* Anne had grown up believing in the virtuous poor and the evil rich. Now, she feels guilty about charging her clients what her services are worth. How can she stop unwittingly sabotaging her own success?

* Bob had battled procrastination all his life. It had been difficult even with a supervisor breathing down his neck, but now that he’s on his own, he wonders if he can give himself that extra push.

* Janice needs strong motivation and support for her weight loss program to keep her from sliding back into her old eating patterns.

What these people have in common is their desire to free themselves from deep-seated habits of thought, habits that go back to childhood and often lurk unnoticed beneath the surface for decades. Yet, these hidden inner mind-sets can severely limit our success in reaching personal goals.

The conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the mind’s power is lodged in the subconscious, a vast memory bank that stores everything we have ever experienced. It is this subconscious mind that truly rules our lives. That’s why the same people seem blessed with success again and again, while others, despite all the seminars and wise books they experience, don’t move forward toward their dreams.

Most self-help methods engage only your conscious mind. If you’re lucky, a little bit filters down to your subconscious. A decision to change does not go deep enough. We make promises to ourselves, only to keep slipping back into well-worn patterns. If you’ve smoked for years, your mind is programmed as a smoker. All the horror stories about how black your lungs are and how soon you will die may convince you to quit, but they won’t make it happen. In fact, until you change your subconscious programming, quitting is impossible.

The same is true not only for habits like smoking, drugs, and alcohol, but for habits of thought, which are possibly the most difficult of all to change because they are so subtle that you may not know they are there. There are habits like putting yourself down, not believing in your own abilities, thinking that you will always be overweight or in poor health, that you are unattractive or stupid, or that you will never find a fulfilling, loving relationship—all habits of thought that can keep you stuck where you are for the rest of your life.

Yet, it’s highly likely that your habits of thought are all that’s holding you back and all that’s preventing you from having everything you’ve ever wanted in life—health, wealth, love, career, happiness—everything.

Finding a Way to Access Your Subconscious Mind

You need to change the programming! That’s what subliminal tapes and CDs are designed to do. Yet, we’ve all heard the debate about whether subliminals work. Many of us experience profound benefits, while others do not. Let’s look at the confusion surrounding subliminal audios.

What Is a Subliminal Program?

It is a sound recording of a series of positive affirmations. On a conscious level you hear only music or nature sounds. Since the messages are “drowned out” by this louder, “masking” sound, they bypass your conscious mind and go directly into your subconscious. Thus they also bypass your resistance to change. That is why a high-quality subliminal can affect you much more powerfully than words you hear consciously.

Does It Really Work?

This is no longer a matter of speculation. Scientific studies have proved beyond doubt the effectiveness of subliminals, but psychologists have drawn this conclusion: all subliminals are not alike. Here’s an excerpt from our “Tape Shoppers’ Checklist” that tells what to look for in a subliminal.

1. Are Alpha and Theta brain waves increased? In the Alpha state you are calm and relaxed, yet alert and clear-headed. This is the best state for listening to most subliminals. In the Theta state you are even more receptive, but not alert enough to go about your usual activities, so it is used only for audios promoting deep rest, sleep, or meditation. You are more receptive when you are relaxed and open. Many subliminal brands do not address this goal, which helps to explain why some don’t work. An introduction that increases your Alpha and Theta brain waves promotes receptivity. Without this the affirmations may have little effect.

2. Are the messages in stereo? Most audios use stereo only for the covering music or nature sounds, while the messages themselves are on a single track. An effective sound track needs separate channels scripted differently for right and left brain hemispheres.

3. Are the scripts entirely positive? Hardly anyone would write a negative script intentionally, but well-meaning amateurs write sentences like, “sugar is poison,” planting negative seeds in the mind and creating new problems for the user. There is enough negativity coming into our minds daily, without adding more!

4. Are the scripts written in the language of the subconscious? The subconscious is very childlike. It takes everything literally. Sentences must be short and simple and avoid complicated “if” and “when” clauses. “If I eat too much, I will get fat” could be heard by the subconscious as, “I eat too much. I will get fat.” Could this ever backfire! Long, involved sentences are a sure sign that the writers lack expertise.

5. Are the affirmations in present tense? The subconscious knows only the present, so a good script avoids the future tense. After all, the future is always ahead of us. “I will succeed” tells the mind that you are not succeeding now.

6. Is there a money-back guarantee on results? This is essential!

The “Tape Shoppers’ Checklist” contains a total of 14 items.

Popular Myths

Myth #1: Some fear that subliminal audios might make them do something they don’t want to do. The truth is that they cannot. They can help you reach your goals, but they must be your goals. You are still very much in charge.

Some part of you must want the change. For example, in a struggle to lose weight, there is usually a battle between the part of you that wants a slender body and the part of you that wants the piece of fudge cake. Subliminals can strengthen your motivation for change and help you toward your goals. They cannot make you do something you have no desire to do and certainly not anything against your ethics.

Myth #2: Some think that if they have never used subliminal audios, their minds have not been subliminally programmed. Untrue! We are all subliminally programmed every second of our lives. Why? Because all the sounds in our environment that are a little bit out of the range of conscious hearing are heard by the subconscious. All sounds that are “drowned out” by something louder are also heard by the subconscious.

This means that when you passed that construction site this morning that remark on your anatomy, buried beneath the jackhammer’s roar, was heard by you subliminally. The same is true of conversations at other tables in restaurants and all those TV commercials you don’t listen to. The same is true for all the sights and sounds (and smells and tastes and touches) around you from the very beginning of your life to the present!

The problem is that much of this input is negative. We’re bombarded from all sides with blaring radios, angry words, harsh criticisms, distorted advertising slogans, and lies and manipulations. Subliminals give you a choice, a way of flooding your mind with enough positive input to offset the negative. In short, subliminals can set you free.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit http://www.selfgrowth.com/greatways.html

Author's Bio: 

Susannah Lippman is President of Alphasonics International, the company that pioneered much of the new technology. Their audios were selected for use by the researchers who tested all brands. She founded Alphasonics in 1987, after discovering breakthroughs in subliminal research, to bring this new generation of powerful Personal Development tools to the public. For over 19 years their audios have been used worldwide, by individuals and by practitioners who offer them to patients. Susannah holds a master’s degree in communications, has been a teacher of speech and communications, a writer, a producer for educational television, and Director of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, Eastern Region. She is author of The Truth about Subliminal Audios, a comprehensive report (from which this chapter contains excerpts). The complete report is available at http://www.alphasonics.com.