Understanding Your Conscious Mind
Your conscious mind is your objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. This mind has four essential functions.
First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. Your conscious mind is continually observing and categorizing what is going on around you.
To illustrate, imagine that you are walking along the sidewalk and you decide to cross the street. You step off the curb. At that moment, you hear the roar of an automobile engine. You immediately turn and look in the direction of the moving automobile to identify the sound and where it is coming from. This is the first function.
The second function of your conscious mind is comparison. The information about the car that you have seen and heard goes immediately to your subconscious mind. There, it is compared with all of your previously stored information and experiences with moving automobiles.
If the car, for example, is a block away, and moving at thirty miles per hour, your subconscious memory bank will tell you that there is no danger and that you can continue walking.
If, on the other hand, the car is moving toward you at sixty miles per hour and is only 100 yards away, you will get a “danger” message that will stimulate further action on your part.
The third function of your conscious mind is analysis, and analysis always precedes the fourth function, deciding.
Your conscious mind functions very much like a binary computer, performing two functions: It accepts or rejects data in making choices and decisions. It can deal with only one thought at a time, positive or negative, “yes” or “no.” This is why people who adopt positive thinking lifestyles regularly read inspirational quotes. Our single track minds can only entertain one idea at a time, so keeping it occupied with uplifting material has the power to block negative thoughts.
Positive affirmations are also very useful for keeping our brains occupied with pleasant and empowering thoughts or visualizations.
It is continually sorting impressions, deciding which are relevant to you and which are not.
So, you are walking across the street, you hear the roar of the moving automobile and you see that it is bearing down on you. Because of your knowledge of the speed of moving vehicles, you analysis tells you you are in danger and that some decision is required. you first question is, “Do I get out of the way? Yes or no?”
If the decision is “yes,” then your next is, “Do I jump forward? Yes or no?” If the decision is “no,” because of cross traffic, then you next question is, “Do I jump backward? Yes or no?”
If your decision is “yes,” this message is instantly transmitted to your subconscious mind and in a split second, your whole body jumps back out of the way, with no additional thought or decision on your part.
To get a better understanding of the conscious vs subconscious mind, be sure to read my follow-up post, “Subconscious Mind Power Explained.” In it, we’ll discuss the deepest section of your thinking process where behaviors, fears, and habits are formed.
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.