WHY CHANGE CAN BE DIFFICULT
by Eldon Taylor
Everyone I’ve ever met or interacted with, everyone I’ve ever listened to or whose
work I’ve ever read—in fact, every single human being from my experience—has,
at one time or another, desired to change something about themselves. For some,
the longed-for change may involve getting a better job, losing weight, improving
memory, accelerating learning abilities, or increasing charisma. Indeed, there are
very few individuals who find nothing they wish to improve.
What Is Change?
What is change? The idea seems simple enough. To some, it’s a thing, often thought
of as something like a commodity. For example, we desire more prosperity. The
evidence of our success is money. So change in this instance is money, right? No,
money is only the outer symbol that represents the shift.
Let’s say, for purposes of illustration, that our hypothetical individual who wishes
to be more prosperous was also raised with the belief that money is the source of all
evil. A subconscious strategy may therefore work to sabotage any effort he makes
to achieve real monetary success. In other words, in this instance the ego perceives
safety as avoiding evil— that is, money.
Our hypothetical person may believe, on the other hand, that only money matters.
However, there could still be subconscious strategies that get in the way. For
example, assume that this person seeks to build a large company but is afraid of
public speaking. How will he build a large and successful organization without
communicating? When will the fear (public speaking) strategy kick in and knock out
the goal (large company) strategy? How will the two ideas compete?
Conflicting strategies exist in nearly everyone. They often underpin what
psychologists call “cognitive dissonance,” the conflict that arises from holding
two incongruent beliefs. Indeed, opposing strategies also lie beneath much of
what’s called “sublimation,” or the acting out of unacceptable fantasies in a socially
The Subconscious Mind
The other challenge to creating real change in our lives lies in the subconscious
mind. This part of us is basically indiscriminate in how it accepts information. The
problem then is twofold: first, there are already years of uncritical acceptance in my
mind; and second, I act in reliance upon this information.
All the statements that have ever been accepted are present in our subconscious
minds, and for most of us that’s negative programming. Some psychotherapists have
used numbers that indicate that for every input of positive messaging there are 100
bits of negative!
How many times have we all said to ourselves things such as, I can’t do it, or It never
works for me? How many times has each of us heard statements such as, “You’re
not old enough,” “You’re stupid,” “Money is the source of all evil,” “Life is difficult
and then you die,” “Thank God it’s Friday,” “That will never work,” and “You’ll never
amount to anything”?
Our Defense Mechanisms Often Defeat Our Purposes
The fact that we act in reliance upon the information accepted indiscriminately
by our subconscious minds is a pervasive problem. This means that if negative
messages have caused us pain or fear, then we adapt our behavior and beliefs
around avoiding those circumstances and outcomes.
With this adaptation come choices. Most choices of this nature are deeply rooted
in the subconscious. Our subliminal beliefs—those in the subconscious that arise
from our desire to be accepted and to avoid pain, humiliation, and rejection—
determine our actions. All behavior comes from choice, even if the decision is made
at a subconscious level. What happens is that we build defense mechanisms in order
to protect ourselves from former bad experiences and possible future rejection.
These defense mechanisms often defeat our own best interests. For many of us,
our worst enemy is often ourselves. Ignorant of these dynamics, it’s easy to see
why more than 90 percent of the people who attend or participate in motivational
gatherings or products are unsuccessful. The fact is that every time we tell ourselves
something such as, I am good! the subconscious gives a thought to the conscious
such as, Really! Good at what?
Even when the behavior we desire is something as simple as success in our
workplace, these subliminal beliefs come into play. For example, when I ask a group
of people how many of them would like to come up front and speak to the audience
for five minutes on some topic I’ll assign them, rarely does anyone volunteer. A
common fear is that somehow they’ll suffer deep embarrassment, humiliation, and
more. But this same group of people will respond almost unanimously to the simple,
straightforward question: Do you want to be successful in business? Their answer is
To succeed in business, one must learn to speak. If there’s a deep abiding fear of
public speaking and a desire to be successful, there are contradictory motives
present in the psyche. Thus, when a person reaches a certain level of success, for
some inexplicable reason everything crumbles. What may be viewed as outside
circumstances is, in truth, inner conflict. In the instance of the fear of public
speaking, the closer to success the individual gets, the more powerful the exertion
by subconscious processes to eliminate the impending threat. Conflicting factors or
mechanics of our own psyche often defeat our stated desires without our conscious
Hypnosis and Subliminal Communication
The power of hypnosis and subliminal communication exists largely in their direct
communication with the subconscious. The conscious mind is generally in abeyance
during hypnosis, although our defense mechanisms can still play a significant
role in the outcome. The advantage of sub-threshold (subliminal) communication
is that it bypasses conscious awareness. Unlike hypnosis, where attention and
conscious assistance are often necessary, subliminal messages aren’t attended to
by the conscious mind in any necessary manner. Because of this, we can decide for
ourselves how to “script” our subconscious mind with this technology.
You Can Rescript Your Inner Talk
Using hypnosis, then, it’s possible to access the hidden recesses of the mind
to discover the source of a conflict and its solutions. Hypnosis also allows us
to “seed” the subconscious mind with thought patterns and ideas that can serve
us as opposed to sabotage us. But for me, the most exciting use of hypnosis is for
deepening meditation exercises and using this to access information from my higher
As for subliminal communication, it works by allowing the positive messages or
affirmations to eventually overtake the negative information contained in the
subconscious. This new data rescripts our inner-talk, thereby priming positive self-
beliefs, which begin the cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies. When this happens, the
subliminal beliefs that formerly were self-limiting begin to change. As they change,
so do we!