What Happens When You’re Not a Gate Keeper to Your Subconscious

“The subconscious mind does not engage in the process of proving. It relies upon the conscious mind, ‘the watchman at the gate,’ to guard it from mistaken impressions” — Charles F. Haanel

I used to be a #ChiveOn kind of gal. Caturday was my favorite day of the week (duh).

If you’re unfamiliar with the Chive, its an app which has thousands of curated photo albums, mostly targeted at college-aged bros. New albums are uploaded every hour, and it is an endless collection of photos from all over the web, focusing on alcohol, humor, and scantily clad women.

My days were full of photos of beautiful women with the kind of bodies that make other women cringe and regret every carb she ate since. . .birth.

I started believing that there was only one form of physical beauty, and that was the kind with a thigh-gap.

I was convincing myself that men only valued women who were willing to flaunt their side-boobs, drink copious amounts of beer or whiskey, and can be both cute and sexy (but nothing else apparently).

This was also where I was introduced to this maddeningly limited view of what a woman could be:

If you think there’s only two options for a woman, you’re seriously missing out.

Fast forward.

I am married. It has been a year. It is hard. It is both the best decision I ever made and the hardest.

We fight, it feels like a brick wall. I am frustrated frequently. He is frustrated with my frustration.

He doesn’t know how to fix it and I don’t know how to put down my passive-aggressive guard and tell him what I really need.

I see images daily of what happy relationships should look like, and they’re perfectly lighted and run through the Clarendon filter. Relationships that are picturesque, easy, simple, with plenty of laughter.

No one talks about the real stuff. Like how you can love someone while also wanting to slam the door over and over because they make you crazy. Like how conversations aren’t always easy, and sometimes you want to pursue your own life, outside of your marriage.

These images of perfect relationships make me look at mine and wonder if its broken. How did we break something we haven’t even built yet?

In a culture that believes half of marriages end in divorce (which turns out to be false, the divorce rate has been falling since 1980 from 40%), it’s easy to be swayed into believing that working for something like a marriage is overrated.

Who would do such a thing when it’s acceptable to ghost people after the first Tinder date?

On the bad nights I fantasize about leaving, my gas tank marked full and the sunrise on the horizon, coffee in my cup (not unlike this classic).

On the good nights I snuggle in deeper, tell him how much he means to me (which is so much) and I am grateful I made it another day, still happily married.

There are more good nights than bad night, and that counts for something.

Fast forward.

I am watching the nightly news. I know I shouldn’t be, but it’s like coming up to a car wreck on the highway, I can’t stop looking. This is not typical, we are visiting family, I haven’t had cable in a decade. The novelty of the news draws me in.

I am bomb-barded by political reports, by violence, an incessant stream of negativity, fear and anger. And they haven’t even made it to the weather yet.

My adrenaline is jacked up, I am livid with our country, with my fellow Americans. I find myself thinking things I will regret. I get up from the table, barely able to stomach my dinner.

Every day we are confronted with thousands of advertisements and people telling us how we should be. What is right, what is wrong.

Why you’re right.

Why you’re wrong.

Our conscious mind spends all day filtering through these messages, it acts as the “watchman at the gate.” It is our conscious mind that gets to decide what is true and what is false.

When the conscious mind believes something to be true, whether it is good or bad, it passes along this information to the subconscious mind, which goes to work acting this truth upon your mind and your reality.

The problem here is that most of the time we are not consciously filtering what gets in. We are not being very good watchman.

As Haanel states:

“When the ‘watchman’ is ‘off guard,’. . .The subconscious mind is then open to the suggestion of fear, hatred, selfishness, greed, self-depreciation, and other negative forces derived from the surrounding persons or circumstance.”

This was the case in all the scenarios above. I failed to be a watchman of my subconscious, I allowed the things that I don’t believe and stand behind filter into my subconscious and become a part of who I am.

Law of Attraction

If the Law of Attraction is true, and what we believe most deeply — as in subconscious deep — will be actualized, then it is incredibly risky to live your life with an unguarded subconscious.

The Law states that since the subconscious mind never sleeps (because it regulates things like heartbeat and digestion), our subconscious mind is always at work creating what it is we believe. If we state and imprint into the subconscious mind “certain specific things to be accomplished, forces are set in operation that lead to the result desired[1],”

We are leaving the subconscious mind unguarded and vulnerable to any kind of hogwash that should present itself in our day to day. According to the American Marketing Association, the average American is exposed to 10,000 brand messages per day — that’s a shitton of hogwash.

If fear is the most powerful marketing tactic, than those 10,000 brand messages you see daily will likely have something negative for your subconscious mind to absorb and bring into your reality.


When our subconscious is working with false and negative beliefs, it has the power to make you believe the negative things are in fact a reality.

That you’re not worthy of love if you’re not a specific body size, or if you don’t fall neatly into two categories of what a woman can be, men won’t want you.

That divorce is really the only option, happy marriages are the stuff of Instagram fantasies and are more fluke than fact.

That the American people are more divided than ever, that your neighbors — the ones who might have voted differently than you in the last presidential election — are either ignorant rednecks or soft silver-spoon liberals.

It is more important now than ever to guard what kind of messaging and beliefs you surround yourself with and allow your subconscious to believe.

Fiercely question the messaging the status quo is being fed. Turn off the news, unfollow anything that makes you feel lesser.

Because one day you might wake up living in a scary world in which you are unworthy of love because of the shape of your body, one in which your marriage is broken because it doesn’t look perfect every day. A world that is full of ignorant racists and terrorists lurking around every corner.

What a scary world indeed.

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[1] Charles F. Haanel, The Master Key System

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