Dealing With Early Negative Downloads That Now Control Most of Your Life
Bill Cottringer

What can you do about all the negative, unconscious downloads that occurred before age six, that now flood your mind with overwhelming self-sabotaging beliefs that you are not even aware of? This issue seems to be growing as a common concern, the more we learn about the functioning of the human brain and mind and the more everyone tries applying the hopes and dreams of “The Secret” and all the rest of the positive psychology movement.

Brain researchers in the new millennium have discovered physiological “proof” that the majority of mental activity (up to 99%), is subconscious, or not part of our everyday awareness. The seemingly powerful self-consciousness that we are all too well aware of, because that is its nature, is in the tiny minority of brain information processing.

We human beings have put ourselves at the top of the food chain (although some may disagree with this designation), because we have something none of the other living creatures seem to have—the capacity for self-consciousness. This additional capacity makes us separate and different from everybody and everything else. It also increases our status to become both an observer and participant in life and helps us to move around in time to do so.

The trouble is, this sense of self brings a lot of curses that work against our own success, happiness and peace of mind. Consider the following self-consciousness curses:

• Believing firmly in our unique, separate self as the center of the universe, we put it in the forefront of everything. In doing so, we tend to miss some really important inter-relationships and interconnectivity that is going on right under our noses. We end up acting on inaccurate and incomplete versions of reality and then wonder what went wrong.
• Enjoying the free feeling of autonomy of being ourselves brings the inevitable loneliness of separation and even alienation and longing for reunion and belonging.
• Our sense of self helps create a world of infinite other artificial extremes and illusory opposites, which also have their own gift vs. curse natures, such as over-depending on others or over-flexing independency. These things just increase the uneasiness of separation anxiety.
• We automatically over-value this self-consciousness by only paying attention to what it does for us, denying or not even being aware of all the harm it does.
• Paradoxically, it is probably this self-consciousness that keeps us from knowing the real “facts” that lead to genuine happiness and success, which are going unnoticed and unused in our unconscious minds.
• Self-consciousness creates self-centeredness, which is probably the dinosaur termite of relationships, which we all could use less of to get along better.

If you stop at the half way mark in anything you do, you never get to the finish line. In this case of our destined mental evolution, it is wise to not let yourself get too pessimistic about the dismal reality before you, but rather prod yourself to keep moving forward in starting to uncover the gift nature of self-consciousness. Consider the following:

• Without being self-conscious of our own self-consciousness, we could never begin to see that it can have both positive and negative effects on the quality of our lives, depending on how we choose to use it or lose it.
• Self-consciousness is the only thing going on our minds that we are conscious about. Hence it is the only way to translate all the terabytes of unconscious thinking, feeling, motivations and behavior that we unknowingly downloaded in the early years and don’t even understand how we mistakenly misused it.

Somehow we did manage to translate a little bit of this unconscious mind into the crumbs of self-consciousness and all we have to do is remember how. Actually the things that we need to remember most are the plethora of mistakes we made, thinking we could actually separate ourselves from the rest of life we were born into, just because our unconscious minds considered that possibility.

In the end, the joke is on us. Since we only imagine that we are running our own lives with our conscious desires and expectations, and yet we really aren’t, there is no mystery in the inevitable pessimistic view that life is really against us. This is because we can no longer believe our lives have matched our intentions. We now know better because the real evidence is undeniable, even in the most grandiose self-conscious thinking. And each new choice from here on out can change that reality in not so small ways.

The first step in all this is to forgive “yourself” for making the many mistakes that there really wasn’t any real conscious “self” to make. Given the nature of self-consciousness we are bound to make mistakes, but there never was a rule that we are bound to those mistakes we make. Slowing down to understand your own self-consciousness gets you into your unconscious mind before you know it. I believe that is what is called mindfulness.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is President of Puget Sound Security in Bellevue, WA and also a business and personal success coach, sport psychologist, photographer and writer living in the mountains of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, The Prosperity Zone, Getting More By Doing Less, You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too, The Bow-Wow Secrets, Do What Matters Most, “P” Point Management, and Reality Repair Rx coming shortly. He can be contacted with comments or questions at 425 454-5011 or