The Power of the Subconscious Mind

Additional Information for Chapter 7, page 98

Illustrations of the principle of power of the subconscious

Intrinsic in this discussion is the power of visualization. One of the extraordinary (but not uncommon) stories of the power of visualization comes from the 1960s and 1970s. Major James Nesmeth was a combat pilot who flew missions over North Vietnam during the Vietnam war. In his free time, James loved to play golf. He was not particularly good typically shooting in the mid 90s, but he loved to play. During his wartime duty he was shot down over North Vietnam and was a prisoner of war for seven years. During the seven years he experienced deprivation, torture and long stretches of solitary confinement. To keep sane he would envision playing an 18-hole golf course. With unlimited time he would visualize every nuance (extract the tee, place it in the ground with a slight left twist, select the golf ball, place it on the tee with the insignia . .) -you get the idea. When Nesmeth was freed he went through rehabilitation, but when recovered, the first time he played golf he shot 74!

Thousands of studies have illustrated similar results of the power of visualization. The text book I use when teaching Sports Psychology has an entire chapter devoted to visualization and its use in athletics but the use of visualization extends far beyond athletics. Essentially all motivational speakers who address the topic of extraordinary accomplishment incorporate visualization as a major component of their argument.

Visualization in the arena of human relationships or more specifically, romantic relationships has equal power but is applied somewhat differently. You see, in athletics and other areas of accomplishment a “perfect” exists. There exists perfect form for a high jump, a pole vault, a free throw, the swing of a bat and experts instruct you to visualize the perfect.

In relationships there really is no “perfect”. You create your profile of the “ideal other”  but know full well that you are not going to find someone who matches on all points. The way that it works in the arena of finding a marriage partner is that you identify and memorize all the required qualities (the #1s) and probably the #2s as well. Have them posted on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. By having a clear image of the required qualities and the highly desirable qualities, your subconscious goes to work attempting to find a match.

Conscious vs. Unconscious Influence

In actual application both conscious and subconscious processes are used:

Conscious: By being keenly aware of the qualities you desire you can quickly determine whether a particular date warrants a second date. Because of your clear image, one session with a particular man will allow you to see whether he possesses the qualities that would make for a successful long-term relationship. Contrast this with someone who has no image. He’s cute, she gets goose bumps when he touches her, and that’s it. She doesn’t notice that he’s the ax murdered recently escaped from prison. If you have the set of qualities in mind you can still notice the he’s cute and still enjoy the goose bumps. But the emotion is grounded in a reality. If he does not possess the qualities that make for a good relationship, you enjoy the date, but don’t do it again.

Subconscious: When the basic components of the picture are clear (the #1s and #2s) the subconscious will begin the process of finding you a match with the image. Just as Major Nesmeth became a far better golfer due to visualization (and he wasn’t even trying to become a better golfer) your subconscious will work to attract you to the places and people who will fulfill this need.

Link for Maxwell Maltz book, Psychocybernetics

Maxwell Maltz book, Psychocybernetics, describes the process in greater detail. Here is the link if you wish to acquire it.

Chapter 7 Resources

Reference and Research

  1. Power of the Subconscious Mind

Tools and Worksheets

  1. My Ideal Other from pages 95 & 100 (PDF, 157 KB)
Explore our speaking, training and coaching solutions, or browse our store for relationship, love and marriage compatibility resources.

Additional Resources

About the Authors

Backed by in-depth research, relationship compatibility experts Eliabeth George and Darren George have cracked the code to building forever love, relationship and marriage compatibility.

Pastors' Resources

We understand the pressures your marriage must endure and we’re your go-to resource for your own marriage counseling, congregation retreats, conferences, small group sessions and singles ministries.

Elizabeth's Blog

Browse Elizabeth's blog for the latest research, articles, tips, advice and stories of relationship, love and marriage compatibility.

Ask the Expert

Get free online relationship, love and marriage advice from relationship compatibility expert Elizabeth E. George and Compatibility Solutions Inc.