“Nothing has any power over me other than that which I give it through my conscious thoughts.”
~ Anthony Robbins
The conscious mind is where analysis, logic, willpower, reason, and decision-making take place. Whether it’s an action or thought process, the conscious mind is involved when you are aware of it. For example, typically you are a t-shirt and jeans kind of person and without any thought to it, that’s what you put on in the morning. But today, you have an important job interview. So, for the occasion, you wear a formal outfit, such as a suit and tie. That decision, right there, was made by your conscious mind.
With the ability to analyze and discriminate, the conscious mind plays the role of a gatekeeper of the other part of the mind we will explore later, namely, the subconscious mind. So what does it mean to be a gatekeeper? It means the former allows what is agreeable and acceptable to the latter domain, thereby rejecting what is perceived as threatening, harmful, or ill-matched.
In The Master Key System, Charles Haanel further sheds light on the dynamics of conscious and subconscious mind. He writes, “The subconscious mind relies upon the conscious mind to guard it from mistaken impressions. When the “watchman” is “off guard,” or when its calm judgment is suspended, under a variety of circumstances, then the subconscious mind is unguarded and left open to suggestion from all sources.”
The “off guard” moments Mr. Haanel refers to could be when one is in a heightened state of severe distress or in a fight or flight mode where the usual rational faculties are often impaired. Under such circumstances, we can enter a trance-like state where all kind of messages from the outside sources (society, family, friends, media, etc.) can easily bypass the critical gatekeeper and drop into the subconscious mind unchecked, whether they are true and good or not. And over time, may become permanent “knowns” that shape how we think, feel, and behave.
Pretty scary, if you think about it, isn’t it? Better be very careful what kind of messages we receive and allow into our minds.