Infinite creativity. Do I possess it? If so, how do you access it? More often than not, it seems like you’re completing a project by the skin of your teeth. The idea of tapping into some universal intelligence and creativity appears like something for the gifted or elite.
But the reality is this potential exists within every human being. Everyone has access to the unlimited potential of your subcortical brain. Current research shows us we are only conscious of one to two percent of the information we have stored in our brain at a given time. This means approximately ninety-nine percent of the data in your brain is outside of your direct consciousness. Now I ask you, when it comes to tapping into creativity of any form, which is the bigger resource? Your conscious mind or your subconscious mind?
How do you unlock it?
The question your conscious mind may be asking right now is, “Okay, how do I gain access to my subconscious mind?” Good question. The answer lies in letting go of conscious control. I can tell you from my work with countless individuals, it is extremely difficult getting people to do nothing. The cognitive brain is in hyper drive most of the time. It likes to constantly be in control and is very resistant to giving up the wheel.
However, when you can sufficiently let go, you will discover an untapped internal resource of infinite capability. The majority of people are walking around with no idea of the treasure they possess inside of them. The subcortical brain is the most powerful and complex supercomputer in the universe. You can achieve virtually anything once you learn how to harness its powers. But to do so requires a good deal of unlearning of our typical way of being and operating.
Thinking is the block
We are so used to trying to figure out everything from a cognitive or intellectual understanding. But our subcortical brain can see things our cognitive brain cannot. It gets the whole picture and can provide insight and understanding our intellect is incapable of. Obviously, there is a time to use our intelligence and cognitive problem-solving abilities. Nonetheless, when it comes to the bigger questions in life, such as whether to enter into a serious relationship with someone, or leave one, pursue a particular career path, or discover what one finds meaningful, we need the information the deeper part of our brain provides.
What happens to most people is they rack their brain trying to figure out the answer to these essential questions. The intensity of this approach increases as a deadline looms closer. The result is greater confusion, anxiety, and eventually some sort of compulsive behavior, such as procrastination. What is necessary is the opposite approach: stopping, moving away from thinking, and noticing what is going on inside oneself emotionally and experientially. This is a paradigm shift from how we operate in day to day life.
We have rarely been given any guidance in how to utilize the resource of our subcortical brain. Maybe, you have fell into rare moments of being in a flow state. It was a powerful experience where things were effortless, creativity flowed, and you felt like you couldn’t lose. These events can seem so random and elusive. You wish you could get into this state more often. I can tell you with certainty this is possible. What I’m about to share with you is how to do so. Moreover, it is something everyone is capable of no matter what your age, skill level, or natural ability.
Letting go is key
The primary means to accessing your subcortical brain is by letting go of cognitive control. When the cortical brain is active, you are in a beta brain wave state. This is a faster brain wave speed for thinking and using your intellect. When you slow down and let go, you eventually lower to an alpha brain wave state. You become calmer and more relaxed. This allows for greater access to your subcortical brain where your creativity, intuitiveness, and deeper insight resides.
Let me give you an example of what this looks like in a real-world situation. Years ago, I was dedicated to improving my golf game. I took lessons and practiced consistently. One day I was out on the course with my instructor. I teed up a ball from about one hundred and eighty-five yards away. Along the left side of the fairway was the ocean. I focused intently on trying to make the ball go straight and avoid the bank on my left. I pulled the club back, struck the ball, and it went right down the left side of the fairway onto the beach.
My instructor threw another ball on the tee and told me to just have fun. I went up to the ball, hit it without thinking, and it went onto the green two feet from the cup. He encouraged me to trust myself and all the work I had done on my swing. He said when you pull the club back you have to confidence everything you have done to this point is going to pay off. Since that time, I have incorporated this insight into each new learning experience.
Balancing left brain learning with right brain intelligence
When you are learning anything new, you have to use more of your left brain to take in the information and develop whatever new skill set you are attempting to acquire. Once you have reached a certain level of proficiency, you have to then work towards letting go and allowing your subconscious mind to take over to achieve your maximum potential. The challenge to doing this is when fear of failure, self-doubt, and concern over what others think creates activation of your sympathetic nervous system resulting in anxiety and preoccupation with performance, which then impedes you from accessing your best.
Overthinking is the death nail of achieving a flow state. You have to learn to trust all the time and training you have put into honing your skill or craft is going to pay off. A greater understanding of how the subcortical brain absorbs and expresses all this information has given me a greater level of confidence to let go. As you are able to do this more frequently, you will undoubtedly experience an increased level of creativity and performance. Again, it is counterintuitive to the rational brain to stop thinking and just do. But this is how the brain works.
Attaining peak performance states no longer has to be mysterious. It is not random. You are not at the fate of the universe. The formula is to take the time and effort to establish a certain level of proficiency, then let go and allow your subcortical brain to take over and go beyond what your conscious mind can achieve. Believe there is a part of you that is capable of more than you can imagine at this point. All you have to do is get out of the way.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.