Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Question About The Power of Decision

Question: "I have decided things...over and over again in my life that, try as I might, do not come to fruition. I have concluded that...[something] on a much stronger sub-conscious saying, 'Oh, no, it's not that simple. You AIN'T gonna get that!' What do you think I should be doing to circumvent this dynamic?" - Keith from the Internet

Answer: Conviction seems to be the key. A strong desire, a heart-felt wish may be enough sometimes to push us in the right direction, but not always. A decision involves feeling. My favorite example of how the subconscious works is the unathletic kid terrified in the outfield that a ball will come his way. Sure enough, the ball is heading right for him. He extends his mit and says over and over to himself, "don't miss it; don't miss it!" He wants to catch it. He tries to catch it. He even tells himself to not miss it. Hasn't he decided to catch the ball? His subconscious doesn't think so...Even though he extends his arm, wants to catch it, and instructs himself to not miss it...what else is present in the picture? Fear. He's afraid that he will miss it, and that fear is stronger than his hope. What happens? He misses the ball, or catches it only to immediately drop it. His "feeling" was that he would probably embarrass himself or let his team down or fail...and the feeling is what instructed his subconscious which obeyed the instruction perfectly.

Why do diets fail? Why can some people never learn to parallel park? Why are some people completely baffled by math of any complexity? Why can't someone remember phone numbers or ever get ahead financially? Aren't they trying hard? Of course! Don't they want to improve their performance? Of course! But deep down (and sometimes not even all that deep) they are afraid that they can't, and that fear...the what programs the subconscious mind which then directs the performance.

When we can "feel" successful...when we can "feel" that we are on the right track or that we can accomplish our goal or that we are already on our way to victory...the feeling almost always steers us in the desired direction. So, when we "decide" on a thing, what is the feeling that accompanies it? If we feel certain, confident, even enthused about's probably just a matter of time! But if we feel afraid, doubtful, anxious...then failure is as likely as success, and if the fear is strong, failure is even more likely.

We're told over and over by the consciousness experts...Thought + Feeling = Demonstration. The idea or wish or hope or initial attempt is really a "thought," and thought alone won't do the trick. But when we have a clear picture/idea/plan/goal and that picture is accompanied by the feeling of success, that's when the mountains start to move.

When I have wanted something very badly, but was afraid that might be out of my reach, I have usually either not achieved my goal, or I was able to achieve, could hardly believe it, and then lost it. But when I have wanted something, and knew that it was mine to have/do/be, and felt as if it were already real for me, it has almost always been made manifest in my experience. Desire is the beginning, but feeling must be added to lead to demonstration.

When the mind has two competing thoughts/feelings (I want this/I'm afraid I can't do/have it), it tends to go in the direction of the negative thought/emotion. That's why we use self-talk, inspirational literature, motivational stories, prayer, meditation, visualization, etc. to reduce the negative thoughts and emotions. The kid who "knew" he would catch (or hit) the ball, more often than not, did. The kid who "hoped" he would catch the ball while being afraid that he really wouldn't, usually didn't (the same story is told about playing darts, golf, performing in a piano recital, taking a test in school...what is being performed doesn't matter...the principle is the same). It's the same throughout our lives.

Of course, no one gets everything they want every time they want it...there is no genie in a bottle in life that grants our every wish on demand. But, what we have a consciousness for we usually wind up experiencing. People who have a prosperity consciousness seem to have money growing on trees in their back yards. People with a health consciousness are rarely sick and their kids and pets are rarely sick and when they pray for sick people they often get better. People with a success consciousness usually win at every game and business venture they attempt. People with a consciousness for relationships make friends every day and date with ease (or if they are partnered, live joyously with their significant other).

There is probably something in your life that you do just know that you have that gift or skill, and 9 times out of 10 when you attempt it, it works out brilliantly. What is it? Art? Finding great deals on cars you want to buy? Creating things (arts/crafts/websites, whatever)? You expect to succeed at it, you FEEL perfectly capable and your experience validates the feeling/expectation. Now, if you could get that same feeling of joyful expectation in another area of life, you'd probably have the same kind of success in that area! The clear idea + the strong feeling = results.

Basically, I think you're right. On a subconscious level, we tell ourselves "that isn't going to work," and then it doesn't. So we consciously tell ourselves that it will work, even that it IS working until the subconscious feeling believes it and then demonstrates it. If that doesn't work, then we use our prayer and meditation to activate the imagination...imagining ourselves experiencing the success we desire and even feeling the joy of having it work out. It's all make believe at that point, just a game of pretend...but the subconcious doesn't care. Once you "feel" it, the subconscious mind believes it, and once it believes it, it goes to work to make it happen. So, use the affirmations to reprogram your thinking, but also use the imagination to summon the "feeling"...because once the thought couples with the feeling, demonstration is on the way.

--Durrell Watkins, M.A., M.Div.

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