You Were Right the First Time: Trusting Your Subconscious Mind
Have you ever met someone and instantly liked her? Like you just clicked and became instant best friends?
Most people have experienced that feeling; an inner sense that made you feel so good to be around this person.
And on the flip side, you’ve probably met someone in your life that rubbed you the wrong way right from the start.
Maybe you couldn’t put your finger on it…but something told you that person was bad news.
We all know that first impressions are important during a job interview, but first impressions are just as important in the rest of our lives. Not just the impression you make on others, but their impression on you.
Whenever you’re feeling stuck about a situation or a relationship, remember that you were right the first time.
Here’s how you can learn to trust your first impression.
Say Hello to My Little Friend
Not to sound all “woo woo,” but there’s a mini version of yourself hanging out deep down inside you.
This little part of you is your subconscious mind.
How many times have you been playing a trivia game or watching Jeopardy and an answer has popped into your head from out of nowhere? But instead of saying the answer, you second-guess yourself…only to find out later you were right.
Grr! Why didn’t you listen to your gut?
That voice inside you, your gut reaction, your intuition, and your first impression are all the same thing.
Everyone has it, but it’s easy for us to ignore its messages.
Your subconscious mind can talk to you softly, like when it nudges you toward the correct answer on a test. And it can scream at you, like when a menacing figure approaches you in a dark parking lot.
To feel good about the decisions you make and the people and situations you bring into your life, you must first learn to recognize what your subconscious mind is telling you.
Your First Impression is Usually Correct
We all like to think we’re smarter than the average bear, but our subconscious minds are WAY smarter than our conscious minds.
When you’re evaluating a situation, other things distract your conscious mind; who’s with you, what’s going on around you, what you’re doing, social expectations, noise, whether you’re hungry, and a hundred other things.
But your subconscious mind doesn’t get distracted so easily. It can sort through past experiences, memories, facial cues, body language, and tons of other information faster than your conscious mind can process them.
This is why our first impressions are correct.
When you instantly liked your new best friend, your subconscious mind was taking in the energy she was giving off, processing it, and producing a physical, gut reaction in you—making you feel happy and trusting.
It’s rare that I meet someone who gives me a good feeling at first and then turns out to be a jerk. Usually, I’ll feel a twinge of apprehension (the little voice inside me!), but I’ll brush it off because the person doesn’t seem outwardly bad.
No more! I’ve been burned too many times in the past when I’ve disregarded my gut feeling. It’s time for you to trust your first impression too.
Oh, and don’t forget about last impressions either.
Use Your Subconscious Mind to Your Advantage
I teach my clients how to tune in to their subconscious minds so they can learn to trust themselves. If a client is debating between 2 choices, I use a trick that works for me every time.
I mentally flip a coin.
Picture a coin in your mind. Choice A is heads. Choice B is tails.
Now, imagine flipping the coin in the air…it’s spinning…spinning…aaaaannndd…it’s heads! Choice A wins!!!
Immediately—before you take your next breath—determine how you’re feeling.
Does your chest open up? Do you feel lighter and hopeful? Are you thinking, “Thank goodness it’s Choice A”?
Does your stomach drop? Does a sense of dread settle onto your shoulders? Are you thinking, “Oh crap, now I have to do Choice A”?
That’s your answer!
Not Choice A per se, but the feeling you get from Choice A. If you feel great, then Choice A is the right decision. If you feel awful, then don’t you dare take Choice A no matter who is pressuring you to do so!
Mentally flipping a coin can help you tap into your intuition when you’re too overwhelmed to feel it on your own.
Next time you’re feeling unsure about trusting someone or making a decision, mentally flip a coin and feel your instant first impression.
Trust yourself. Trust your subconscious mind. You know what you should do.
You’ve always known.
This post focuses on Step 1 of the Life Editing Process, Create a Foundation. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.
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Hi Sage –
I saw you on Creative Live’s workshop ‘Build a Successful Creative Blog’ with April Bowles (Awesome!!!!) Talk about first impressions – the first time you shared I thought, “I would love to be around her, what fun”. I couldn’t wait for a break to check out your blog.
This was the first post I read and how true it is. For the last couple of years I have wanted to start a blog. I have organized it, read about creating one, added to it in my head, etc. and then my conscious takes over. I haven’t followed through even though my subconscious tells me it’s a good idea.
That being said, I want you to know that in the near future, you and April will be the first two people to know when I am ready to hit the publish button.
A very heartfelt thank-you for the inspiration and for sharing all the great stuff on your site!!!!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. April has been a huge influence on me, and I’ve learned a lot from her over the years. I stalled on starting a blog for a long time before I finally did it. And I would love to see your blog as soon as you hit publish! Keep me updated on your progress. Remember–baby steps! 🙂
I gotta say how much I agree. Almost all the times in my life I have ignored my gut in order to give someone the benefit of the doubt, or telling myself not to be paranoid, I have been wrong to do so, and often paid gravely for it.
The thing is, I usually want to give people a chance to prove themselves. but I realize with hindsight there was a reason I was feeling uncomfortable trusting them and it not that there’s something wrong with me for having doubts. Because the sub-conscious is so buried from the surface, and rational behavior is expected, I shove those subconscious nagging fears aside and I cannot count how many times I’ve looked back and thought of the red flags I was ignoring.
Eirit!!! It’s so good to hear from you. 🙂 It’s taken me a while to learn to trust my subconscious mind too. And yes, it’s because I WANT to trust people. But we gotta watch out for those red flags so we don’t get hurt.
In a Deepak Chopra book I read, he says something along the lines of ‘always trust your gut, it has not had the change to go through self doubt’. Love this article!
Thanks, Courtney! 🙂
Another great post Sage! I’ve always believed in intuition which I think is pretty much in line with the subconscious. I’ve gotten feelings in my gut before and have found that I’ve been correct to feel the way I’m feeling. It is strange when that happens but it definitely has helped me realize that I should trust myself and that even though it can take me forever to make my decisions sometimes that I will lead myself in the right direction 🙂
I’ve learned to trust my intuition more the older I’ve gotten. All my past experiences have left their mark on me, and my subconscious always picks up on what I should do before my conscious mind does. You’re right, it is a little strange, but it’s better to just go with it! 🙂