Conscious, Subconscious, and Unconscious Minds: The Difference
The human mind is an incredibly complex and powerful thing. Our minds are not just our brains, but rather a combination of many different things that work together to create something much more than the sum of its parts. The three types of minds: conscious, subconscious, and unconscious each play a part in our functioning lives.
Consciousness defined simply is awareness. When you are able to be mindful and recognize that you are thinking about something or someone that is our conscious mind. The conscious mind is incredibly important, as it is our ability to be aware of our thoughts and feelings that allows us to interact with the world in a meaningful way.
Most people use their conscious mind when they are thinking about their future, creating a vision board, or planning out their goals because the conscious mind is active when we are being creative. It is the part of our mind that holds our dreams and desires.
We are not conscious all the time but the unconscious mind is recording every moment of every day. This allows us to function in life. It's the reason we're able to do complicated things that require multiple simultaneous processes like drive a car or type.
The unconscious mind is always taking in information from the environment. For example, when you are asleep, your unconscious mind is still aware of everything that is happening. It allows you to sleep on a bed without falling off yet wake up when there is an emergency.
But unlike the conscious mind, all of the moments that are recorded through the unconscious mind are not accessible through your memories. Instead the subconscious mind acts as the bridge between consciousness and unconsciousness.
The subconscious is not always active but when it does become activated, it will make its presence known by entering your thoughts like an intrusive voice or idea without warning (usually). It is the driver of the reactive thoughts we have to events. All the negative talk and self-doubt comes from your subconscious.
It is interpreting the memories of past events of your life (even the ones stored in the unconscious mind) and assigning meaning to everything. This meaning making aspect of the subconscious is how we develop feelings about things. Your subconscious reactions and thoughts are what keep you from taking the action you consciously want to take. Your subconscious is the part that of your mind that reinforces your self doubts and reduce self confidence. To create changes in your life, you must engage in activities that help you alter the subconscious brain patterns.
Mindfulness is the key to switch from reactive subconscious thinking into creative conscious thinking. Meditation is not the only way to achieve mindfulness. Although it is a very useful tool, it is just one tool among many that help you learn how to be mindful.
The Unstuckable Method that I write about in my book "Get Unstuckable" and guide people through in the Unstuckable Membership program is another method that teaches you to be mindful. If you do the Unstuckable Method each week, you learn how to gain control of your subconscious thoughts in a simple yet effective method. While it was designed to help you be productive, it was based on neuroscience principles that work at rewiring your subconscious.
By becoming more mindful, we can access our conscious mind so that we can create a life by design instead of depending on our subconscious to drive our actions.