The conscious mind is where your thinking, reasoning ability, analytical tendencies, and intellect reside. When your boss gives you a task you first think about and analyze it before carrying out the task. Or when you first learn to drive, you have to consciously be aware of and think about what you're doing.
We use our conscious mind about 10% of the time.
What is the conscious mind?
What is the subconscious mind?
The subconscious hosts your habits, emotions, knowledge, behaviors, beliefs, desires, and just about everything you have witnessed and heard from the day you were born until now. Tasks you tend to do do on 'autopilot' - such as driving or daydreaming - come from your subconscious.
Everything you do, everything you know, everything you desire, and every way you react does not have to be consciously thought about, it is an instant reaction because the behavior, action, or thought process has been done before.
We use our subconscious about 90% of the time.
How do the two work together?
When you learn something new, or attempt to adopt a new habit, behavior, or belief, you first have to use your conscious mind to think about and analyze the information being given to the brain. Anytime you hear someone say they had to be very conscious while doing something they are saying they had to put all their focus and thought power into the task at hand.
When you have then done that task enough times that you no longer have to put so much thought into it, you have now formed a habit or behavior based reaction. Our brain does this so that we can have thought power to use for things worthy of it, like learning or trying new things. If our brains hadn't developed this storage based survival technique we would have to re-remember how to live each and every morning!
Take learning to drive for example, when you first began driving you had to be much more conscious (apply much more thought power and focus) to your task than after you've been driving for years. This is because and action repeated overtime becomes second nature (a stored behavior).
Given that most of our day is us completing tasks we have done already and are familiar with, we are on auto pilot a fair amount of our lives. It isn't like we are completely absent, but our conscious mind doesn't need to be present for things like driving, working, brushing our teeth, washing our dishes, etc.
So if our conscious mind is't predominantly running the show...who is? You guessed it...the subconscious. So then what happens when we have a subconscious filled with bad habits, negative beliefs, self-sabotaging thought processes, and pessimism?
Does this sound at all familiar?
You realize you have a habit you would like to change, you think it over and analyze whether or not you actually want this change, and you consciously decide that yes, you want to change. Day one , two, and maybe three pass by, and perhaps all is well, you have applied the change you seek; but then a week or two goes by, and maybe without even realizing it you have reverted to your old way. You may now be left with a feeling of discouragement and may even be reluctant to attempt your change again; plus you now have possibly adopted a belief that you cannot change.
This happens because humans are creates of habit, our brains RATHER do what it already knows, whether it is positive or negative. YOUR OFF THE HOOK, in a sense...it is hard to change BECAUSE what we already know is our default. But knowing this can set you free, knowing that your urge to revert to your old way IS NORMAL and not a indicator of 'failure', you just have to persist and persist....and persist until your new behavior becomes your default.
How can this / when does this become a negative thing?