Most of us are aware of the conscious part of our brain. Have you given any thought to the subconscious part of your mind? Experts tell us that the human mind is like an iceberg – ninety percent of it is hidden. The hidden part is your subconscious mind which is the part of your brain that allows you to walk, eat, ride a bicycle, drive a car without consciously thinking about how to do it. In this article I would like to discuss your self image. It resides in your subconscious. Your self-image can be very important to your success or failure.
I worked for thirty years in the computer industry, so I like to think of the human mind as very sophisticated computer. The subconscious mind is like the hard drive of your computer. It stores data. From that data a self-image is formed. That self-image is based on what you see and hear. Your experiences and what other people tell you, your feelings, emotions, success, and failures all add data to your self image file. People make statements about themselves like:
I am good at math.
I am not good at making friends.
I get too nervous to speak to large groups.
When I am under pressure, I make mistakes.
I perform best when the pressure is on.
The things you believe about yourself have a profound affect on how successful you are. If you believe you can do something, you have a chance to be successful at it. If you believe you cannot do something, even if you can do it, you will probably fail. Your self-image has a huge effect on your life. An example of the power of the mind was the Wimbledon final.
At the recent tennis tournament at Wimbledon, the men’s final was between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios. Both players had excellent serves and outstanding all-around games. The younger player Kyrgios (27) won the first set over the more experienced Djokovic (35). All the games were close, and they seemed evenly matched, but Novak Djokovic won the next three sets and the title. I believe it was because he had a stronger self-image regarding his tennis performance. You could respond of course he had a strong self-image because he has won Wimbledon seven times and has twenty-one major wins. No question that data being stored on his hard drive will give him an excellent tennis self-image. But here is the interesting part, the part of your brain that houses your self-image is what is referred to as a robot mind. It does not question or filter the data. It just stores it. It does not differentiate between actual occurrences, and occurrences vividly imagined.
You can change your self image. One way is to have lots of success like Djokovic. Another way to achieve a strong self-image is referred to as “Data Revision”. The technique is to hypnotize yourself and store positive data in your self-image. If you cannot hypnotize yourself, you can get deeply relaxed and vividly imagine yourself succeeding in the area you want to change. Often when an athlete wins a major event such as a golfer winning The Master, in the interview at the trophy ceremony he will say, when I was growing up, I spent hours on the driving range imagining I was leading on the last hole at The Master. You can call it daydreaming or another way to look at it, he was adding positive data to his golf self-image. You do not have to win Wimbledon seven times to believe you can win Wimbledon. Seeing yourself in your mind over and over again getting the winning point can make it happen.
In my book “What Rotten Eggs” the power of the mind and self-image is discussed.