Every action is preceded by thought. So often when we want to make positive changes in our life, we focus on the behavior we wish to eliminate. We tell ourselves that we are not going to smoke, overeat, curse, drive recklessly, procrastinate or we focus on a multitude of other ills we need to eradicate from our lives.

The problem is that the subconscious mind doesn’t compute when we tell it what we are not going to do. In fact, it’s just the opposite because the subconscious mind responds to our inner pictures, and we can’t tell the subconscious mind what not to do without making a picture of it in our mind first.

If I think that I’m not going to eat that cookie or I think that I am going to eat that cookie, either way the same image of eating the cookie comes to mind. The subconscious mind is like a computer responding to these images as if they were orders from the boss. When it sees the picture, all it hears is, “eat the cookie.”

Knowing that our conscious, analytic, rational mind is the boss, we must be vigilant about what orders we send to the subconscious mind if we wish to achieve a positive outcome in our life. It’s time to realize that if we keep telling ourselves what we are not going to do, we are inadvertently only reinforcing those negative behaviors. These repetitive thoughts only become more imbedded in our subconscious mind. Remember that it’s the subconscious mind that drives all of our behavior so the more deeply these thoughts of what we are not going to do are ingrained in our mind, the more likely it is that we are going to continue with the unwanted behavior.

Because we are likely to feel guilty, ashamed or annoyed by the unwanted behavior, we begin to give it more attention, coupled with our strong negative emotion and judgment of what we are doing, thereby “charging” the inner image and making it even more compelling.

Do you see how this perpetuates a cycle of failure and feeling bad? Understanding this, it’s so important to realize that we are not destined to fail, we simply have to understand and use the knowledge of how to successfully reprogram out subconscious mind so that we get the results that we want. The great news is that the conscious mind holds tremendous power in a way, because ultimately it is the programmer. The only reason our conscious self has felt so powerless is because once the program is in place, our subconscious mind is running the show, and we are often left to feel like a victim to it’s powerful control over our life.

The key to success is making a conscious, committed decision about what you DO want—not what you don’t want—and then consciously installing a new program into the subconscious mind that will turn your dream into a reality. For example, if your longing is to “stop eating so much candy or chips,” rather than thinking about not eating candy or chips (which is impossible), turn that productive desire into positive language. What is it that you DO want?

Most likely you wish to create a life where you are healthy physically, mentally and emotionally, happy and at your ideal weight. Therefore this is the picture you need to create in your mind and reinforce by bringing the image of yourself at your ideal weight to mind over and over again.

At my hypnosis seminars held in hospitals throughout the country and in private hypnosis phone sessions, I guide participants through a hypnotic experience to help them get in touch with their personal power, strength and self-love. From this place of empowerment and inner peace and focused concentration, people are able to stop thinking about what they don’t want, and instead create in their minds a new, positive reality of enjoying healthy food, pushing food away when they’re not hungry, moving their bodies with ease and joy and looking fabulous in their clothes. Everyone is able to conjure up this positive image to one degree or another—some see the image, others just feel it or sense that it’s there, and others are more in touch with how their self-talk changes and becomes more gentle.

This is the same technique athletes use to improve their game. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined. In fact, in a University study there were three groups of athletes. One practiced their basketball game on the court, another didn’t practice at all and a third group practiced using visualization. It was the third group that demonstrated the most improvement! When we imagine a new behavior with focused concentration, we are able to create new pathways in the subconscious mind that make this new set of actions feel natural to us. We can actually begin to break or create a habit in our mind!

Because another key to success is repetition, I give each person who comes to me for hypnosis a reinforcement cd. It may seem unbelievable that many of my clients who have been through a live or phone hypnosis experience with me from only 1-5 times, have lost substantial amounts of weight—sometimes up to 100 lbs. The reason why this is not only possible, but common, is because I emphasize the importance of reinforcing my hypnosis session with a reinforcement cd. Remember that we didn’t learn our unhealthy eating habits overnight (“finish everything on the plate”; “have some cookies and milk—you’ll feel better”), and so it takes some reinforcement to unlearn them, as well. If you have difficulty achieving a relaxed, focused state on your own, playing a hypnotic cd that you resonate with is a wonderful way to help you re-program your own mind to do what you consciously want to do.

We are getting hypnotic messages all day long from friends, family, advertising and the media. Some times it may feel like all your efforts to “be good” are undermined with statements such as, “Aren’t you hungry,” “Please eat this, I prepared it just for you,” “You deserve it,” “Oh come on, let’s have fun. You can start your diet Monday.” Do these voices sound familiar? They can be very tempting, and that’s why it is so important to make sure that you are programming your own mind for success. When you rehearse your response to these scenarios and have an action plan, you’ll be amazed at how well you can handle these situations when they come up.

By practicing self-hypnosis, either with or without the aid of a cd, in time your wise, intelligent and creative deeper subconscious mind will provide you with solutions that will lead to the result you want—freedom from food addiction, health, happiness and comfort. You’ll be amazed that after a while, it won’t even matter what the outer world is saying to you—whether they approve or disapprove—because you will begin to have certainty that your new level of self-care, self-love and self-respect is leading you to exactly where you wish to go.

It is so easy to get caught up in the world-wind of outer drama, and forget that we have a huge storehouse of wisdom, power, strength, love and creativity inside ourselves. This is the part of us that can show us exactly how to live the life that we long for. If we could have gotten there with the conscious mind alone, we already would have. We need the deeper, subconscious mind to guide us, help us and give us the strength and courage to believe in ourselves and stay steadfast on the path that’s best for us.

Our thoughts create our reality. But we can’t will ourselves to think any differently that we already do. However when we make a decision to employ the powerful resources of the subconscious mind, we can re-direct our habitual way of thinking by installing a new, positive program.

Imagine yourself free from food addiction—free from any addiction—pushing any addictive substance away from you and seeing it fade into nothingness, breathing fully, smiling, moving your body, feeling vital and alive, your creativity and love of life bursting forth like a thousand brilliant suns radiating from your heart. Now hold that image and return to it over and over again. Self-hypnosis is nothing more than a state of focused concentration and deep relaxation where these suggestions for your health and happiness are more easily accepted by your subconscious mind. Practice daily. Believe in yourself—the power is within you!

Author's Bio: 

Rena Greenberg, Director of Wellness Seminars, Inc, is the Author of The Right Weigh: Six Steps to Permanent Weight Loss used by over 100,000 people (Hay House Publishing 2006) and The Craving Cure: Break the Hold Carbs and Sweets Have on Your Life (McGraw-Hill 2007). She is the creator of the transformational Subconscious Imprinting Technique for Permanent Weight Loss.

Rena continues to speak about weight loss to large groups at hospitals, corporations and governments throughout the country. To view amazing weight loss success stories using Rena's SIT, Listen and Lose method, visit www.SIT4Success.com