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Conscious goals V Unconscious goals

As well as having the conscious goals that you have set for yourself, your career, health, relationships etc, there are also a set of unconscious goals that are running in your mind at the same time.

How will you know which goal has most power?

Well, the way to tell is take a look at what is turning up in your life.

Have you achieved all the goals that you have set for yourself, or are you still stuck doing, being, having the things that you say you don’t want?

Whichever one is present in your life is the one that has the most power in your own mind.

Have you ever set a goal and started out all fired up to achieve it, then gradually your energy and enthusiasm drops and other things get in the way? It may be that you were determined to stop smoking, lose weight, get a promotion etc but despite many attempts still failed.

Well this is a perfect example of a unconscious or non conscious goal opposing the conscious goal that you have set for yourself and working outside of your conscious awareness.

The unconscious controls 96-98% of your brain mass, so your brain is pre disposed to listen more to the non conscious goals than it is to the conscious goals. Therefore it is crucial to uncover and acknowledge the unconscious goals to ensure that you are not double messaging the brain which will result in the brain receiving 2 opposing messages.

The brain requires repeated clear messages for it to activate the left frontal cortex which creates motivation and positive thinking which are essential for goal achievement.

When the brain receives a message from the non conscious goal that opposes the conscious goal, it activates the right frontal cortex that will in turn trigger thoughts of worry, fear and doubt and sends an electro magnetic signal to shut down the left frontal cortex (where your positive conscious goal operates).

The brain is hot wired to keep you safe and protected and all the old neural pathways it has set up are designed to do just that and will keep you in old patterns of thinking, feeling and doing, in the name of protection and survival. Whereas the new conscious goal will be attempting to change something in this patterning, which in turn triggers the unconscious goal to oppose the new conscious goal. Hence when you come out of your comfort zone your brain is triggered automatically to hit the fear and anxiety button!

This makes change even for the better a real challenge to overcome and why it is such a big issue especially within business to embed change to large groups of people. We have to understand what happens in us as humans on a neurological level to overcome this successfully.

Most of us really are hotwired to keep the status quo in tact and stay within our established habits, thoughts and behavioural patterns. Change needs to be managed wisely not only on an individual level but within families, groups and business. How you lead yourself and others requires skilful navigation.

So how can You change this?

Well the good news is that you can help your brain to start focussing on your conscious goals.

The left frontal lobe is the area of the brain to focus on and keep activated, so start by doing one small thing that’s different every day to help this area stay stimulated.

Focus on your goal even when you feel demotivated

NO – especially when you feel demotivated and take heart that your brain is having a neurological response to the conscious goal and it is normal to be experiencing this, in fact it is a positive sign that you are moving towards the goal otherwise the fear centre in your brain would not be activated.


By forging on, with your focus on your goal you start setting up new neurological pathways which take time to set up so perseverance is critical for success. You will be experiencing all sorts of resistance and anxiety, so acknowledge these thoughts and feelings by writing it all down on a piece of paper – do a brain dump – get rid of it all. Keep this piece of paper and anytime you are feeling the resistance to your goal you can add to it. This piece of paper will contain the information about your unconscious goals too and it is important not to throw this away! Keep the acknowledgement of what is going on in your non conscious mind.

Spend time every morning visualising your goals - Keep your conscious goals on a piece of paper or vision board somewhere where you can see it and keep reminding yourself what your goals are every day without fail.

At the end of everyday do a crazy one minute movie in your mind in glorious technicolour with a great soundtrack of all the great things that happened in your day, the wins, the smiles, the highs and all the positive feelings and thoughts that you had.

Make your mini movie compelling - its retraining your brain!

Don’t get trapped by your neurology into giving up on your goals, retrain your brain and make your vision for the future a reality.

There are many more tools, exercises and great coaching that will aid you through aligning your goals and ensuring you are focussed and working with your neurology rather than being a slave to it...

Good luck !


Check out John Assaraf, Dr. Srini Pillay and Dr Brian Alman for more information

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