Are you enthusiastic approaching a new task, confident that you will eventually overcome any initial mistakes and errors as you develop your ability? Or is your feeling about your ability to learn new things something quite different? Recent, major scientific discoveries are shedding new light on the influence of our subconscious mind on our ability to learn. More importantly, these discoveries reveal how we can successfully manage our subconscious.
The Role of The Subconscious Mind
Your mind has two components each with separate functions. There is the conscious mind, which is 12% of our mind, and the subconscious mind, which is the other 88%. The conscious mind is the one we readily identify with; it is our "doing state" that we use to perceive the world and make decisions, such as "I need to study chemistry tonight". The subconscious mind is responsible for storing our memory, habits, beliefs ("I always have difficulty understanding chemistry!"), personality, self-image. It also controls our bodily functions (notice you don't have to consciously think about doing these things).
The subconscious mind is important because the body retains a primitive mechanism which has the ability to record and remember every incident that it experiences. This is called "conditioning". It forms part of the way we learn and it enables us to perform actions habitually (without thought). Therefore if you experience enthusiasm and satisfaction while learning a new task, this mechanism will record those feelings and associate them with that task. Feelings of frustration and stress while learning are associated in the same way. When you next do that task, the subconscious association which was previously formed is automatically recalled, and re-experienced emotionally. Previous feelings of happiness and satisfaction are translated into enthusiasm, while feelings of stress, frustration give rise to reluctance, doubt, fear or anxiety.
Let's now consider an example which illustrates the above points. Say for instance you think you are not a good learner and find it hard to study for exams. Because you find study difficult you are less likely to study and revise regularly throughout the year, because it is not an enjoyable thing to do. By avoiding regular revision you inevitably find yourself having to "cram" in the final weeks for your exam. Cramming for a subject invariably creates considerable stress, frustration and uncertainty about your true ability to pass the exam.
The subconscious mind has recorded this entire experience of study as a "remembered stress". This "remembered stress" can accumulate and is experienced as a greater reluctance to study which constantly needs to be overcome. This is why some students who consistently place themselves under this kind of pressure find themselves unable to "face their books" or study anymore. The very thought of study subconsciously brings forward the associated feeling of this "remembered stress" and anticipates it being experienced again. This can then lead to an inability to study effectively.
A person may have a conscious desire to perform a task, but will experience an overriding subconscious fear or reluctance to do it.
Although we can become aware of our subconscious reluctance towards learning, we often have difficulty in changing the feelings that we experience. This is because our conscious desire ("I want to study") comes up against our existing habit and belief ("I find learning chemistry frustrating!"). Therefore 12% of your mind is battling with the other 88%. If you make this a battle of conscious will, you experience stress as you fight to discipline yourself to study, enduring much pain and suffering. This is why most people procrastinate over studying.
The conflict between the conscious and the subconscious mind is fought on an emotional level. It is a conflict which you can avoid if you understand how one mind can control the other. The student needs to learn:
- A more effective method of study.
- A conscious ability to motivate oneself and rebuild motivation as needed.
- A method of "neutralising" subconscious blocks.
- A method of reprogramming subconscious responses to learning.
In the Life Skills Seminar the ability to overcome subconscious blocks to effective learning is taught by learning and practising:
- The ability to relax and release stress anytime, anywhere.
- The ability to focus your mind so that it does not become distracted.
- Using the whole brain developing links and association for improved learning.
- Using colour and mind charting for effective learning.
- Developing an awareness of self talk.
- Mind/body exercises to overcome subconscious blocks to learning.
- Mind/body exercises to develop greater self confidence in your learning ability.
- The ability to program new responses to negative emotions experienced while learning.
- Proof that you are able to perform these skills through the use of bio-feedback equipment.
You May Ask "How Effective Are These Techniques?"
How about I let some of the seminar participants explain that to you?
In 1990 I was advised that doing my Higher School Certificate was probably not in my best interest, as I should not, and really could not expect to receive over 40 as a TER. The truth is, I had nothing wrong with me, no crippling disease or brain disorder, but more, that talent of being dyslexic, and this is where Sandy helped me.
After completing Sandy's CALM Seminar in 1991 I learned that being dyslexic was a gift I had been given. There were of course the frustrations of being 18 years old with a reading and spelling capacity of an 11 year old. This, coupled with an extremely high IQ, tremendous determination and dedication, made learning a challenging experience. By applying techniques learned from Sandy I found myself in the top 10 in all subjects. Not only was my school work dramatically improving, but I also increased my interest in Stage Management, where by the end of 1992 I had managed 10 professional and school productions. My chronic asthma was controlled, not through large doses of medication, but by intense meditation.
In 1992 I set myself targets and goals in regard to my Higher School Certificate. I quickly learnt that setting goals is one thing, but doing them is another.
CALM taught me to take control of my life and "Seize the day". In January 1993 I received my Higher School Certificate results. I had visualised the whole experience from the opening of the envelope, my excitement, my parents expressions of delight. Sometimes all the visualisations can not get you prepared for the actual event.
The event was as I visualised, but far more. In all my subjects I was in the top 10% of the state, as well as being placed 5th in the state for Modern History.
I set my goals, I worked towards them and the best part is I out did them. CALM has allowed me to turn a negative into a positive, believe in myself, set goals and out do them, but most of all I have learned "the sky is the limit".
Thanks Sandy and may all the success in the world come to you.
Georgina Bovill, NSW
I have had many successes in my personal life since doing my first CALM seminar with Sandy. I think the one that stands out the most was my end of year exams. At age 45, going back to school to study was a very big decision I had made. In my second semester we had a teacher in Business Statistics who wasn't doing his job very well and I knew I had to do something to help me get through.
I had bought Sandy's tape Achieving in Exams and Effective Study. So during the last month before my exams I would listen to the tape and then study with Accelerated Learning Music. I also used Mind Maps. When it came time for the exam I felt that I had done my best but was not confident that I knew the work well. I also got copies of past papers which I studied. When it came time to take the exam I became really excited when during the 10 minutes reading time I was able to recall my mind maps and the answers just came flooding into my mind and the exam was so easy that I knew I had been successful. I've received my results to that exam and I got the A I visualised, in Business Statistics. I put my success down to the positive attitude that I had after meditating with my tapes.
Yvonne Potts, NSW
So What is the Next Action Step that You Can Take?
CALM makes suggestions on how you can develop your skills in dealing with The Influence of The Subconscious Mind In Learning using Sandy MacGregor's low cost Tapes, Books, CDs, Videos and Seminars which have been utilised by thousands of people successfully since 1990.