I was heating up some food in the kitchen area of the office where I work, and my colleague asked, “Are you whistling the theme song of Jurassic Park? Admittedly surprised, I realized I had been, and said to her “yes….but why am I doing that?!”After all, I hadn’t watched any of the 4 (or 5….6??) Jurassic Park movies in at least 3 years. She informed me that it was one of the many songs that played softly on our office P.A. system. I had never been consciously aware of the song playing, and yet there I was whistling that familiar tune while my macaroni was microwaving. It made me wonder what else I’ve been hearing lately, and despite not being consciously aware of it, I was indeed “whistling along”. Had I “heard” messages on social media that I was indeed not rich, fit, or fun enough? Was I “hearing” that other parents or husbands are so much better than me? Or even more disturbing, perhaps I was hearing that other wives or kids are better than mine? I wondered if maybe the song of “you’d be happier if……” was on repeat mode on the playlist of my subconscious mind. After all, there are some pretty amazing things others are doing, really dope places other people are exploring, and really big smiles others are wearing! And if outside of my conscious awareness I was indeed hearing such lies, was I whistling or singing along without even knowing it?
We are exposed to so many messages, both direct and indirect, verbal and non-verbal, and from so many sources that our conscious mind could never keep up with and fully process. Our sub-conscious mind handles the rest, just like mine was doing with the Jurassic Park theme song while my conscious thoughts were on macaroni and my next client. In fact, we are only consciously aware of about 5% of our cognitive activity. Given the fact that 95% of what is going on in our thinker is outside of our immediate awareness, what we purposefully expose ourselves to can be pretty important!
So, although we may not be able to choose what music is played in our office space, or what somebody in our environment chooses to say as we walk by, we do have a lot of power over the things to which we expose ourselves. Ask yourself whether or not the television shows or movies you watch, the books or blogs or postings you read, the music you listen to, and/or the people you choose to spend time with are putting out the kinds of messages that help you to be your best self. Are they helping combat the onslaught of messages your sub-conscious mind is “hearing” and storing as shame-based beliefs or unrealistic expectations of who you ought to be or what you need to be or have in order to be happy. If so, sweet! If not, you may want to make a few changes….because Jurassic Park is going to be playing somewhere. And if some of those joy-robbing messages are your own personal “dinosaurs” (tied to trauma or shaming experiences in childhood, or messaging from well-intended parents or teachers in the past), the importance of you PROACTIVELY exposing yourself to messages that add positivity, confidence, self-worth and joy to your life is even more important. Happy listening!
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