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The Conscious & Subconscious Mind 101

By · February 8, 2010 · Filed in Information · No Comments »

Most brain specialists believe that our mind is separated into two distinct parts:  the conscious and the subconscious.  The conscious half is the one that is aware and in the moment.  It’s the part of the brain that makes decisions and provided focus for real-world tasks.  The subconscious, on the other hand, is the portion of the brain that operates under the surface.  People such as hypnotists suggest that the subconscious part of the brain is the key to creativity and innovation.

Sigmund Freud first introduced the theory of the conscious and subconscious mind.  The conscious mind, said Freud, consists of those thoughts people have in the present and is responsible for a large part of how we behave. The subconscious, however, was responsible for the primitive drives and impulses that sometimes govern our thoughts.  He believed these thoughts out of direct reach of the conscious mind, working independently to guide our thoughts and actions during times when we are not consciously aware.  Naturally this theory alarmed many people, for according to Freud, people are unable to control some of the actions initiated by the subconscious mind.

Techniques for tapping the subconscious mind can be valuable in helping people maximize their potential.  It is widely believed that conditions such as anxiety and depression stem from uncomfortable thoughts about events that happened in the past and that the only effective way to treat these illnesses lies in bringing these thoughts to the surface.  Freud introduced a process called psychoanalysis in which he sought to identify troubling, hidden thoughts within the mind and bring them to the surface through therapy.  To cure the person, he thought, we must first discover what is happening below the surface.

Other techniques have sought the same result as Freud’s psychoanalysis, and more are being developed each year.  Here’s a few of the most widely used techniques for tapping the subconscious:

1.  Hypnosis

Hypnosis attempts to tap the subconscious mind through a process called hypnotic induction.  It is initiated by a series of suggestions, either administered by a hypnotist or self administered, that guide individuals to a greater state of awareness.

2.  Affirmations

Affirmations are positive thoughts that individuals repeat to themselves continually to effect a change in their mental state. For a list of 21 Positive Self-Talk Affirmations click here.

3.  Autosuggestion

Autosuggestion is a process by which an individual trains the subconscious mind to believe something, or systematically schematizes the person’s own mental associations, usually for a given purpose.  For instance, autosuggestion thoughts such as “it doesn’t hurt,” can help train the mind to cope with pain.

There are many more of course, but the above are some of the most widely used.  Another method that is gaining popularity is Subconscious Restructuring, which is a conscious process to gain control of your subconscious mind.

The key is to remember that there is much more going on than you are currently aware of.  Hidden thoughts and resentments can not only cause a great deal of stress, but can lead people to act in ways that are harmful or inappropriate.

7 Tips for Hiring a Life Coach

By · January 18, 2010 · Filed in Information · 1 Comment »

Do you need a Life Coach?  Do you know what a Life Coach is?  Are you in the Alberta area and looking for Calgary Life Coach? In this post I will explain in more detail the roles of life coaches and how best to hire one.

Many people think the use of a Life Coach signifies an inability for handling the challenges of one’s own life.  They believe only weak people require the assistance of a coach.  This is simply not true.  Why else would people like Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Derek Jeter have personal coaches.  The reason is because a Life Coach helps people maximize their potential and seeks to aid individuals who want to get the very best out of their lives.  If anything, the use of a Life Coach represents strength of character and the will to succeed.

Another misperception is that Life Coaches are therapists, although a therapist could choose to become a Life Coach.  A Life Coaches role in an individuals’ life differs significantly from the typical doctor patient relationship.  Life Coaches consider themselves equal to the people they tutor, not superior.  Their primary goal is to help individuals set goals for their lives, focusing only on the present and the future.  Because they lack a proven process such as Subconscious Restructuring, many Life Coaches seldom deal in emotions. Life Coaches are typically far less concerned about the past than most therapists. Life Coaches focus on the future.

If you would like to achieve more out of life but are a bit unsure about how to proceed, a Life Coach may be able to help you start your personal development journey.  Below are 7 tips for hiring a Life Coach:

1. Hire someone you feel comfortable with.

You’ll be spending a lot of time with your new Life Coach so it’s important to choose someone with whom you get along well.  Just like a good teacher can make the difference in your academic endeavors, a life coach whom you trust and get along with is essential for your personal/professional changes. Life is much too short to spend time with people you dislike.

You should choose someone who can be objective to your overall goals.  Do you want competency or companionship?  You are not looking for another friend but rather someone to keep you accountable to the standard you know you can achieve.  Avoid people who are too close to you such as family and close friends.

2. Has your Interests in Mind.

Make certain that whoever you hire has your best interests in mind.  You can find differences among life coaches such as you would find differences among any other practitioner.  Find someone to work with who is genuinely interested in your success and try to avoid those people who are merely trying to “hitch a ride”.

One way to establish a connection is to explain to your Life Coach the goals you have for your life and ask for feedback on how he/she will proceed.  How many times a month will you meet?  What communication channels will you use to connect?  What kind of access do you have to them?  Most importantly, do you believe this person will give you a solid chance on establishing the changes you want to see?

3. Communicates Well.

It is very important that your Life Coach is able to clearly communicate his plans for helping you achieve your goals.  The ability to communicate effectively is extremely important in establishing a winning relationship.  Insist upon an open line of communication where each party feels equally comfortable expressing their views.

Your relationship with your Life Coach will evolve and grow over time as your needs and requirements do. The only way to ensure you are moving forward together on the same page is through consistent and concise communication. You have to be willing to step up to the plate and voice your opinion, and your Life Coach has to be able to keep that communication going.

4. Hire someone who is qualified.

The application and interview process should be taken quite seriously, and used to find the very best person for the help you want.  Hiring a life coach is an important task, and therefore your qualifying criteria should help to establish your best chance of success.

Many people wonder if you should get a Life Coach who is certified or not.  This is a great question and will depend on your ultimate goal.  In theory, certified Life Coaches have been taught how work with you to achieve your goal.  However, because it is a school, not everyone that graduates as a Life Coach is as effective at retaining and applying that they have learned.

Uncertified Life Coaches who have been practicing on the other hand many have developed many skills although they haven’t gone to school.  The comparison between a certified and uncertified Life Coach is very similar to a licensed mechanic and a hobby mechanic.  You can find the good, bad and ugly in both cases.

Make certain that the person you hire has the experience for helping you effectively.  What types of coaching has he/she done in the past and how does it apply to your situation.

5. Check References.

Remember, when you hire a Life Coach, you are the employer.  Talk to people who have used this person’s services in the past, and get a feel for what to expect.  Do they have testimonials that you can check?  What do the testimonials and feedback tell you about working with this person.

What kind of vibe do you get from the people who have left references or testimonials?  Can you identify with their problem/situation/personality?  For obvious reasons it is always a good idea to avoid people with characteristics detrimental to your plan.

6. Hire a Motivator

If the first meeting with your new Life Coach fails to get you excited about the goals you seek in life, the person is probably not for you.  This doesn’t mean that you should feel excited because the person you hired is going to solve the problem for you. The motivation you feel should come from knowing that by working with this person, it is only a matter of time before you get the results you want.

Your Life Coach should be a champion to your cause, a partner towards your success and a support tool to hold you accountable.  Your Life Coach should be excited about your future and that excitement should be infectious.  Choose somebody who can truly motivate you towards great things.

7. Has Connections.

It certainly is not mandatory to hire only those people with connections in the area you seek assistance, but it sure does help.  Your Life Coach will work with you to plan your life, setting goals and objectives for each step.  Connections to important people in your particular field can greatly enhance the chance for success.  Sometimes it really does come down to “who you know.”

Does your Life Coach have professional connections and a team of people working along side them?  Do you feel comfortable in the hands of this extended support network?  Could they easily refer you out to another trusted professional if needed?

Keep these things in mind when you are ready to hire your Life Coach.  Remember that the process is all about you, and the proper person should be someone whom you trust with your dreams.  If you would like to see how Russ conducts his famous “Exploration Sessions”, which are known for leaving people feeling motivated and excited about the changes they seek, contact him today and ask to be put on the next available schedule.