Funny, right? Can you imagine what shift that chick had to make? If you are feeling confined, trapped, stuck, or you keep getting the same result no matter how many different things you try, you are probably brushing up against a paradigm. And if you aren’t satisfied with the results you’ve been getting, it usually means that a paradigm is old and outdated. It means that a paradigm, which is a complex belief system in your mind, is actually no longer working for you and more important, it is probably holding you back!
It is exhausting to keep working from an old paradigm. Paradigms keep you from taking action. You can make decisions, but you can’t act upon them. You are literally stuck between your old paradigm and what’s possible for you! It is a total energy drain! Fear is a good indicator that you are on the edge of a paradigm. Lets look at what a paradigm is and how you can move beyond it!
Paradigms are made up of many different components. Some paradigms were created because of what we were taught as children. Some were created because of experiences we’ve had. Paradigms contain your worldview. They consist of your thoughts, your personality, your spirit, who you view yourself to be in the world, your core beliefs, experiences you’ve had, decisions you’ve made and many opinions that swirl around in your head. Paradigms serve us very well for a while, but as we grow older and wiser, they can stop serving us and actually hinder our growth!
Paradigms are rigid and firm. They don’t stretch at all. Paradigms are the hard, outer shell of our comfort zones. To break out of a comfort zone, we must challenge a paradigm!
Here are five steps to help you get out of a broken paradigm:
- Recognize it. Look for your paradigms. The best place to find one is to notice something you are doing over and over but getting the same result. The best sign of a dysfunctional paradigm is being STUCK in a situation you don’t like. Have you outgrown a relationship but don’t feel you can change it? Are you unhappy in your job but believe you can’t do anything about it? Do you have a lot of debt and can’t bear to face it or create a plan of action around it? What recurring patterns do you see throughout your life? Or in your relationships? Or in your career? Think of a situation whereby you can’t make the decision you need to make in order to transition to something better. Think of a situation where you are making changes, but getting the same result. Do you feel your energy drain the instant you think about this situation? Do all of your relationships make you happy, boost your confidence, and empower you? If not, why do you still have them in your life? How does this relationship or situation make you feel on a daily basis? Do you feel heard? Do you feel respected? Do you feel appreciated? If not, why are you still there? Be honest! This is an indicator that a paradigm is being challenged. The paradigm is where you are completely stuck! Granted, we all have situations and people in our lives that have to be there… many of them are called ‘relatives!’ In those cases, you don’t just stop being related to them, but you can draw upon boundaries to limit the drain on your energy! What paradigm says it’s not okay to have boundaries? Begin to recognize where your paradigms begin and end. Find one paradigm that you want to explore and move to Step 2.
- Now that you have discovered a paradigm that is no longer serving you, let’s explore it! Write down at least three thoughts or feelings you have about this situation. Explore what you are worried about. Write down what you afraid of. What would happen if you shifted to a new perspective? What would happen if you just let it go? Complete these sentences: “If I make the decision to let this go, I believe that…” “If I make the decision to let this go, I am afraid that…” “What I already know about others who have experienced something similar is….” The worst thing that could possibly happen if I make this change is…” Write down every thought, feeling, and opinion that you have about making a difficult decision or taking action to stop the recurring frustration you are experiencing. Write down why you are STUCK!
- Now, just imagine what life would be like through a new vantage point! What is the BEST possible outcome? What would it feel like not to be stuck? What freedom would you create if you took action despite being faced with all that fear? Explore possibilities that open up when you imagine your life beyond the paradigm!
- Take some time to journal about who you truly are, identify your natural gifts and talents, and write down what hopes and dreams you have. Then think about how this paradigm is preventing you from aligning with the life you want to live. Imagine living without this paradigm! This step is critical! It will allow you to align with yourself in mind, body and spirit! You will literally feel it in your body! You feel less constricted and you will breathe deeper! You will love your life and love being YOU in the world! You are not confined, but free.
- Last, take action. You will feel your fear! But do push through it if you honestly know that you want what is on the other side of the paradigm. Too often, we make the mistake of trusting our fear rather than our true, authentic gifts! Decide. Let go of the fear. Take action.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been expanding my coaching expertise to include the topic of money. I work with clients who either want to make more as entrepreneurs or they make plenty of money, but don’t know where it goes! Learning to manage money is one of the most empowering, volatile, life-changing, hot topics that I have ever stumbled upon! In order to become certified to coach this topic I had to face many of my own paradigms! I am going to be vulnerable here and expose some of my former paradigms about money! They may make you laugh and some may change your opinion of me, but I’m going to share them because I want you to see how powerful, and hidden, a paradigm can be!
Here are a few paradigms I uncovered while going through my certification:
- I shouldn’t have to worry about money because that’s what husbands are for!
- Even if I am capable of having a successful business and career, there is something wrong with me for even wanting it.
- I’m supposed to be focused solely on my family and home.
- If I make more money than my husband, he will be offended and I would be disrespecting him.
- I’m not good with numbers or making financial decisions.
- If someone loves me, they will take care of me. It is not okay for me to take care of myself because that privilege belongs to my husband.
- What others think about me is more important than my happiness.
Wow. Talk about being disempowered! And to think that I lived my entire life from those old broken paradigms! If you had asked me about those paradigms, I would have denied I even had them. That’s what makes a paradigm so tricky! I didn’t actually believe or agree with most of those statements, but in reality, it was not just my thoughts, but the entire paradigm that was holding me back! I was actually living by those paradigms! I was not involved in our finances, at all! I made money working from home, but never managed it. I gave up the notion that I could be successful in a career and found ways to excel in mini-careers so I wouldn’t draw attention to my entrepreneurial desires. I would reach success and then quit, or start over doing something else. I put a lot of pressure on my husband, and I was at the mercy of his decisions when it came to finances. Since breaking through this paradigm, my husband and I meet regularly to review our finances together. I am actually really good with numbers and have an instinct for making good financial decisions! I am projected to surpass his income in 2014 (and he is not offended)! I have allowed myself to coach to the level I love to coach! I am trying new things and finding entrepreneurial paths that are exciting and liberating! I still love my family and home, and live within my priorities! For the first time in my life, I am completely empowered around finances and being who I want to be in the world.
Learning to break a paradigm assures that you will continue to grow and challenge the status quo. Breaking paradigms expands your vision, your worldview, and your possibilities! The more you practice, the quicker you will grow and the happier you will be! You won’t get stuck or be paralyzed and unable to make decisions. You will not be sitting in a position of victim… you will embrace your possibilities! You will be able to take action in situations that you know you need to change. And best of all, you will feel empowered in new and amazing ways! What paradigm are you willing to look at today? Practice letting go! Ready? SHIFT! There’s a whole new world waiting for you… beyond the paradigm!
Here’s to your SHIFT!