The Subconscious Mind: Is It Holding You Back?

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you aware of the difference between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind? Do you have subconscious beliefs that are holding you back in life?

When the subconscious beliefs in our minds are out of alignment with what our conscious minds want, we experience conflicts. The first step to getting rid of harmful subconscious beliefs is becoming aware of them.

Keep reading to learn how you can get rid of the subconscious beliefs that are holding you back.

The Subconscious Mind and How You Got This Way

This chapter 1 summary from You Are a Badass will help you understand the deep-seated beliefs that have been holding you back. Once you are aware of what’s been keeping you stuck, you can begin to change your life. 

When the subconscious beliefs in our minds are out of alignment with what our conscious minds want, we experience conflicts between what we’re trying to create and what we actually create. 

We all have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. We are aware of the conscious mind — it’s where we figure things out, worry, and process information. The subconscious mind is non-analytical; it’s where our feelings and instincts reside. It’s where we store all the information we receive as children, and it believes this input without filtering it. 

For example, if our parents showed us that marriage means violence, our subconscious stores this as our truth. If our parents tell us that our family just doesn’t know how to make money, we believe them. The subconscious serves as the “blueprint for our lives,” controlling our conscious minds, but we’re oblivious to these underlying beliefs that run our lives.

Ridding Yourself of Subconscious Beliefs

The conscious mind thinks it’s in control, but it’s not. The subconscious mind doesn’t think, but is in control — and could be holding us back from what we want to create. This is why we’re sometimes mystified about what’s keeping us from living our best life.

For example, say you were raised by a dad who struggled financially. He was negative about money and was away from home a lot trying to make a living. Your subconscious would equate money to struggle, pain, and dad’s unavailability. As an adult, you may manifest these subconscious beliefs by staying broke no matter how hard you consciously try to make money. Or say you long to find love, but your subconscious mind says intimacy leads to pain; you’ll likely remain alone.

Acknowledge Your Thoughts

No matter what you think you want, if there’s a subconscious belief that links your desire to pain, you won’t let yourself achieve it, or fully experience the achievement — and you’ll probably lose it.

Having an inhibiting subconscious belief is like being unable to sit on your front porch because there’s a terrible odor. You can try fans or air fresheners, but until you realize there’s something rotting underneath the house, the odor won’t go away. Similarly, if you don’t root out the subconscious belief that’s holding you back, you will remain stuck.

The first step to getting rid of harmful beliefs is becoming aware of them. To do this, examine the dysfunctional areas of your life and try to hear the stories your subconscious is telling you. These stories could be something like, “Going on a diet means never enjoying a meal again.” Or, “Making money means selling out and doing something I don’t love.”

The Subconscious Mind: Is It Holding You Back?

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Here's what you'll find in our full You Are A Badass summary:

  • How to go from wanting to change your life to deciding to do it
  • How to stop your self-sabotaging thoughts
  • How to tap into Source Energy for mental and spiritual strength

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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