The myth of the subconscious saboteur


My coaching clients often tell me that they are afraid that something unconscious or subconscious determines their performance. They often say that they don’t feel like they are fully in control. There seems to be an invisible wall keeping you stuck and locked from everything you want. Usually, they back up this sentiment by giving an example of something that has happened to them; where they tried and failed. And then, they go through all kind of trouble to find the source of this barrier. Eventually they figure it out…


They already have the key to their success. My response is always the same. There are no secret forces working from a place of your consciousness to which you have no access. It is not that you have to go through psychoanalysis for years in order for those hidden beliefs to bubble up so you can deal with them.



These thoughts, beliefs, and – as a major result of those – habits that are destructive and cause your performance below its potential are very visible to you. In other words, you have conscious access to them. The reason you keep those thoughts and habits active is because they come easy to you. You feel comfortable with them. You have practiced them for such a long time that it feels almost unnatural to not activate them within you. If you start to say one word habitually you don’t even notice when you use it. But you could. Everybody else notices it, too.



However, if you notice the way you feel as you activate them, you will realize that they make you tired, angry, or nervous. Your emotions tell you exactly how beneficial thoughts, and beliefs are to you and to realizing what you want. However, most people tend to ignore their emotional reality and then they wonder why they don’t get the results they prefer.



The solution doesn’t lie in pushing against or fighting the unwanted behavior. But what does work is that you start to replace unproductive habits (of actions or thoughts) with productive habits. Try to find things that as you think and do them make you feel good. Let your gut be the guide. Once you start to deliberately move in the direction of what causes you to live happier and more satisfied, all of your effort and action will pay off in multiple ways. (That’s the real secret force.)



So, don’t try to figure out who or what causes you from becoming successful because you will find for what you look. Rather look for reasons and ways why and how you can become successful. This might sound like a subtle difference but understanding and applying this principle will have a major effect.


Author: Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A.



MB Inspirations is your trusted advisor to increase business performance especially in sales and human resources. We consult, train and coach companies and individuals strategically, systematically, and sustainably in order to continuously and never-endingly improve productivity.

Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A. is the founder of MB Inspirations and he works with businesses and organizations worldwide as a leading-edge business strategist, consultant and lecturer.

Florian Dietzel, B.A. most recently joined the MBI-Team as Junior Sales Consultant to assist our clients. Please don’t hesitate and send us your questions, comments, and feedback to

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