The power of the subconscious

How we can put plans into action with the help of modern brain research

How often have you resolved to change a behavior that you experience as a hindrance? We all know the phenomenon. We resolve to do more sports, to be more independent or to assert ourselves, and then we fail again and again. Modern brain research and psychology give us good approaches on how we can really put plans into practice and also anchor them in the long term.

A case study

Ms. Meier was recently promoted to department manager. She is a positive and energetic personality who has had a lot of success in her career so far. She enjoys leading people and her warm and reserved manner is well received by those around her. Ms. Meier is also warmly received by the new management group - which consists only of men. After a few months, however, she notices that it is difficult for her to assert herself with her male colleagues. She feels that she is not taken seriously by all her colleagues and it annoys her that she usually holds back when things get down to business.

Becoming aware of inner voices and drivers

Ms. Meier decides to go for coaching. She no longer wants to make herself smaller in front of her colleagues. In the coaching process, she becomes aware that she has various inner voices or drivers that unconsciously keep taking over. She wants to be liked and at the same time it annoys her when others don't respect her. Her goal is to authentically take her space and be able to assert herself better in difficult situations.

Successful goal achievement is a question of the subconscious mind

In the coaching process, she works with the Zurich Resource Model, a self-management method based on the latest scientific methods for successful learning. The method was developed by Maja Storch and Frank Krause at the University of Zurich. Ms. Meier learns that successful goal achievement is primarily a matter of the subconscious mind. Most of the time in our lives we are controlled by our subconscious. In technical jargon, it is also significantly called "emotional experience memory". During our life this part of our brain stores like a hard disk all experiences we make and acts according to them. The subconscious is about five times faster in data processing than our conscious mind. This means that before we consciously think about a topic, our subconscious has already made a decision. In many cases this is practical and useful. Imagine if you had to consciously think about when to press the brake pedal every time you drive a car! Unfortunately, the mechanism also works for behavior that we would like to be different. For example, if we want to assert ourselves but are unconsciously afraid that we will then no longer be liked, our subconscious will cause us to back off. So it takes "reprogramming" our behavior and that only works by engaging our subconscious.

Reprogramming our behavior with the Zurich Resource Model

The Zürcher Ressourcen Modell ZRM® supports the entire process, from the clarification of needs to the formulation of a clear intention, which primarily addresses the subconscious, to the implementation and anchoring in everyday life. It works excellently in group settings, where the participants support each other in achieving their goals. However, it can also be used effectively in individual coaching and the time required is very manageable.

Typical topics are:

  • Setting oneself apart more
  • Asserting oneself more
  • A better work life balance
  • Paying more attention to your own health
  • Strengthening one's own goal focus

If you would like to learn more about working with the Zürcher Ressourcen Modell ZRM®, please contact us via our contact form or contact our consultant directly:


Foto Stefan Beusch 2
Stefan Beusch
Senior Consultant
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