Graeme Newell

Reflexive Reaction

Most of us believe our conscious brain carefully guides our path. We reassure ourselves that subconscious desires are subservient to our all powerful reason. But brain research shows it’s the exact OPPOSITE. At least 85% of our choices are completely subconscious and therefore hidden from us.

When we make a choice, here’s what happens: our subconscious brain feels something, then our conscious brain tends to affirm what we already believe. It feels like our rational brain is the captain of our ship, but it’s actually just a deckhand.

Your conscious brain knows this turtle’s not real, but as that knife slices through its neck, your subconscious takes control and you wince anyway.

When it comes to the battle between your conscious and subconscious brain, scientist make the analogy of a man riding an elephant. The man represents the high-functioning, conscious brain, and the elephant represents the subconscious, instinctual brain. The man can SUGGEST which way the elephant should go, but make no mistake, the ELEPHANT is firmly in control.

I try to remember that my subconscious brain is about SEVEN TIMES more powerful than my conscious brain. I can make a conscious decision on a course of action, but I never forget that if my gut reaction is different, it’s going to require colossal determination to countermand my subconscious desires.

So next time you have an important decision to make, give your subconscious impulses due respect:

1) Close your eyes, calm your mind, and carefully LISTEN to what your gut instinct is telling you it wants to do.
2) Next, fully engage your rational brain and decide if this is the best course of action. Are your instinctual desires enticing you to do something different?
3) If your two brains disagree, prepare yourself for the mighty battle that is ahead. It’s important that you find people and tools that will help you prevail when your instinctual desires inevitably attempt to prevail.