Close this search box.

Subconscious vs Unconscious Mind: The Powerful One? (Truth)

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

Have you ever confused the words subconscious and unconscious? You’re not alone. It’s common to hear them used as if they mean the same thing, which can be pretty confusing.

But are they really different? Absolutely, and understanding this difference is key to unlocking our minds’ full potential.

Let’s dive deep into what sets the subconscious and unconscious minds apart.

We’ll explore the insights of famous thinkers like Sigmund Freud, who introduced these concepts, and Marisa Peer, who offers a modern take on how these parts of our mind work

Plus, let’s discuss the inner battles our minds face and share some powerful tips on achieving your goals by tapping into the right part of your mind.

What is an Unconscious Mind?

Imagine your mind is like an iceberg floating in the ocean. What you see above the water is just a small part of the whole iceberg, right?

Well, your unconscious mind is like the huge part of the iceberg that’s hidden underwater. It’s the part of your mind that you don’t think about because it’s doing its job without you even noticing.

The unconscious mind is super busy all the time. It keeps your heart beating, makes sure you breathe without thinking about it, and even influences your feelings and decisions without you realizing it.

It’s like a hidden control room that helps you do a million things without having to stop and think about each one.

So, when we talk about the unconscious mind, we’re talking about a powerful part of you that takes care of the big stuff in the background so you can focus on the day-to-day things like deciding what to eat for breakfast or which movie to watch.

Freud used the analogy of an iceberg to explain the different parts of the mind.

 differences between your subconscious and unconscious mind - Unconscious Mind

Source: Pexels

The conscious mind is above the surface and consists of processes we are aware of. For example, you will be aware you are hungry and so will eat.

The preconscious mind sits just below the surface and contains thoughts we are not actively aware of but can draw into the conscious mind when required. An example would be your home address or date of birth.

The unconscious mind is not accessible to the conscious mind but influences our feelings, urges, and behavior. In Freud’s theory of the mind, the unconscious mind contains our past hurts, traumas, and pain that we have repressed. It also holds your deepest desires.

What is a Subconscious Mind?

Think of your subconscious mind as a behind-the-scenes helper in your brain.

It’s always working, even when you’re not thinking about it. Imagine you’re walking, tying your shoes, or riding a bike without really focusing on every move you make.

That’s your subconscious mind at work! It stores all the stuff you’ve learned so well that you don’t need to think about it anymore. It’s also where your feelings, memories, and dreams hang out, influencing you in ways you might not even notice.

For example, when you suddenly feel happy hearing a certain song, your subconscious mind reminds you of a good memory. It’s pretty amazing how it helps you every day without you even realizing it!

Although Freud did not include the subconscious in his theory of the mind, it is commonly used in therapy.

Psychology writer George J. Ziogas describes the subconscious as having “immense power in controlling your life experiences… your subconscious is like the auto-pilot on an airplane.

Subconscious Mind

Source: Pexels

It has been pre-programmed to follow a specific route, and you can’t deviate from that route unless you change the directions that are programmed into it first.”

The subconscious sounds very similar to the unconscious. Freud actually used subconscious and unconscious interchangeably to start with before later sticking with the unconscious.

Why Do We Use Our Subconscious and Unconscious Minds?

In the academic literature on mental functioning—psychoanalysis, psychiatry, neuroscience—you will see “unconscious mind” used more frequently.

However, many of us understand the literal meaning of “unconscious” when someone has passed out, so in non-academic texts and the therapy room, “subconscious” is used.

Using your subconscious and unconscious mind isn’t something you do consciously, like choosing which shoes to wear. Instead, they’re always working in the background, helping you out in different ways.

Your subconscious mind jumps in with the habits and reactions you’ve learned over time. For example, when you smile at a friend without thinking about it or ride a bike without going through each step in your mind. It’s your go-to for things you do automatically because you’ve practiced them a lot.

The unconscious mind, on the other hand, is like the deep storage room of your brain. It holds onto the memories and feelings you’re not actively thinking about. It’s at work when something from your past affects how you feel or act without you realizing why. For example, if you’re scared of dogs and don’t know why, it might be because of an unconscious memory from when you were very little.

In everyday life, you don’t really choose to use one over the other. They both play their parts automatically.

Understanding how they influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can help you understand why you do the things you do.

And if you’re looking to change certain habits or understand your feelings better, knowing a bit about both can guide you on where to dig deeper.

The Subconscious Mind and Dreams

Your subconscious is always recording and storing your experiences, thoughts, and feelings—even while you sleep. Because of this, your subconscious has a huge influence on your dreams.

When you are asleep, the conscious mind sleeps, but the subconscious mind is always awake.

The subconscious thinks differently from the conscious, too, using visual elements, symbols, and metaphors. That is why dreams tend to be abstract and difficult to make sense of.

However, they do often relate to our real-life experiences.

The Battle Between the Subconscious and Conscious Minds

battle between the subconscious and conscious minds

Feature Subconscious Mind Unconscious Mind
Role Helps with habits, automatic skills, and emotions. Stores repressed memories and deep-seated feelings.
Activity Active in both conscious moments and in dreams. Operates outside of our conscious awareness.
Influence Influences choices and feelings based on learned behaviors. Influences behavior based on past experiences, often without us knowing.
Access It can be accessed and influenced by mindfulness, repetition, and positive affirmations. Harder to access directly and often requires therapy or deep introspection to uncover.
Examples Riding a bike, reacting emotionally to music, habits. Deep fears, unresolved trauma, instinctive reactions.
Dreams Dreams may reflect desires, aspirations, or processing daily events. Dreams can sometimes bring to the surface repressed memories or feelings.

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, there is often a conflict between one’s conscious and subconscious beliefs.

It can be explained as a battle between logic and emotion. Phobias, for example, are rooted deep in your subconscious and influence your behavior. While your conscious mind can understand that your fear is irrational, that is not enough to change your behaviour.

The emotion stored in your subconscious is much stronger than a conscious reason.

Globally acclaimed therapist Marisa Peer explains that the first job your mind has is to survive, to keep you alive as long as possible. It does this by steering you towards pleasure and away from pain.

“Your mind is highly influenced by the words and pictures you put in it. It loves what is familiar and prefers to avoid anything unfamiliar.” Marisa says.

This is why we struggle to change bad habits such as unhealthy eating. Even though you know fresh vegetables are better for you, if your mind is used to sugar and high-fat food, it will steer you towards the unhealthy option as it is familiar.

Find more advice on how to overcome unhealthy eating habits here.

Until you tap into the subconscious and address the memories, trauma, and pain you have repressed, your pattern of behavior will not change.

Hypnosis and the Subconscious Mind

Hypnotherapy is the best way to tap into the subconscious mind and change your negative thought patterns and behaviors.

Hypnosis guides you into a state of deep relaxation where your subconscious mind can be accessed, and your thoughts and beliefs can be reprogrammed for positive change.

Marisa Peer

Marisa Peer has helped thousands of people achieve phenomenal breakthroughs using her unique method of Rapid Transformational Therapy ® (RTT®). RTT has been described as “beyond hypnosis.”)

It layers the most effective techniques from hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, NLP, and CBT to bring about powerful, permanent, and profound change—often in as little as 1-3 sessions.

Rapid Transformational Therapy

RTT is fast becoming recognized as one of the most effective therapies available, and Marisa is now training people all over the world in her RTT method so more people can experience remarkable results.

RTT is incredibly successful in helping people to overcome fears, phobias, addiction, anxiety, depression, eating issues, insomnia, and much more. To find out how RTT can help you master your subconscious mind, get connected to an RTT specialist near you.

If you are interested in training to be an RTT therapist, find out more about how to study RTT online.

Quick Links:

Conclusion: Subconscious vs Unconscious Mind

So, when we talk about the subconscious and unconscious minds, it’s not really about which one is more powerful. Think of them as two players on the same team, each with their own special skills.

The subconscious is like your day-to-day helper, managing habits and feelings and making life smoother. The unconscious is deeper, holding secrets and big feelings you might not know about.

Together, they shape who you are and how you act. It’s like having a super team inside your head, with each part doing its bit to help you live your best life.

Understanding them both can make you stronger and more in tune with yourself.

Sonia Allan

Sonia Allen is a freelance content writer and a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Digiexe, a digital marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. She has more than seven years of experience in internet marketing & affiliate marketing. She likes sharing her knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from eCommerce, startups, social media marketing, making money online, affiliate marketing human capital management, and much more. She has been writing for several authoritative SEO, Make Money Online & digital marketing blogs on these authority websites like AffiliateBay, and and SchemaNinja

Leave a Comment