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Making Decisions: The Interplay of Conscious and Subconscious Minds

The Puzzle of Free Will

Studies have shown that over 95% of our decisions are made subconsciously, which can leave us wondering how much free will we actually have. We also know that when the subconscious mind (protective and emotional animal brain) and the conscious mind (modern analytical/logical brain) are in conflict, the subconscious mind always wins. This only reinforces the lack of conclusions about free will.


Conscious vs. Subconscious Decision Making

Are decisions made in the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, or both? We know we can make a "conscious" decision when we want to make a pizza and find we don't have any cheese in the fridge. We can then decide to go to the store and buy cheese. The entire process is conscious. So we know we can make conscious decisions. But was the decision about wanting the pizza in the first place conscious or subconscious?

What if I decide I want to quit smoking and make a conscious decision to do that? Some time passes and it becomes clear, that even though I made the conscious decision, the goal isn't achieved. How does this work? Somehow, even though I consciously made the decision, the subconscious mind rejected this idea and overruled the outcome in its own separate decision making process.


The Power of Decision in Healing

A client recently told me she "needed to heal from her trauma". I asked how she proposed doing this and she felt reading books and completing different healing protocols she would find the answer. I then asked her, "what if you simply decide that you're healed?" This question surprised her because she realized the decision process itself gave her the power and control to heal without a list of other boxes to check. The takeaway here is that decisions allow us to create our reality, so it's important to understand more about the decision making process.


The Dominance of Subconscious Decisions

To cut to the chase, some decisions are conscious and others are subconscious. The vast majority are subconscious and probably feel more like responses than decisions. But they are, in fact, decisions. We are bombarded with stimuli throughout the day and we make decisions based on the exposure to those stimuli. Most of us aren't mindful of the present moment and simply provide a reactionary decision to the things presented to us throughout the day. Notice how when someone asks you a question you often don't even think about the answer and it seems to automatically come out of your mouth? This is how we manage our way through life most of the time. Of course, big decisions seem to warrant and acquire the obligatory "long, hard thinking" before a conclusion is reached, but these decisions are the exception to the rule.


The Role of the Subconscious in Decision Making

Because the subconscious is our "old animal brain", it's developed from millennia of evolution. Its purpose is to keep us alive. As a result, part of its modus operandi is to seek out safety, comfort, and pleasure. This is important to realize in the scheme of decision making. When you become mindful of your decision making process, you may realize that many of your decisions are "comfort" based. The "path of least resistance", if you will. The subconscious mind doesn't like change, so it tends to override some of our logical decisions originating from the conscious mind. This tug of war can cause us conflicts. If we can capture the moments when decisions are being made, we can see if the decision is being consciously or subconsciously driven. Once identified, we have more agency over the decision that is truly in our best interest and not just maintenance of safety, comfort, and pleasure.


Overcoming Subconscious Barriers with Hypnotherapy

If you find that you're having issues with getting out of a comfort zone, making personal changes, or reaching specific goals, you may find it's rooted in your decision making process. If you feel your subconscious mind may be in need of some training, hypnotherapy may help. Hypnosis allows for direct access and communication to the subconscious mind, providing you a platform for real change from within.




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