After 4 months of training and relative quietness as I’ve gone about my business, it seems I’m now getting bombarded by all things French everywhere I look!
For a start I’m getting daily emails from the marathon organisers. Today’s edition is reassuringly titled “D-16” to signify the number of days left to the big day. Emails from the organiser are only to be expected, I suppose, but the spooky thing is that Paris and France seem to be everywhere I turn. On TV, on the radio, whilst out shopping…it feels like I’m surrounded by all things French!
But it’s OK – I have things sussed!
From my studies into how our minds work and what causes us to behave the way that we do, I know that there is a part of the subconscious mind at work here called the “creative subconscious”. A rather clever bit of kit, part of the creative sunconscious’ job is to maintain sanity, and one of the things it does to fulfill this role is to provide coincidences to back up what you believe to be true, or in other words your picture of “reality”. So, for me, my creative subconscious is currently busily pointing out anything and everything that is related to Paris at every opportunity it gets because it knows that my picture of reality includes me flying there in 15 days and tackling the biggest ever physical and mental challenge in my life. Paris will be such a massive factor in my life, one way or another, and as it gets closer and closer it wants to make sure I’m thinking about it as much as possible! And it’s doing a rather fine job of it, I have to say!!
Here’s how it works… Ever thought of buying a car and spent a disproportionate amount of time settling on a colour, make or model that somehow speaks to your identity in a way that no other car can? You finally settle on a particular combination, safe in the knowledge (you think) that its uniqueness almost guarantees you’ll turn heads? What happens next? The next time you venture out they’re all over the place! That’s your creative subconscious at work pointing out coincidence. “Look, there’s one!” “And there’s another one!” Because the subconscious does not do reasoning, judgement or logic, it doesn’t care about the context. All it knows is it needs to uphold what you believe is reality, and so it will do whatever it needs to do in order that your sanity is protected.
But that’s not all it does…
Your creative subconscious also makes sure you have all the energy and resources you need to do whatever you need to do to back up whatever you believe and hold to be true. That’s why, no matter how tired or empty you think you are in a race, you are always able to find something from somewhere to give you that extra energy to finish. You might say something like “I’ve no idea where it came from” – of course not! You’re creative subconscious has found it and that’s something which is out of bounds for the conscious mind to examine. It’s also the reason, by the way, how grandma’s are able to find the ‘superhuman’ strength to lift a 1-ton car and free a trapped casualty after a road accident. It works both ways, though. If you believe you simply don’t have the time to run (the #1 excuse people have for not running) then your creative subconscious will go out of its way to find coincidences to uphold that belief and during that traffic jam on the way home from work you’ll tell yourself things like “I knew I didn’t have time to run tonight!” It’s crazy stuff but it’s how it works.
The thing is…even though I know what’s going I’m powerless to stop it happening!
Just today I counted 6 references to Paris in quick succession. From book titles to news items if I didn’t know better I would have thought someone was placing them on purpose to make me paranoid! Truth is they’ve always been there – it’s only now that my creative subconscious is allowing me to see them. Well I’ve got news for you Mr Creative Subconscious. My picture of reality involves me tearing a strip off Gay Paris and getting round that fine old city in 3h45mins, so you better get busy finding all the resources I need now, Mr!!
I’ve been feeding a bottomless curiosity by studying the causes of human behaviour over the last couple of years and what I have learned can not only be applied to running but every aspect of life. It has changed my life for the better in many ways. If you’re interested in finding out more about why we do the things we do then feel free to get in touch. I might just be able to help you understand yourself and others that little bit more and who knows, maybe even help you make the changes you’ve always wanted to make in life 🙂