Most of us run a subconscious self-defeating program all the time, and it manifests in the outcomes of events in our life. But the pattern is so old and therefore so ingrained, it takes work to see it. 

Last week, while meditating, I understood this in a sudden flash of insight that I have to share. This isn’t a common occurrence in my meditations and it isn’t the goal, although when you calm the conscious mind, sometimes the subconscious gets a chance to send an important memo up to head office. 

This isn’t new

Like me, you’ve probably heard, read, learned, that we run subconscious self-defeating programs. This isn’t new. I’ve listened to and read Dr. Joe Dispenza and Dr. Bruce Lipton. I know the theory. But in practice, I needed practice! How do I reprogram the internal messaging system? What is my faulty program?

Maybe this insight came now because of what I’ve been experiencing and listening to lately. I just finished a painting, probably the one where I was most in the flow.  Not self-censoring as I go along. Just looking at what’s going on on the canvas and seeing at it after. It’s a constant struggle to write like this. To write but not read what you’ve just written and evaluate it. I’ve known for a long time it’s all a question of getting out of your own way. But it’s one of those things that’s easier said than done. Added to this, I’d listened to Russell Brand interview Elizabeth Gilbert who talked about writing and creating in general.

If you create at all, you’ve probably come up against a self-defeating approach. It’s that something preventing you from expressing exactly what you want. It can be in other aspects of life you want to grow: jobs, relationships, projects. It’s that undefinable reason why nothing works out. And with time and if you take the time, you realize it has to do with you. I knew there was a pattern but I couldn’t see it. I knew it was close to undefinable. It’s so neatly woven it is into conscious thinking.  It’s been there so long it seems normal.

Connecting the dots

While meditating, I began running a familiar scenario in my mind. I daydream a lot. I always thought it was because I have an active imagination. This time, as I was about to let it go and quiet my mind again, I noticed it’s always same underlying story. Suddenly, the dots connected, fueled by what I had been listening to and thinking about.

In a flash of insight that I certainly don’t take complete credit for (God, spirit guide, infinite mind, my mom watching over me–I leave it to you), just before letting this thought pass by and returning to the meditative state, I thought Why am I always being shown a little story about rejection? Why is it always something where I go off alone because I feel people don’t like me or understand me? And I do it before they tell me. I self reject before they do. 

Great, but where do I go from here

It was great insight. I could relate it back to my childhood. I’m half italian, half ukranian. I grew up in a white francophone Catholic working class town. We were english speaking, my parents had a university education, my mother was orthodox (What? There’s another Pope? Don’t even get me started…). I was the ‘import’, the visible minority. I wasn’t an outcast, I had friends, but I was different. The oddball. That’s a connection. It sounds ridiculous and childish, as I write it. But there it is, and it makes sense.

It certainly ties into my impostor syndrome. An eye opener because I didn’t even know what impostor syndrome was. I thought I was showing humility. In reality I was rejecting my work before someone else did by using comments such as:  ‘Thank you but I’m not really a writer’ and ‘I just paint for fun, I’m not good at it or anything.’ Translation: don’t get excited because it’s nothing and you can ignore me now. 

This isn’t an instant fix, but now I can recognize that program when it starts running. I know I won’t always see it right away, because I’m so used to it and because I see it as something else. But it’s a great start. 

Change yourself, others will follow

The first and most important change is within. It’s recognizing and stopping that expectation of rejection and failure. While you can’t change everyone else’s attitude, nor should you want to take that on, you’ll at least stop communicating that rejection vibe to others. It happens through the tiny self-deprecating comments we make, or behaviors and energy others pick up on, even if they don’t realize it.

I’ve put out that energy, without even knowing it at the time, then tried to understand the futility of my attempts. Imagine someone asks you about your thesis, and rather than talking about it or how you’ll have your Ph.D. or your career plans, you blow them off with “Oh, it’s so complicated, I don’t even know what I’m doing!”. How will they follow up on that? Maybe they know someone in your field, but how can they continue the conversation? They’ll reflect that image back at you.

The effect on manifesting

On a higher level, in manifesting, how can we possibly manifest anything when we’re secretly ambushing ourselves? When deep inside we’re telling ourselves it won’t work, we don’t have what it takes, the chances are so slim, there are too many obstacles? If you don’t believe in manifesting, substitute visualize, achieve, work for. It doesn’t matter. What matters is your subconscious is running the self-defeating program 24/7, in the backdrop. 

There’s also an insidious backlash here. The result is in line with the program. Expect rejection, get rejection. Expect failure, get failure. The subconscious is getting the expected result, the one the program is going for. It reinforces the cycle. 

How to figure out your program

Figuring out your subconcious self-defeating program is a first step. Bad news: it’s not that easy. Good news, there aren’t that many variations. And there are other ways than meditation. I don’t have a specific technique to propose. It you take the time to and quiet you may get insight quickly,  Maybe not the first time, but quickly. When it comes to our inner self, we have all our answers inside of us.

Self talk

You can look to the negatives you say to yourself.  ‘People won’t get what I’m doing/who I am’ (a rejection program), ‘the odds are against me’ (failure outcome program) ‘My luck’s going to run out/nothing lasts forever’ (imminent end/failure program); ‘I don’t fit in here’ (rejection program); ‘I’m not qualified/prepared enough’ (inadequate/incompetent program). One good marker is to ask yourself if you would say that to a friend.

Childhood beliefs

Sometimes what you grew up hearing offers a clue. In my house, we were taught to be hush-hush. You didn’t discuss your business with others. You didn’t brag. That just fed the rumor mill and people got the wrong idea. They’d undermine you somehow, or it would get twisted and you’d be labelled something you weren’t.

Two things here. One, there is this vague notion that disclosing information equals trouble. I don’t know exactly how this was supposed to happen. It was vague, remember? No actual facts. Nevertheless, you kept quiet and didn’t go looking for trouble.

Two, it was an exaggeration. I understand not revealing personal intimate details. I agree. But not talking about anything? Such as things you do, like “I write” or “I dabble in photography”. Obviously you don’t monopolize conversations with stories about moi.  But there is a middle ground between secretive paranoia and tireless self-promotion.

Can you see how my subconscious theme (rejection, people don’t like me) ties in with the childhood theme (you’ll be misunderstood, negatively perceived). Sounds the same, right? It makes sense that we repeat to ourselves what we’ve learned.

Knowing is half the solution

Whatever you do, however you get there, just being aware is a fantastic first step. How can you address something if you don’t even know it exists?  When I realized what I was doing, I wasn’t sad. I was elated. Now I can work on fixing it and taking manifesting to a whole new level.

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash