What If Your Reality Isn't Real?
All philosophical debate aside, what if what you think of as reality isn't necessarily *real* at all? What if your mind works as a filter, helping you sift through everything you experience, sorting through the onslaught to find just the right pieces to reinforce what you already believe to be true? Looking for evidence, so to speak.
Well, it turns out... that's exactly what it does. The brain's reticular activating system, confirmation bias, and your subconscious mind all play a role in making this happen, but for the purposes of this article, we'll focus solely on the subconscious.
What you know to be truth, your personal version of reality, is self-created; i.e., how you see yourself-- including your faults, your talents, and the various roles you play in society. Not that there aren't outside influences that help shape those beliefs, but ultimately, you choose whether to accept or reject that input. What really matters is what you *believe*.... and your beliefs/your reality all start in your subconscious mind (SC).
Within the deep dark recesses...
Your subconscious (SC) is a busy little beaver. It controls feelings, beliefs, imagination, values, creativity and a whole slough of other things with (oftentimes) little or no conscious input from you.
It is capable.
It is tireless.
It's is oh-so-obliging.
lt colours everything.
This can be really helpful if deep down you see yourself as smart and capable. When that is your belief, facing challenges is a breeze.
But what if you don't?
What if, in the deep, dark depths, you secretly think you're a fraud? Or that you're unlovable? Or that you'll never be good enough? Unfortunately, your mind can help make that real, too. It doesn't even concern itself with whether or not it's actually true.
'Not my job!' it declares, smugly. 'I'm just here to make it *feel* real!'
(Luckily, it's possible to alter those unconscious beliefs, which is why hypnosis is so useful.)
Keep in mind, your (SC) is not the logical or the rational part of your brain (that's the conscious part), but it IS helpful... to a fault.
If I were to suggest to you that you are a terrible friend, your (SC) immediately starts flinging open the file drawers of your mind. It quickly, efficiently, and oh-so-helpfully selects and offers folder after folder of proof (memories).
'Oh, yeah' you think. 'I did that. I really let them down.'
Your heart sinks a little.
And 'I shouldn't have done that! That was awful.'
Shame sets in.
And you start remembering all of the times in your life that you've been a lousy friend.
If, however, I suggest the opposite and say, "You're a great friend! People are lucky to have a someone like you," the same process occurs, but this time when the drawers are flung open, different memories come up. You recall all the times you helped a friend pack their 50,000 tonnes of household stuff and move to a new place.
Or the time you picked them up when their car died and it was 30 below and your toes were freezing and you had been snuggling under a cozy blanket, bingeing Netflix, but when they called you put your coat and boots on and went anyway.
Or that time you showed up for them when they needed support.
Here's the kicker: the two suggestions are polar opposites.
What does that mean?
It means they *can't* both be true.
So which should you believe? Are you a good friend, or not? That part's your choice. The important take-away is the realization of just how malleable your reality is, and how quickly and easily your mind can convince you of pretty much anything... or at least make it *seem* true.
(This is why negative self talk is so insidious, and why you should be very, very careful in how you talk to/about yourself. Your (SC) is always listening, and willing to help.)
Don't quite believe me? Here's a different, more fun, example. Take a minute to watch this video to see just how quickly and easily someone's brain comes to feel and respond to a complete lie. It's a real eye-opener!
In the video, it takes all of five minutes for a young person to "attach to" and actually feel sensory input from a rubber arm!
The arm is fake, but it absolutely feels 'real' to them. It's a rubber arm. It's obviously not real and not attached, but their brain"believes" it is and their body responds accordingly.
Which is my point.
'Reality' isn't always real. Perception is what matters.
How many people have you met in your life with brains, looks, charm, talent and everything they could possibly need... but they never come close to their potential?
You know it. You see it. You believe it.
But they don't.
In their reality, they can't... and what they believe in their mind, becomes their reality.
So... they can't.
Imagine, instead, a reality filled with hope.
Imagine: accomplishing 'the thing'.
Imagine: being the very best version of you.
Imagine tapping into that power!
And... it's possible.
When people say, oh-so-scathingly, 'It's all in your head!'... they're right! It IS!
Absolutely everything starts, sparks, and flourishes from within your mind. Everything!
Think about that for a minute and imagine the possibilities of a life without limits. With you deliberately plotting the course, that's a real possibility.
Remember: your brain is indescribably powerful!
(And really, really cool!)