Harness the Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Changing Your Inner State

by Stephen Mills on April 25, 2009

Your Subconscious Mind

The technique described in this article is intended to be used for habit change.  You can use the power of your non-conscious brain to make behavioral changes that you are otherwise finding difficult to make by conscious willpower alone.  This is an extremely powerful technique for these types of changes, but please note that  it is not a technique for achieving your big dreams.  It is not the way you will achieve your ultimate future.  That will be covered in another article.

Remember that your non-conscious brain is at least 5/6th of your thinking power and it operates 7 X 24.  Please read these articles if you have not already done so: What You Need to Know About Your Amazing Brain – Part I and What You Need to Know About Your Amazing Brain – Part II.

Here are some things to keep in mind as we begin applying these powerful techniques:

  • If you want to change your behavior, you must change your thoughts first.  If you attempt to change your behavior without changing your thoughts first, you will have a very difficult time succeeding.
  • If you change your non-conscious thoughts first, your behavior will follow automatically.  This makes it much easier to change your habits.  If you do not, your powerful non-conscious brain will fight you all the way.
  • If you read the articles I referenced above, you will know that emotion creates much stronger neural pathways in your brain.  Make use of that fact.
  • You non-conscious mind will work on those ideas that are dominated by your conscious thoughts.  Those thoughts you dwell on in your conscious mind will be considered important by your non-conscious mind.
  • The more powerfully you dwell on something in your conscious mind, the more powerful will be the instructions to your non-conscious mind.
  • Your non-conscious mind does not distinguish between fantasy and reality, between the truth and a lie.  Whatever pictures it receives are as real to it as any others.  This is a key factor that you can use to tremendous advantage.  It is also a key factor in your failure.  If you dwell on what the negative, you get negative.  Your non-conscious mind does not know it is a negative.  A negative picture is just as powerful as a powerful picture.  When you say to yourself “I wish I wasn’t fat” you are sending your non-conscious mind a picture of you being fat.  Big mistake.
  • There is no free lunch with your brain.  Everything takes time and effort.  Your current thought patterns have developed over many years and they don’t go away overnight, if at all.  You have to re-channel the river, but the old river bed will remain.  It may degrade, but it is always there waiting to be used again.

Use this technique for virtually any habitual change you want to make in your life.  What follows is based upon a technique by Doug Bench.  He calls these “Inner States” and he describes the process as sending your non-conscious mind an Inner State.

  1. Write out your end-state, the end-goal which you want to achieve, on several index cards.  You need to tape one to your bathroom mirror, carry one in your pocket, and tape one to some other frequent and appropriate place you visit.  Your refrigerator, your desk, your car, etc.
  2. Write out your state in the active present form: “I am”.  Never write “I will”, “I shall”, etc.  For example, say you want to lose weight and be healthy.  You might write something like:  “I am healthy and fit as result of eating only healthy food.  I am a lean, mean, fit, human machine”.
  3. Always write a positive.  Never, ever, under any circumstances, write a negative.  For example don’t write “I’m not fat anymore”.  Don’t write “I’m going to stop smoking”.  Those may be good goals but they are framed as a negative.  The way something is framed makes all the difference in the world to your non-conscious brain.  It’s the difference between getting your non-conscious mind to work with you instead of against you.
  4. Only use this technique for something that is totally within your personal control. If it requires the cooperation of another, then you are setting yourself up for failure.  This is a technique to change your behavior.
  5. Make it emotional and exciting. Use words that trigger emotion in you brain. This technique works exceptionally well with things that are currently a flat out lie.  If you are fat and ill, then to say I am fit and healthy is a lie that triggers an emotional response in you.
  6. You need to repeat your state to yourself out loud.  This is much more powerful than saying it silently in your own mind.  You are adding your sense of hearing to the mix.  Your vocalization gets more of your brain involved.  The more senses you involve the better.
  7. Say it with emotion and inflection. Put energy behind your words.  Belt it out.  The hell with your embarrassment!  If you want to change then pay the price.  If not, then don’t bother with this at all.  Here’s a tip, if you are embarrassed by someone hearing you performing your inner states, then create an inner state that eliminates the habit of embarrassment.  “I am proud of people seeing and hearing me perform my inner states!  I am excited for people to know I am changing myself.”.  Another tip.  Your car can be a good place to do them in private.
  8. Act it out.  Move your body, move your arms and legs if appropriate.  The more action the better.  I like to pump my arms.
  9. You need to see yourself.  A mirror is best, but anything that reflects your image will work.  You are adding the most powerful sense of all to your state; your vision.
  10. Perform your state at least 3 times per day.  The more times the better but you don’t have to get ridiculous and do it 20 times a day.  Five or six times a day is great.  Here’s another tip.  The more variety you can add to your locations the better.  The belief is made stronger by slight variations and contexts.  You create the same belief with different environments and this creates some slightly different pathways in your brain that reinforce one another.
  11. Repeat your statement at least 5 times each session.  Add variety to these five repetitions by changing inflections or movements.
  12. Create an emotional state for yourself right before you perform your inner state.  The brain is made more powerful by emotion.  The neural connections are stronger and more easily traversed if they are created with a flood of positive neurotransmitters released.  Sit in a chair, close your eyes, and recall a particularly emotional experience in your life.  Maybe the day you meet your soul-mate.  Whatever you do, create a flood of emotions.  If you cannot do that then just force yourself to laugh.  Laughing, fake or real, releases powerful neurotransmitters that will make whatever you do next stronger.
  13. Close your eyes and visualize your end-state immediately after you finish performing your statements. Put yourself forward in time to when your goal has been achieved.  Make it powerfully visual and incredibly detailed.  See yourself fit and trim in all your glory.  Visualize yourself in your new clothes size.  Visualize yourself picking your size zero off the rack and trying it on your new slim and trim muscular  body.  (Sorry ladies but I have no idea what a size zero means.  I just pulled that out of the air.)
  14. You must perform each state for at least 30 consecutive days.  It is better if you go 60 but this is highly individualized.  One you finish your 30 day period then keep doing that same state at least once a week for the next several months.  Once again this varies by individual and habit, but whatever it takes for you to maintain the habit change as a permanent habit change.

You may be saying to yourself that this seems too hard.  Well, it’s your choice.  You can take the easy road to failure or the hard road to success.  Personally, I think it is a fairly minor task.  No, it is not a change-your-mind-change-your-life-overnight sales job, but unfortunately science proves you can’t do that, regardless of what someone else tells you or sells you.

Changing your deeply ingrained habits or beliefs is not easy.  It takes emotional commitment.  You must work at it this, but the rewards are enormous.  You have the tool.  You have the choice.

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What do you think? Leave a comment below.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Dragos Roua April 25, 2009 at 7:29 am


Thanks for sharing this. I used similar techniques for years now and I can only tell you that this is WORKING. You lined up quite a tutorial for habit change, but I wonder if you could go a little further and produce some specific versions of it? Like “lose weight”, “stay fit”, etc…

I think that would be really awesome 🙂


Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills April 25, 2009 at 11:47 am

Well done Stephen,

What most people don’t realize is that this process is taking place anyway. So instead of the 3X5 cards it’s the TV or newspaper programming their non-conscious mind. That means that instead of the message always being positive they get a lot of negative. It also means they are receiving a bunch of input that is outside their control. The emotional anchors attached to these messages will often be negative and limiting.

The point is, you can take charge of the process or you can allow others to shape your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. So, as you pointed out, we all have a choice. We can do it ourselves, or someone else will do it for us and then we will have to live with the results.


Giovanna Garcia April 25, 2009 at 7:31 pm

This is great detail information how to tap into our subconscious mind. I love how you started out with to change our behavior,we have to change our thoughts frist. So True!

Thank you,
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action


Stephen Mills April 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Dragos, that’s a good idea. I just might do that. Thanks!

Jonathan, excellent point. Yes it happens regardless and often it is our own negative self-talk and thoughts doing the programming.

Giovanna, thoughts are the origin of action. We often try to change the action without changing the thoughts and that is why we fail.


Marc and Angel Hack Life April 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Awesome article. The disconnect between our conscious and subconscious mindset is quite interesting. But if you can train your subconscious mind to think positively, your conscious mind will follow suit.


Ken April 27, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Great article. First time I have been here, and I will be back. I have written on the subject, but you did and excellent job.


Stephen Mills April 28, 2009 at 6:02 am

@Marc and Angel, thank you! I don’t think we have truly begun to understand the power of our subconscious mind. It’s very exciting to think about the possibilities.

Ken, thanks for joining us! I’ll check out your site.


priya July 13, 2009 at 5:06 am


i have read many articles and this article has replaced all the articles into one article….illustrations are wonderful and the key idea that the words we spek and our thoughts arecreponsible for whatever we are today



Zeenat-Positive Provocations July 26, 2009 at 8:35 am

This a great article Stephen,
Such practically simple techniques to follow. I have been trying some of them..but there are some new ones here i will have try too.
Thanks for sharing.
.-= Zeenat-Positive Provocations´s last blog ..The Power Of NO! =-.


Alexandra Hopkins March 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Very helpful article–same for the two on “What you need to know about your amazing brain.” It has been hard for me to get the concept of thinking in an unconscious way, but, yes that does seem to be what science is finding. Actually, it explains a lot about why we do so many things that our conscious mind doesn’t want us to do–like think negative thoughts, etc. Thanks very much for these articles and others on your website.
Alexandra Hopkins´s last blog post ..Electrician Santa Monica – Prepare for a Power Outage


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