4 Subconscious Habits To Let Go Of in 2021

What is holding you back? 4 Subconscious Habits To Let Go Of in 2021

If you keep self-sabotaging when it comes to reaching a goal, making a personal change or breaking a habit, then the best place to start is in acknowledging that your conscious and subconscious minds are not aligned with each other. You might find that you keep falling in to the trap of setting your mind upon doing something, but then find you are taking opposite action and feel completely out-of-control about it. Some common examples that indicate that this is happening for you include that you might have decided to get in better shape, but keep finding yourself bingeing on your problem foods and avoiding exercise, or you might want to be in a loving relationship but you keep dating the type of people that will never be emotionally available or committed to you.  What is happening is this: whatever you believe you consciously want, your subconscious has another idea about it and it is causing you to automatically act against your conscious desires.

Below, I unveil four common traps of the subconscious mind that are preventing you from attaining your goal and include an action task for each habit to help you shed light on your own subconscious programming and break the habit. You will need a workbook or journal to write in and a pen.


  1. Negative attachments to things you believe you want

The subconscious mind always takes you towards that which it believes you want and away from that which it believes you don’t want. If you consciously want something but find you keep acting against this desire, it’s time to consider your subconscious attachments and where they came from. A common example is weight loss or financial issues: everyone wants a great healthy body and financial freedom but it’s not unusual to find yourself acting or behaving in ways that go directly against this, even when you set the goal.  Past experiences that created ‘negative’ associations with that which you desire point towards what your negative attachments are. For example, the idea of being slim today might be painful to you if you suffered anorexia or extreme dieting as a teenager, accumulating wealth might be associated with fears you have been holding surrounding sacrificing important relationships, time with your family, suffering stress or loss of health as a result (perhaps you witnessed a parent do this or heard people make this claim about becoming rich).

Action – Workbook Task:

When you think about accomplishing or obtaining something you consciously desire but have struggled with, what negative thoughts, words, visions or self perceptions arise? Allow your self to be fluid and write down everything that comes to you without judgement or hesitation.


2. The habit of freezing when faced with a task or decision you are subconsciously averse to (but may not have even realised)

When faced with adverse situations or traumatic events as children, the innate, automatic freeze response (rather than the fight or flight response) gets triggered as a means to navigate and survive the real or perceived threat. This is a completely biological and unconscious response which makes the child shut down and dissociate. Activated frequently enough in childhood, freeze can become a habitual way of responding to events and navigating life in adulthood. If you underwent major or frequent trauma or suffered negative parenting as a child, check that your ‘freeze’ response isn’t stopping you from accomplishing your goals. Perhaps when you have to achieve a goal, you find that you procrastinate, dissociate or shut down. The good news is that if you can recognise that this is what is happening to you, you can break the pattern. In fact people who experience a mild amount of childhood adversity versus an extreme amount or none, are more likely to respond to circumstances and overcome them with a winning attitude. The key? Understand your subconscious programming and then reframe the way you perceive your physiological responses.

Action – Workbook Task:

In what situations, or faced with what goals or choices, do you ‘freeze’ today? How does it physically and emotionally feel when you think about doing it? 

What painful events did you experience in childhood where you might have ‘shut down’ in this way or experienced similar feelings? How might this present habit connect with your past? Define your physiological responses to situations where you might freeze or back away from.

You might have to think creatively to draw the correlation between past and present. Think on paper, write it down. Once you better understand the beast you are dealing with, challenge yourself to start taking small actions where you must face those specific environments. Encourage your self with affirmations.


3. Staying within your comfort zone and activating the failure mechanism without realising it

If you struggle to achieve your New Years goals or have even given up on setting them then consider this: your failure mechanism has become part of your subconscious habit of being. The failure mechanism is your default and undisciplined easy path. If you do what you have always done, you cannot accomplish that which you have not yet achieved. Success by nature requires drive, persistence and the discipline to pay the price to get it. If what you spend a lot of your time doing that which feels comfortable and familiar to you, then you can be sure that you aren’t ‘putting yourself out there’ in a way that is expanding your horizons. Your success lies in a zone that is innately uncomfortable and unfamiliar to you. If it is easier and more likely that you engage with comfortable activities such as turning on your favourite Netflix or TV show, heading to the shops, flicking through social media, staying within the same job role or meeting friends for a drink then be aware, what could you be doing with your life instead? Activating the success mechanism is like a muscle, the more you do it, the more it becomes habitual until ultimately it is a habit.

Action – Workbook Task:

What are your ‘comfort’ and go-to activities? Define these, write it down.

What do you truly want to achieve in 2021? Beyond your ‘comfort zone’ activities, what are the fears, the obstacles, the uncomfortable bits of this goal that might be stopping you from obtaining it? Plan how you will overcome each of these negatives and resolve to replace many of your comfort zone activities


4. Attracting toxic situations because that’s what you got used to growing up

This is relevant when it comes to relationships and the key people in your life, particularly if this is an area where you struggle. I see this a lot in my practice and it comes down to the simple subconscious principle that we tend to be creatures of habit. If you were hurt or let down in your childhood by significant people in your life, without realising it the same might be carrying out in your adult life due to this principle. Gravitating towards relationships that are familiar to you, even if that means choosing toxicity in your life, is the easier, well-ridden path to take. For many clients it can be mind blowing to realise that they have been subconsciously seeking out whatever negative dynamics were at play within their own family and influential relationships whilst growing up. It is so important to do the inner work and challenge your own childhood ‘status quo’ if you have found that the types of people you are initially attracted to, want to be with in a relationship, friendship or even a working environment turn out to be problematic, difficult or outright toxic. If you have ever been in an abusive relationship or are currently undergoing a relationship filled with drama and confusion, or find your self with toxic friendships, take a look at your past. Recognising these patterns and moving forward from relationships that do not honour your needs and respect your boundaries is one of the most wonderful steps you can take to vastly improve your life.

Action – Workbook Task:

Who in your upbringing let you down? In what way?

Note: Don’t try to rationalise that person’s actions or behaviour from an adult perspective ie. “mum was stressed managing 3 children by herself.” Think from the perspective of being the child you once were, honour that child’s feelings.

As a child, how did those hurtful actions make you feel? What messages did you conclude about your self, your worthiness, your ‘enough-ness’ based on those experiences?

In what way does this relate to your present issues in relationships? How are you choosing to honour the people who hurt you in your childhood and now over your rights to be in a secure, safe, loving and connected environment?

Now that you understand this pattern, what deliberate actions will you take to step outside of your relationship comfort zone? Write it down.

Issues with these subconscious principles come up repeatedly with my clients in my practice. I hope that these techniques help you to shed light on your inner workings and break hidden patterns that have been holding you back in the past. If you are struggling to uncover or fully understand how your past is stopping you, you can always book in for an intensive RTT hypnotherapy to cause a profound shift.