negative emotions like anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt, or frustration. Or limiting beliefs like “I’m not good enough,” “I don’t believe in myself,” “I don’t have enough time,” or “I don’t have enough money.”
With practice, you can learn to pinpoint your running parachutes, flip your language switch, and activate thoughts that keep you from feeling stuck.
Let’s get back to our middle-aged millennials that feel stuck. With so many things working against millennials, it is easy to see how negative “head trash” or self-limiting beliefs can take over both the conscious and unconscious mind, making it hard to move forward because their gut/unconscious is telling them to stay still.
Think about how overwhelming making decisions about things like student debt, being unemployed, getting lowered wages, increased housing costs, caring for aging parents, and dealing with mental health issues can be. This is why developing Mindpower and Mental Toughness is so important.
To move forward in life with success and joy, you need to project only positive possibilities about your future. This isn’t just about positive thinking. It’s about changing the habits that your unconscious brain learns and repeats that keep you stuck.
When you make a decision based on your present moment, you’re making a decision based on your past. You can change jobs, end relationships, move, but unless you “change your mind” from within, you’ll just attract more of the same.
Be intentional with identifying your purpose. No matter what you do or where you are, take every chance you have to grow and prepare for your opportunity. This means you have to invest in yourself and keep learning. Start now. Grab our free eBook, Your Mindpower Journey, that Stéph and I wrote based on our bigger book Master Your Mindpower.
Find the silver lining in your current predicament and focus on that. Focus on what you want and how the negative experience teaches you something. No experience is a complete waste; even the most negative encounters at least leave us mentally tougher.
Keep moving forward. Keep working towards what you want. Keep building. Keep the forward momentum, and change will come. Do not get bogged down by how things look or by how hard it feels. Break down your goals and start crushing them bit by bit.
My Running Parachute
I was always a tomboy. My brother is six years older than me, and I was always trying to keep up with him and the boys. From the time I was six years old, I was following him and his 12-year-old friends around, playing football, riding motorcycles, building forts, and roughhousing. Despite all of this, I developed a propensity to fall. Later in my twenties, I became an endurance athlete, running multiple half-marathons, a full marathon, and many triathlons. I fell numerous times while training or competing. Unsurprisingly, it became a running joke that I was a “coordinated klutz.” I’m not sure when it began or who said it first, but I certainly believed it wholeheartedly.
“Oh, that Shay!” they said. “Such a coordinated klutz.”
The term “coordinated klutz” meant I was coordinated enough to dribble a basketball or score a soccer goal. Still, I’d almost always come out bleeding after every game or activity, needing a first aid kit.
One of the last significant injuries I had was in 2006. I was married to Stéph at this point, and we were invited to a wedding in Cabo. The day before the wedding, a group of us decided to go speed boating in the ocean, and we rented a banana boat to attach to the back of it. The speed boat would pull the banana boat–like water tubing. We piled aboard the banana boat, and the speed boat picked up speed, pulling us amongst the waves and ocean spray. Right as they revved the engine, the boat lurched forward, all six of us went flying off the banana boat and into the air, and we all crash-landed in the water. Mid-flight, my eye socket met someone’s head or elbow. I still don’t know what I hit to this day, but it was hard! Out of the whole group, guess who was the only one to get hurt? Yep, me!
On brand for a coordinated klutz.
At this point, the “coordinated klutz” was part of my identity. It wasn’t until I was about thirty when I started to learn about the inner workings of the mind and how our thoughts become things. As I learned more, I began to realize these beliefs I’d lived with since age six didn’t have to be permanent or haunt me for my whole life. I came to realize I could undo these beliefs that I’d had for 25 years.
It was then that I decided to start telling myself a different story. Instead of jokingly saying I was a coordinated klutz, I began to say as my constant affirmation, “I stay upright, easily and effortlessly, through anything.” This affirmation became my mantra and my new belief.
One day in the summer of 2010, Stéph and I were running with our dog as we often did. That day, we decided to take a new route in our neighborhood, and I didn’t know the terrain. As a recovering coordinated klutz, it was essential to see the topography of any area where I was doing physical activity.
We were running on the sidewalk and, unbeknownst to us, there was a section ahead where a tree root had lifted the concrete, so part of it was higher than the other. It was a klutz trap! I didn’t see it, my foot caught it, and I went tumbling. BUT something different happened. Instead of falling straight to the ground and skinning my hands, knees, and elbows, I caught myself, and I stayed upright! I never touched the ground! Not my hands, nor my knees—only my feet stayed on the ground as they kept running awkwardly. Eventually, I caught my balance and pulled myself back up, fully upright. WOW! This was the first time in 25 years I didn’t fall to the ground, even when I tripped.
If we could command our minds to believe something new simply by suggesting a new belief system to ourselves, we wouldn’t need mindpower. It would just happen with a snap of your fingers, and poof, DONE!
Do you want to tap into your Mindpower and Mental Toughness? Then grab a copy of our WSJ bestselling book, Master Your Mindpower, and join the thousands who are overcoming obstacles and achieving their lives’ goals with the power of their minds.
From a conscious standpoint, you mentally want to succeed. You want to be happy in life, be in a fulfilling relationship, do fulfilling work, and make more money than you’ve ever dreamed of doing so. From your waking, conscious mind, you don’t believe anything is standing in the way of you having all that you dreamed—least of all, yourself.
If everything were up to the conscious mind alone, our work here would be done. Wouldn’t that be easy! But as we well know, there’s something deeper that makes the shift in beliefs and perceptions a bit more nebulous. This is where the friction happens: we know what we want for ourselves, and we get frustrated when that doesn’t come to fruition.
We find ourselves repeating the same habits and slipping into the same cycles, even though we mentally (conscious mind) decide it’s going to be different this time around.
You can change that and never feel stuck again by upping your mindpower game and increasing your mental toughness. Keep reading the blogs to learn more ways to do both.
Stéph & Shay