A long time ago, before I was finally able to move forward after divorce, I dared to think about what my new life would look. I could see it on the screen of my mind. In my imagination and through my senses, I could see myself already living it. I was hoping to start my own business, write a book, and attract a healthy romantic relationship.
I had everything in place and I was ready to go for it. I know the time is “NOW”. As I take the leap and go for one goal; suddenly, I couldn’t move forward. It is as though an invisible hand is holding me back. I feel stuck. I feel an inner struggle. As I strive to go after what I want, an overwhelming feeling of dread and extreme discomfort sets in. All I want to do is get rid of that feeling.
The feeling is so unpleasant and unnerving that it paralyzes me-stops me in my tracks. As a result, I go back to where I started–the place that is familiar and safe—going nowhere and doing nothing about it.
I make excuses in my mind to convince myself that it is all right to stay where I am now…
WHAT IS A PARADIGM?
What is that uncomfortable feeling? It is called a paradigm. A paradigm is a habit, pattern, or belief system that is deeply embedded in the subconscious mind. Think of the mind as two parts–the subconscious and the conscious mind.
Up until the age of seven, some researchers say even earlier, the conscious mind is not fully developed yet. At that early age, we have had limited experiences and perceptions. As a result, we are not sophisticated enough to take the data we have and make informed, conscious decisions. So during those early years, our mind is like a sponge that takes everything in which goes right into the subconscious mind.
Consequently, our environment, experiences, and genetics give us our belief system; and therefore, our habits and behaviors give us the results we are getting in our lives.
WHERE ARE THE PARADIGMS?
Paradigms can cause limiting beliefs and mental blocks preventing us from achieving our goals. Because they are in the subconscious mind, oftentimes we don’t even know they exist until we ask the hard questions to discover them.
Here is an example. Karin is over 50 and divorced. She has worked her way up to a top position in the company she presently works for. Secretly, she wants to start her own company. Karin is smart, fair, and is well-liked.
Deep down, she feels that she could really be a huge success on her own. She can see it in her mind. She can see herself building her own company. Somehow, though, she just can’t get herself to go for it.
Karin needs to discover the paradigm that is holding her back and replace it with a new one so she can move forward. Here’s an exercise to discover the paradigm that is holding her back from achieving her goal.
WHAT IS HER PARADIGM?
Karin writes down all the positive reasons she could think of as to why she should start her own company. Next, she writes all negative feelings/thoughts that come to mind when she thinks of going for this life-changing goal. The negative associations, particularly the strongest one, will reveal what her paradigm is-what is holding her back.
In her case, it was the FEAR OF FAILURE. It is not necessary to go digging in the past and analyze why there is a fear of failure. All she needs to know is that there is that fear.
Once she knows the paradigm, she can begin to do the work to change it so that she can move forward. How does she change the paradigm? The same way it got there in the first place-THROUGH REPETITION. If you think about it, how would have the fear of failure be a problem if it weren’t experienced over and over again? It became part of her belief system.
There are several ways to change paradigms but the most commonly used one is to change the negative thought pattern replacing it with a new, positive one. Through repetition, the neural pathways to the subconscious mind will eventually push out the old paradigm and replace with the new.
HOW DOES SHE DO IT?
She changes her mindset so that she sees from a new perspective. She replaces the old negative thoughts that create the anxiety inside and replaces them with thoughts of confidence and success. She repeats positive statements to herself over and over that describe how she wants to be and feel.
Bob Proctor has come up with a great way to start a positive thought. “I am so happy and grateful now that…”
Every time the self-talk of fear, worry, and unease come in, she changes the thoughts right away. She can change her thoughts in an instant. The trick is to be aware of when they come in–along with what situations, people, ideas, etc. that will trigger them.
The old fear of failure was firmly established. As she repeats the positive self-talk over and over; eventually, through repetition, the new thoughts are passed on to the subconscious mind and becomes a part of her belief system. She begins to believe in them…
As She Begins To Believe In Them, She Begins To Clearly See Ways To Overcome Here Challenges That She Might Have Otherwise Missed.
WHAT TRIGGERS THE PARADIGM?
Karin was able to discover when the old paradigm would surface by becoming aware of how she felt inside. If she started to feel anxious or fearful, it was the internal signal (trigger) that she needed to push the old paradigm aside. Then, she would repeat the new one over and over again. Eventually, Karin accepted the new one as her truth. It became part of her belief system. Belief is more than half the battle.
We can achieve any goal we desire. Once we discover what holds us back, the anxiety, fear, and uncomfortable feeling will be replaced with confidence and a driving force that comes from the power within.
As a result, we will have access to a belief system that will enable us to go over, under, or through any obstacle that gets in the way basically because we believe we can.
It is really that simple. All it takes is desire and discipline.