Programming Your Subconscious Mind

Actually, subconscious mind is nothing but the “neural pathways” that have been established in your brain as result of your past beliefs and conditioning. During your unconscious existence, when you weren’t aware enough, you ended up imbibing a lot of limiting beliefs, negative conditioning and misguided perceptions about life, that you took to be “true” and hence believed in them enough to create strong neural pathways in your brain about them – causing these patterns of thought to become “subconscious”. Neural pathways are physical links, they are real and they are no different from a strong rope made from interweaving several layers of strings. Once you consciously see through a negativity, or a negative belief, within you, the neural pathway associated with that negativity will take time to come down, even when you are no longer supporting it consciously – it could well take a few months for a neural pathway, associated with a pattern of thought, to come down fully.

A lot of people who realize certain truths, and gain clarity, feel frustrated that their brain is not able to sync up with this understanding. The basic deal is that your conscious mind has gained the understanding, but your subconscious mind is yet to get programmed in it – it still has strong neural pathways associated with the old beliefs, conditioning and thought pattern. The conscious mind can get it immediately, and you can feel a sense of relief and elation on getting the clarity, but the very next day you can come up against the subconscious mind that starts churning out the old patterns. When you lack an understanding of how the subconscious mind works, you can easily start beating yourself up for being “slow”, or for regressing back to negativity after a day of being enlightened/clear about it – and of course this behavior of feeling bad about yourself just reinforces the old patterns of negativity.

Bringing down the past neural pathways

To program your subconscious mind, with the present “conscious” understanding that you’ve gained, will take time, and you need to make an allowance for it, understanding that it’s a physical process of bringing down the old neural pathways in your brain. In fact these neural pathways are constantly reinforced by your current reality, because your present reality is by itself a web that you’ve interwoven through your thought patterns, so for a while you would need to create a rift in this unconscious reinforcement by consciously dis-identifying with the negativity in your present external reality. The word “dis-identification” is confusing to a lot of people, but all it really means is that you stop buying into the negativity – stop showering it with your belief, stop finding identity in it and stop defending it.

Let’s say you’ve managed to create a disconnected/negative reality for yourself through the various negative thoughts patterns you are holding subconsciously, and now you’ve become conscious of it and want to break out of this pattern, so that you can change your reality into positive. Your brain, however, will subconsciously want the “negative reinforcement” because its neural pathways are vying for the same to sustain themselves, it’s like a creature wanting food to survive. It’s just like how a smoker is addicted to nicotine because his/her brain is so used to the presence of nicotine in the blood stream, over the months of smoking, that it takes it to be “necessary” for survival. So when you quit smoking, cold turkey, the sudden absence of nicotine can make the brain go into a panic, creating a strong sense of survival fear within, and it takes a few weeks of conscious abstinence before the brain can readjust to the absence of nicotine. It’s the same for negativity, the brain gets so used to a certain pattern of negativity that when you start dis-identifying with it, there is a period of “withdrawal” (If you want to understand this mechanism in a more detailed manner, you can read this post – The Brain, The Heart, and the Law of Attraction).

The reason why staying in a space of relaxed awareness works at bringing down patterns of negativity is because,

1. You stay consciously relaxed instead of reacting/panicking to your brain’s negative cycle, this ensures that your inherent vibration is one of being “fearless”, or open, which ensures that you are not fueling negativity (through your fear of it), thus breaking the cycle

2. You are not trying hard to sort out the brain’s noise, instead you are just allowing of it, this ensures that you are not buying into the loop of trying to solve the mind’s problem with the same pattern of thinking that created it. This state of allowing causes you to connect with the space of being, or space of your life-stream (or your inner being, whatever you want to call it) that allows for true solutions/understanding to come through to bring a lasting transformation to your mind and reality.

3. You develop the ability to consciously hold a space between your brain’s reactive movement and your awareness. This ability, as it grows, is what allows you the feeling of “freedom” from being a prisoner to the mind’s pull.

4. As you develop a stability in this space of awareness, you start understanding that the mind is not a “big deal”, it’s just a machine which can be worked with, instead of being fearful of it. You realize that you need to understand your mind, get to know its natural makeup and align with it, while letting go of negativity/resistance that keeps you from living your expression, or which resists the unfolding of your desired reality.

Staying in relaxed awareness automatically re-programs your subconscious mind to align with your conscious understanding. This is because, your awareness holds your conscious understanding and thus just staying in a space of awareness allows you to not only let go of reinforcing negative patterns but also allows you to register this conscious understanding into your subconscious (to build new neural pathways that contain this new understanding).

The gap between realization and the living of it

Realization, or a moment of awakening, can happen as soon as you have a conscious understanding/insight coming in. However, a realization does not automatically ensure that you start living it immediately. For example, you can realize that you don’t have to fight with the “outside reality”, and that all you need to do is align within yourself to attract the reality of your choice, but your past behavior may be of struggling against the outside and this behavior is present at a “subconscious” level, and thus your realization may not immediately create a shift in your behavior – you are not yet living your realization. You can only truly live your realization (at a 100%) when it gets programmed into your subconscious. This is the reason why people who have a low awareness may have a moment of realization but fall back into unconsciously reinforcing their old patterns quite soon – this is because they lack a stability in their awareness to sustain a gap between their mind’s subconscious pull and their conscious understanding.

Developing a stability in awareness is the pre-requisite, for anyone who has a low awareness of their mind, before they can re-program their subconscious patterns. By “low awareness” I just mean the tendency to be lost in the mind’s conditioned pull without ever having the space to question it, or observe it – a lack of self-awareness. Some people naturally have a high awareness, where they are observant of their mind, and have a tendency to question its conditioned movement. Some people need to develop their power of awareness – the best way to do this would be to spend time just observing your mind as a “detached witness”, as if you were watching a movie or listening to a radio station, you can do it as a practice for 20-30 minutes a day or you could just do it everytime you are self aware.

It’s one thing to understand that you don’t have to struggle in life, and that struggle by itself is just a “mindset”, while it’s totally different thing to really live this understanding, so that you life is an example of it. The mindset of struggle is so ingrained in our “subconscious” that it almost feels like a sacrilege to question it – a lot of spiritual traditions (like Zen), or self-development resources, still enforce the mindset of struggle by asking the seekers to keep working on self-discipline of living a “regimental” life of forced discipline, instead of allowing them the freedom to align with their natural expression. Self-discipline when enforced becomes a force of suppression, however when you start aligning with yourself by letting go of the mindset of struggle you notice a natural discipline coming up on its own (because now you are aligned with the inspiration coming from your life-stream’s intelligence) – this discipline is not “rigid”, but has a leeway based on wisdom of the moment and hence ensures that you don’t end up “over working” yourself or do unnecessary/unproductive/counter-productive work.

If these understandings don’t take you towards a struggle free life, then there is no real point to it. Experiencing a struggle free life, in this physical realm you are existing in presently, is the bottom-line of understanding life, and if your realizations are not taking you towards this mindset, you could well be holding on to your subconscious patterns of struggle through your fear of letting go of it – may be you are yet to gain a clear understanding of the well-being inherent to your life-stream (thus you don’t trust it), or you are not staying true to your understanding and succumbing to your mind’s fear-based pull. Unless you stand true to your understanding, consciously, you would not be able to deconstruct the subconscious patterns of negativity operating in your mind.


  1. Stella

    My goodness, how timely this article was for me.
    It will take to long to explain, and I don`t want to bore the other readers- but I totally get all this about the sub-conscious now. I suppose what I mean is old habits die hard. Fear has” had me” for a good while now-some of it I can explain, some I can`t, but I suppose the reasons don`t matter. I think it is just the mind trying to protect me, as you have written about before. The mind is the mind, I am trying-( which I know is p`raps not the best way- but its the only way I know how at the moment)- to trust that which beyond the mind, and hope I get a zest for life- rather than have it clouded with either fear,OCD thoughts, or a general kind of dissociated feeling- all coming from the sub-conscious. Let the negative arise- its horrid, but when I first had these awful feelings after the trauma- I took medicine, and was not able to experience the pain- it was far too overwhelming- yet I managed to function without people finding out, so there must be some courage there. Sometimes I just feel like crying, which feels good, is this an okay way to release?
    Thanks Sen for all your words

    1. Sen Post author

      Stella, you don’t need to suppress the natural impulse/drive that comes up, sometimes you can experience a causeless emotional sadness during a release causing you to cry for no reason, it’s just a part of the release.

  2. abet

    Sen so to sum up, basically if we just remain allowing of everything that comes up in our mind while at the same time being aware of the thoughts and emotions that are coming up then basically the subconscious patterns will re arrange themselves to our fit with our intended reality?

    1. Sen Post author

      Abet, that’s right

  3. cihan

    Good article Sen.

  4. Chetana

    Hi Sen,

    My husband got diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder, two days ago and is now hospitalized for treatment. The days following his hospitalization were traumatic and i had to call for external intervention to get help for my husband who was having maniac episode. This came at a time when i am working on awareness. The diagnosis puts into context a lot of happenings and struggles in our daily life. I am wondering what within me attracted this event/man into my life. I am going along with the flow, tending to the requirements and call of the day. I am not sure what the future holds for us as a family unit or it will dissolve. I am just being aware of my fears as they come at this particular mode. My momentum is low. I am not sure if i have digested all and not reacting or if i am composed cause of calmness within me. Would this be the dissolution of unhealthy world, a breakthrough of some sort? I ask this as i am finally know what it is that i was dealing with/living with the last two years and now i have something concrete to act on.

    1. Sen Post author

      Chetana, the realities that you attracted from a place of unconsciousness do start dissolving as your being moves into deeper awareness/consciousness. There could be patterns of suppressed self-hatred or patterns of immaturity that lead you to attract that past negative realities, and it’s all just a part of unconscious behavior – it’s not really that important to analyse what in you attracted the old reality, unconsciousness always attracts some form of imbalance. You will see your reality shifting more into alignment as the momentum of past negativity keeps ebbing away as a part of this release, there isn’t much you need to “figure out”, just stay allowing – the process of alignment is well on its way and it has an intelligence of its own, and it will forth a harmony, you can trust that.

  5. rob

    Wow this was a good article. Thanks. Makes a lot of sense. I suffer from obsessive/unwanted thoughts. In particular I get an unwanted thought and then ‘avoid’ an activity I like doing for fear that the unwanted thought will become assosiated with/ruin the activity I enjoy. It’s bizarre. My concious realizes that. But what you are saying is that the reason I am still suffering is because my subconcious still beleives the validity of the fears and it is my subconcious that needs reprogramming? Is the best way to do this to just do nothing? Just allow the thoughts to happen and ignore them/not react until my subconcious changes?

    1. Sen Post author

      rob, that’s right, just bring awareness to these subconscious patterns running in your mind without giving belief/identification to them, you don’t have to do anything to change these patterns, as long as you are not identified with them they will ebb away on their own.

  6. SAT

    Hi Sen,

    As you say once you allow your negative feelings to travel in the space of well being, its momentum is going to reduce drastically and it will be just like waves on the top surface of deep sea. Is there anyway to not to get even that slightest of feeling after enlightenment??

    1. Sen Post author

      Sat, when you mind momentum dies away, and you’ve release the stored-up negativity in your energy space, you come to a place of spaciousness – what I call “inner wholeness”. In this space there is no “grip” of resistance, because the mind has no intensity/momentum to create a strong resistance – so in that sense you can have some low intensity feelings coming up, but they don’t have any grip on you and they pass through easily.

  7. Sean

    Great post. I do have a few questions though..I have been trying hard to reprogram my mind and to an extent it has been working but I think I could be trying to hard and interfering with the process too much. Would that make sense? I have been using self hypnosis which I find good but I think I think too much about and analyse everything. I came to this conclusion after reading your article. So should I just be observing my thoughts and emotions?

    Also, is it ok to continue with my self hypnosis while observing?

    1. Sen Post author

      Sean, what you need to recognize is if you are rooted in some form of powerlessness, where you feel fear towards living and are “over analyzing” everything in order to gain some form of security through it. In this case, you would need to move into a state of allowing where you are not clinging to your habit of “analyzing everything” and are able to just stay open to any fears that may arise, until you stop feeling powerless to their presence. You can read the post – FAQ on the state of allowing

  8. Devin

    Hi sen,
    Ive only recently discovered your web site and all your articles. They’ve helped an incredibly amount, it seems like the evolution understanding, of Eck Tolle’s book a ‘new earth’. Ever since I saw my ego in a space of stillness at a time of intense mental and emotional suffering, were all hell broke loss inside me which resulted in an incredibly experience of peacful bliss “my awakening moment” that lasted 3 days then faded. Ive become obsessed with watching my ego ever since, to the point that I understand its mechanics really well but it feels like some where along the objective observing I stopped looking at it from a place of stillness and instead my ego “that I identify so intensly with” but at the same time can see that its my ego talking, and it talks about the mechanics of its self, like it came through the back door, and used the existence of its self to keep me preoccupied with it and as a result still “owns my mind”.I got so absorbed into identifying with those new thoughts about its workings and now the voice in my head has huge amounts of focused momentum that it now doesnt just talk about what its observing but talks every second about every thing happening in any given situation and its always with a negative reagrd to myself in that situation which creates a state of anxiety and then i start having to fack my interactions with people which creates negative analyzing of myself because im being so unnatural and it feels like I create a very awkwaad environment for every body which perpetuates the anxiety. (the part with my ego talking about its self> I think is how the problem started with me constantly talking to myself, now creating future interactions like im building a movie scene in my head, from body movment, my dialog, other characters dialog but with me at the centre of it all. Its driving me crazy and adding so much strength to my focused momentum, i havent been able to turn it off and use my awerness understanding to take a step back from it for a long time. I basically watch my mind torture me, and i can see thats its the ego and I still cant help identify with it at the same time.(completly lost in my mind and I know it)
    Any thoughts, advice, brutal honesty. would greatly be appreciated.
    Not sure if that all made scence, was difficult to word it.
    Hoping I haven’t hit the bottom of the rabbit hole.

    1. Sen Post author

      Devin, when you awareness lights up it essentially implies that now there is a capacity in you to observe your mind whereas previously you were unconsciously lost to it. This capacity to observe the mind is like a new dimension of “thinking”, it’s like thinking about the thoughts or being aware of the thoughts. For a while, it can feel a bit chaotic, as you mentioned, because now there is an added layer of thinking/analysing created due to your “new” awareness of your mind. This is a transition phase, and transitions are always somewhat chaotic – the new replacing the old, the new awareness replacing the old patterns of unconsciousness. What can help is to let go of being “dramatic” about this – the usual tendency is to get stressed out by all added thinking created by this new awareness (thinking about thinking), and there can be a lot of negative judgment about the old patterns. The new awareness is just your capacity to observe, and this capacity can turn chaotic if you start getting dramatic about it. Also it’s best if you let go of adding spiritual undertones to this awareness, I reason I use terms like “the space of being” is just to give some pointer/reference to an awareness space outside your unconscious repetitive thinking.

      The job of this new awareness should be to integrate with your mind’s light and dark nature, and balance both aspects. The ego is not the problem, the problem is simply with the imbalanced momentum created in the egoic form of thinking (for example over-excited states are an imbalance in your egoic-thinking imbalanced towards joy). The ego will be there, always, it’s your sense of “me” or sense of “I”, what’s needed is to just let go of its imbalanced momentum. If you feel stressed out by the negativity that you are observing in your mind, realize that it’s also because your are judging yourself in a critical light from this place of awareness – you will have to start letting go of the judgment and simply allow what arises, be it awkwardness, be it confusion, be it anxiety, just let it arise without judgment. Just use this awareness to observe, and allow, instead of judging. Spend sometime alone with yourself, possibly 30 mins, where you can sit without any distraction and be in a state of allowing your mind. Right now you are trying to fight your mind, you are judging it, critiquing it, in your capacity for awareness – and this is the usual loop people get into as this space of awareness opens up, rather what’s needed is to move more into an openness to allow the mind as it is, a natural integration of balance will take place in this simple space of true allowing.

  9. Michelle

    This post has cleared a lot up for me, I’ve been struggling with myself for the past while, wondering why it feels like there’s so much conflict. This all makes sense as I’m probably in the transitional stage right now. I only notice my negative thought patterns sometimes; it’s frustrating with everything that I’m realizing about my mind and yet it doesn’t seem like I’m making much progress. I’ve also realized that maybe I just haven’t hit that “breakthrough” point in my life yet, but perhaps I’m on my way and I just need to give it time. I’m only 24, I’m not sure when the majority of other people battle this phase of awareness but I hope I’m making an early start in finding my true self.

  10. Alejandro

    Hi Sen..

    Very nice article ..thanks. I am struggling with an “easily triggered personality (anger)” (in other words; short temper, hipersensitivity, angry outbursts or irritability, YOU NAME IT), it happens when I am critiziced by my boss or someone else, when someone makes fun of me, or someone trying to provoke me with sarcasm or envy…etc..I guess all those old patterns come from my difficult childhood ….. I have heard that SITUATIONAL VISUALIZATIONS WITH HYPNOSIS (state of trance 100% relaxed) IS THE BEST WAY TO CHANGE all these patterns…

    my question is the next:

    IS IT OK TO INCLUDE IN THOSE VISUALIZATIONS A NEGATIVE SITUATION?? ex; someone making fun of me with sarcasm (negative situation) and visualizing myself feeling calmed and relaxed without angeroutbursts?…is it ok?
    ex 2: Meeting with my harsh boss, criticizing me (negative situation) and keep my relaxed state……etc..

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