I’ve already talked about the power of your unconscious mind [Link to Post], and how it influences your behaviour, so today I’d like to take a closer look at how we can become  friends with our unconscious mind and use it to help us achieve our goals, rather than blocking them.

Listening to your Unconscious Mind

Have you ever really listened to the things you say to yourself – the words and tone of voice you use when no-one else is listening?  What are you saying?  Are you speaking words of encouragement, hope and power, or are you constantly criticising yourself and belittling yourself?

Negative self-talk is one of the most common causes of depression.  Therapists know that if they listen carefully to what their patients are saying to themselves they will be able to understand 90% of the problems besetting them.  The problem is that often patients get caught up in the rehearsal of these negative conversations, emotions and experiences and they can’t let them go.  That’s really where I was, when I struggled through my depression – every week when I met with my therapist we would go over the same ground, and I’d feel worse.  He would try to help me see the lies I was telling myself, but somehow I missed the road out until I went to the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) training.

One of things I love about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is that it propels you forward.  It doesn’t leave you wallowing in your misery but offers you a clear choice.

Take responsibility for your life, or take the consequences!

We can either be ‘At Cause’ in our lives, or we can be ‘At Effect’ – the creators, or the victims of our circumstances.  I don’t know about you, but the idea of being a victim doesn’t appeal to me … on the other hand sometimes I’m not all that keen about taking responsibility for things either.  And that is where we can call on our unconscious mind to help us.

We can’t turn back the clock and undo the things that we’ve experienced, but we can always choose the direction we’ll take moving forward.

Make Friends With Your Unconscious Mind And Let It Work For You

Once you become aware of your unconscious mind, you will start to hear what it is saying to you.  If it is encouraging you to keep moving forward, to stick your neck out and take some risks, and feeding you positive thoughts and emotions then you’re probably in pretty good shape.  But maybe things are not quite so rosy and your unconscious mind is tearing you down with negative ideas and feedback.  Don’t worry, you’ve taken an important first step – now you know that the part of you which should be your biggest cheerleader is letting you down.

You spend a lot of time listening to your unconscious mind, so you need to feed it positive thoughts, ideas, emotions and images – because whatever you feed it, it will send back to you quietly and without making a fuss.  That’s why we need to choose our mental diet at least as carefully as we choose the food we eat.  A lot of people take great care about the food they consume, but they fill their minds with random programs from the TV, radio, or magazines. 

Your thoughts shape your future just as surely as the food you eat shapes your body – so take time to consider what you are putting into your unconscious mind.  They say we become like the five people we spend most time with – that time could be spent with them in person, or via TV, CD or books.  Who are your 5 top influencers?

Meta Description: Our unconscious mind is a very powerful influence, but we can use it help us achieve everything that we are looking for in our personal and professional lives.

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By popular demand we have turned many of our multi-day workshops into multi-week online courses with a live day to kick them off. Learn more at https://businessgrowth.mykajabi.com/masteryoursales


Our brain is assaulted by over 11million bps (bits per second) of information, but it can only process a tiny fraction of that – 126 bps to be precise.  So how do you decide which bits are worthy of attention?  That’s the role of your filters.  If you didn’t have filters, you would go into total overwhelm because of the differential between the volume of information that is coming at you, and the amount you can actually process.

You may be wondering what this has to do with your Professional Relationships … and the answer is that your ability to understand your own filters, and the filters other people use will dramatically affect your professional relationships and, therefore, your professional success.  

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has a very clear and effective model that demonstrates how this works:

We interpret the external world through our five senses – through sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste.   Then your unconscious mind takes over.  It filters them through your memories, your beliefs about who you are, your values and morals that you have accepted from your parents or the surrounding culture, your language and whatever other filters you have in place, so that it can select the 126 bits that are relevant to you and group them in chunks of seven to nine pieces of information and make sense of them.

Therefore, your interpretation of those eleven million bits of information is going to be unique – completely different to any other person’s interpretation of the same information – and it will happen instantaneously and unconsciously.

Great … But how does that help me in my professional communications?

Imagine if you could instantly create connections with other people – connections and rapport that aren’t necessarily based on common interests, long-term interactions, or any other factors that you have no control over.  Would that make it easier to close sales and handle clients?

It did for me, and it has for many of my clients.  You see, our unconscious mind creates these filters so that we are able to handle the sheer volume of information that is coming at us, and we create a picture in our minds made up of just the information we decided to keep.  In Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) terminology we call this an internal representation.  This is as unique to you as your thumbprint – no two people’s filters are the same – and it explains why two eye-witness can give completely different accounts of the same event.  We all delete the information that we don’t think is relevant and we distort and generalise based on the filters we have developed so that we can reduce the information to manageable levels.  

Your internal representation is basically a mental picture about what any given situation means to you.  The details in this mental picture influence how you feel, which determines your physical response to the situation.  Then you use that mental picture to form a response.  If you are talking to someone your response will indicate what that picture means to you.

As a listener this means that if you pay attention to someone’s language, you can quickly learn about their filters.  Thus, whenever you are talking to someone you can speak to them in a way that bypasses their filters.

Language, Learning Styles and Preferred Communication Models

In the ongoing debate about education, you may have heard some of the discussion about learning styles.  I don’t actually agree with most of the discussion around this area.  The prevailing attitude puts people in boxes, rather than opening up new options and making them resources and I think that’s a criminal thing to do to anyone – especially a child!

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) respects people’s preferences – and acknowledges that if we want to build rapport with others, we need to go over to where they are, not expect them to come to us.  Communication styles are very similar to learning styles – we all have a preferred way of filtering the world – through visual, auditory, or kinaesthetic modes (and both our preferred learning style and our preferred communication style are usually linked).  If we can quickly discover a person’s preferred style of communication, and use language that reflects it we can quickly build rapport with almost anyone.

The best communicators in the world – the people whose words everyone listens to, even if they disagree with their ideas – have very flexible communication styles.  If you are speaking to a group, using language that resonates with a variety of communication models is ideal, if you are just speaking to a single person you will find it much easier to build your relationship if you identify their preferred mode of language, and use it with them.

Their pose will quickly change from resistant to responsive.  When we teach this in workshops and our students go out and practice identifying and using the appropriate model we usually get an excited phone call within a day or two from people who say, “I can’t believe what a change this has made!  I talked with X, who is usually quite stiff and resistant, and closed the deal we’ve been negotiating for 3 months.

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By popular demand we have turned many of our multi-day workshops into multi-week online courses with a live day to kick them off. Learn more at https://businessgrowth.mykajabi.com/masteryoursales


You probably know that not everyone shares your opinions about things, but have you ever thought just how often you make assumptions that lead to misunderstanding?

I’m convinced that most of our communication and relationship problems stem from the assumptions we carelessly make.  Once a friend from Portugal came to stay with me.  She was visiting Melbourne for a few days as part of her tour around Australia and she wanted to see the sights.  So I planned to take her along the Great Ocean Road, into the Dandenongs, and the Mornington Peninsula up to Arthur’s Seat and see all the wonderful beaches and views because those are all the things I love!

My thought was, “What can I show her that’s really beautiful and uniquely Melbourne?” and I assumed that she would want to see and do the things I would like, if I were in her position.  I was so busy making a program that fit my own assumptions about Melbourne that I completely missed the clues she gave me.  In conversations before her visit, she talked about the shows she saw when she was in London and how much she loved the theatre and the arts.  She even mentioned an Art exhibition that was going on at the National Gallery and all that sort of stuff but I missed it completely. So we started doing the things I had planned and she was miserable the whole time and I’m thinking, “How come she’s not enjoying herself?  This is awful.”

The next day she asked, “How do I get to the trains and the public transport?” 

I said,  “Where do you want to go? I’ll take you.” 

And she says, “I really want to go to National Art Gallery and see an exhibition that’s on there at the moment” and it occurred to me that I’d just totally missed all the cues of the things that she wanted to do, I was so excited about bringing her and showing her all these things that I thought were really cool that I forgot to find out what interested her.

I see sales people and business owners all the time who are so concerned that they won’t say the right thing, that they miss all the cues.

They assume that people aren’t biting on the bait they’re putting out there because they’re not getting the words right.  In a lot of cases they’re so caught up on what they’re going to say next or what they’re going to do next that they don’t actually hear the buying signs from the clients.

Most people actually tell you what they need if you’re listening carefully enough.  Sometimes I do role-plays with my clients where I actually get them to sell to me and it’s really interesting watching them just make assumptions about what my needs could be rather than actually spending some time asking some questions.

This comes back to the part of the sales process we are actually finding out information from the clients.  So the first thing that people who are not necessarily well versed in sales do is they go in and they’ve prepared all the things that they’re going to say to make sure that that client gets interested in what they want them to be interested in.  In actual fact the best thing you can do when you go into a sales meeting is to ask some questions and then shut up and listen.

Then you listen some more – and if you open your mouth at all, it’s to ask questions about the things they are saying.  If you do that, I can just about guarantee that you will learn what you need to know to close the sale.  You would really be astounded to learn how many sales are lost just because we make assumptions about what the other person is looking for.

One of the most powerful tools of NLP is learning to ask questions and read the other person – not to manipulate them, but to hear what their problems and concerns really are.  The techniques I learned have closed more sales, and resolved more communication issues than I can count.

Meta Description: How do assumptions kill sales and negotiations?  Let me count the ways. Assuming you know what the other person is going to say is a very dangerous habit, and will kill sales faster than just about any other thing you can do.

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By popular demand we have turned many of our multi-day workshops into multi-week online courses with a live day to kick them off. Learn more at https://businessgrowth.mykajabi.com/masteryoursales


“90% of your life is controlled by your unconscious mind, And only 10% of your life is lived consciously!”

When you think about it, that’s a scary statistic!

You may think that you are in control of your life, but the reality is that the way you process information and respond to situations is mostly done on autopilot.  If you’ve ever been in a situation and responded instinctively – or had someone respond to you and thought, “Where on earth did that come from?” you’ve seen the unconscious mind in action. 

It might be a strong reaction to some sound or smell that is totally out of proportion to the cause – like the feeling of sadness that wells up when you hear a song that your memory links to time of sadness or stress.  On the surface it seems like a totally irrational response, but the reality is that it is a deeply-rooted and natural outcome of a habit, belief, or experience that may be so deeply buried in your unconscious mind that you don’t even remember it.

In fact, while many people are aware that they have an unconscious mind they are usually unaware that the unconscious mind controls 90% of their lives.  That means that we are only consciously controlling 10% of our lives, the rest is directed by our unconscious mind – by the habits we form, and the attitudes we learn either deliberately or by chance.

How Learning Happens

When a baby learns to walk, a child learns to read, an adolescent learns to drive, or you learn a new skill, at first it demands all your concentration and you need to work really hard at it.  As time goes by most of those actions sink into your unconscious mind and you do them almost on autopilot.  That is why it’s so important to start out with good habits, and why your first lessons in any new skill are the most important.

We see it in top tennis players like Roger Federer – despite his very successful record he realised that he needed to make some changes in his game to stay at the top, so he changed his tennis racquet, and his coach, and developed a more aggressive playing style.  That didn’t come easily, and under stress he was still reverting to his former style at this year’s Australian Open – but it illustrates the point I’m making.  We can change our deeply engrained habits!

We can change our deeply engrained habits … but it takes conscious planning and some effort.

On the other hand, if the unconscious behaviours and habits you have are no longer working for you (even our worst habits usually worked for us at some time) then isn’t it worth the effort to change? 

I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer in the saying that: “Doing the same things you’ve always done, and expecting different results is insanity.”  If I’m doing something that isn’t working I want to find an alternative that will work for me, and help me get the outcome I desire.  That’s why I studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and became a Master Trainer – because I wanted to change my life, and help other people change theirs.

Facilitating that change through group training, and individual and corporate coaching is what gets me out of bed each morning.  It’s just so exciting to watch people go from one level of achievement to another as they retrain their unconscious mind and get it working for them, rather than against them.

Meta Description: The idea that you are not really in control of your actions and thoughts is pretty scary.  Most of us like to think that we are in the driver’s seat when really we’re operating on instinct.  Can we change that?

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By popular demand we have turned many of our multi-day workshops into multi-week online courses with a live day to kick them off. Learn more at https://businessgrowth.mykajabi.com/masteryoursales


Your unconscious mind is very powerful and you can use it help you achieve your goals if you follow a few simple steps.  Let’s start by looking at some of the key functions of your unconscious mind.

9 Key Functions of Your Unconscious Mind

  1. Controls Your Body’s Core Functions (breathing, blinking, swallowing, etc)
  2. Controls Your Fight or Flight Response to Danger
  3. Only Processes Positive Commands
  4. Follows Clear Orders (that’s why visualisation is so powerful)
  5. Judges Your Thoughts, Words & Actions According to Your Values (conscience)
  6. Stores Memories;
  7. Organises Memories;
  8. Represses Memories associated with unresolved negative emotions;
  9. Presents Repressed Memories for Resolution;

Your unconscious mind is responsible for all your behaviour, all your learning, and all the information that goes into your brain –  it is the control centre of your entire body.  If your unconscious mind is not doing it’s job your life suddenly gets much harder – you have to think about how to balance yourself, you have to consciously decide how many times your heart will beat in a minute, and pay attention to how often you need to breath in and out to be comfortable and  to blink to keep your eyes lubricated.

All of this would take a lot of effort and you would be so busy making all these decisions moment by moment that you wouldn’t have any energy to spare for higher-level thinking, but your unconscious takes care of it for you and it ‘just happens!

Harnessing The Power of Your Unconscious Mind To Achieve Goals

Imagine what would happen if we could harness the power of our unconscious mind to achieve our goals, instead of just take care of core functions.  If you thought about the 9 key functions above, you might notice that numbers 3, 4, and 5 all deal with things we can influence if we choose.

Positive Commands and Clear Orders

We can give our unconscious minds positive commands – for example, “Earn $10,000 per month.”  “Weigh 60kg”.   These are much more powerful and effective than, “Lose weight.” or “Don’t be poor.” or “Eat less.”  This is also why visualisation is such a powerful tool – your unconscious mind takes the picture you feed it of an end result, and helps you turn it into reality.  It receives these pictures as a clear command of something you want to be true.

The Importance of Congruity

Because your unconscious mind is a clear and impartial judge it is really important that your thoughts, words, and actions are congruent with your values.  Money is often a key area where our desires and values collide because we often have a conflict between what we would like to earn or own, and what we believe we deserve.  If you set a goal about your wealth that your conscience tells you is wrong, then you will probably not achieve it.  Success in business is another common area of conflict because we are constantly bombarded with stereotypes about ‘evil’ business men.

If we deal with these conflicts and uncover the unconscious beliefs that conflict with our goals our unconscious mind will guide us almost without effort until we achieve those goals.  Instead of pulling us away from behaviour that supports our goals it will guide us toward it, so that we are no longer having to discipline ourselves every moment, but rather are willingly taking the necessary actions.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the study of how your brain processes language and pictures and controls your behaviour, I have found that the insights NLP provides into my unconscious mind has dramatically increased my power to achieve the things I really want in life – from material goods, and opportunities to relationships.


We all have an unconscious mind, and it is a very powerful tool, but most of us let it go to waste.  You can harness your unconscious mind and use it to help you achieve your dreams.

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By popular demand we have turned many of our multi-day workshops into multi-week online courses with a live day to kick them off. Learn more at https://businessgrowth.mykajabi.com/masteryoursales


In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), the word don’t is something that we encourage our clients to change in their language. It is based on the belief that the unconscious mind does not process negative statements.

This concept was explained many times by NLP Trainers through this example: Don’t think of a blue tree. I bet you, an image of a blue tree went through your mind after reading this.  Even if you didn’t think of a blue tree you needed to create a blue tree first to negate the purple or green one you did think of.

In this example, you just used words (blue, tree) that made your listener create an image in his/her mind. You made that suggestion and he/she just can’t not think of a blue tree.

This concept is so important in communication of all kinds.  In parenting imagine if you told you children to stop safely at the crossing instead of telling them not to cross.  In business if you told your staff to be 10mins early for the meeting instead of telling the not to be late.  In a relationship telling your partner that you love their commitment instead of them not to cheat on you or break your heart. 

The key is to go straight to what you want your listener to think and do in an affirmative manner, focusing on what you want them to DO.

Rephrase your statements and use a positive tone. Like for example, instead of saying, “Don’t eat too much during the holidays!” say, “Limit what you eat during the holidays.” Sounds better, right?

Observe what happens if you follow this friendly tip you might just get people congruent and happy to give you what you ask for.

Learn more concepts in NLP by registering in our next NLP Practitioner Training. Visit the Events page of this website.

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By popular demand we have turned many of our multi-day workshops into multi-week online courses with a live day to kick them off. Learn more at https://businessgrowth.mykajabi.com/masteryoursales


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