It can be argued that we are a product of our environment. Our primary belief system becomes our core beliefs, these beliefs are so deeply ingrained they govern how we act or react from learned experiences. Many of the beliefs we carry come from our culture, our families, and reinforce and dominate our thinking until we believe them to be true.
However, that does not mean we should not examine our belief system. In fact, often when we go through an identity crisis it is because we begin to question our belief system and who we are. That is not to scare you from the task, it is stated to challenge you because only you can decide if your foundation or the framing of the house you have built is sturdy enough. Or if there are cracks and weak points that need to be shored up so you can withstand the storms to come.
Do you find yourself building a future only to tear it down and start from scratch? Do you discard your joy and destroy relationships? Do you always feel that you will never get ahead that you were not meant to be wealthy? Have you ever thought this is just my lot in life? Have you come to believe what’s the point? Do you find yourself questioning your existence and have no clear direction in life? All these may be a result of your core beliefs.
Often when we find ourselves struggling and cannot figure out why we can never catch a break, or the world is against us. It is not the world but our own beliefs shackling us to the status quo. Have you ever heard that when a lifeguard goes into the water to perform a rescue, they are taught to be aware of the victim’s panic? They are warned against it because they cannot save another if they themselves are at risk of drowning. In the same concept, if your own belief system is drowning you, your belief system could be what is pulling you under.
One of the ways our traditional educational system or self-help culture fails us is, it does not prepare us in the critical thinking skills needed to question status quo, to reevaluate our belief system. Our culture feeds us rhetoric that you must do this, or do that, to become successful. Or that you are not meant to live a spectacular life. That you are just an ordinary person and the majority of people are content with this status quo, but most are actually conditioned to lie to themselves.
We hear it all the time, adjust your attitude, cultivate a good work ethic, and be positive. All useful habits because when we apply these concepts, we can turn things around. Still, these things can be hard to do if our core belief system is flawed.
Nevertheless, a positive attitude will only moderately improve your life, because if it is not accompanied by a shift in your core beliefs a positive outlook cannot be maintained. If you want to produce a profound change in your life, if you have had enough of status quo, you must challenge your core beliefs, you must make a paradigm shift.
What is a paradigm shift? A paradigm is a philosophical, theoretical structure for life, and becomes the foundation we build our lives upon. At one time people believed the earth was flat and that belief became the framework as to how we explored our environment. But a few brave souls challenged that belief and proved it wrong. This opened an entire new world to explore, new possibilities, advancements, and scientific discovery.
Therefore, a paradigm shift is a fundamental change in how we approach and see the world, it is defying a method, system, model, or pattern. A personal paradigm shift alters and challenges our core beliefs and thus opens new exploration for personal growth, personal presentations, and thereby new opportunities. This does not happen overnight, it will take effort, and hard work, after all, we are challenging conventional paradigms in culture and deep within our psyche.
The choice is yours, you can accept status quo, keep repeating the same cycle, or you can defy conventional thinking, you can define your own truth, a truth that will bring you joy, success, and contentment.
So how do we identify the paradigms we have constructed? By examining the concepts, we accept and the actions we repeat. It is questioning the way we think about money, happiness, relationships, and everything or anything that impedes our ability to achieve our ideals of money, success, happiness, and relationships. We must redefine success, happiness, how we use money, and how we love ourselves so that we can properly love others.
Here is an example of a paradigm and a paradigm shift. You set your alarm for the next day so you can get a good jump on the day, but when the alarm goes off you hit snooze and try to get another ten minutes. Maybe you hit it again and postpone your day by another ten minutes. Then when you do get up you are in a rush. The rest of your day can feel like you are behind the gun. Procrastination has become the norm for you, and it leaves you feeling like you can never accomplish everything you need to do. Procrastination no matter how small is a paradigm that goes to a core belief that must be examined and challenged, because the filter down effect creates negative outcomes. From, impatience and irritation, to failed projects and missed deadlines.
A better approach would be to stick to your set schedule, push through the desire to put something off. Set big goals, the kind that seem out of reach, but build execution via little achievable goals, like a staircase, each step taking you closer to the bigger goal. When your desire becomes greater than your status quo, you will choose to maintain forward momentum toward your goals. If procrastination persists then dive deeper into why examine your desire.
You may find you agreed to a project to avoid confrontation, or because you put pleasing others above your own needs and desires. I am not saying you should be selfish, but like a lifeguard, you cannot place yourself at risk to rescue another, because eventually, you will both drown. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to learn how to say no. The only way to change this paradigm, to break this pattern, is with consistency both in choice and in self-examination. You must examine the subconscious to make better conscious decisions and alter actions. If time and time again you choose to enable bad habits the subconscious will adopt that paradigm and influence everything you do. Done long enough it creates an attitude of defeat, a core belief.
To yield new results think of it like this. Say you need to alter the structure of your business because clients or customer base has changed. To survive you must build a new customer base or take a new approach to reach a new audience. The action you take, the decisions you make will determine your survival. In the same way, you can manage paradigm shifts in other areas of your life. You can go from externalizing your problems to finding solutions within yourself. Refuse to live in the past and make a conscious decision to live in the present. From living as though you are a boat adrift on the sea to living with intention. You can go from seeing yourself as inadequate or living without, to practicing gratitude for what you have. Instead of being emotionally unavailable, embrace emotional harmony, that is become receptive of your emotions and those of others, empathy for others will help you become more sensitive to your needs and offer perspective to those of others.
With that said here are some ways you can initiate paradigm shifts.
1. Define the paradigm (core belief) you desire to change.
2. Write your goals down or create a vision board.
3. Cultivate positive thoughts to negate negative thoughts.
Keep a journal and for every negative thought you have of yourself or situation, define the positive, flip the script.
Read something uplifting or inspirational
4. Redefine your support system. If your circle of friends are a negative source it may be time for a new circle of friends. After all, if our friends do not challenge us to exceed our own expectations we never will. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and our friends cannot be that link.
5. Force yourself out of your comfort zone.
Bravery is not the opposite of being afraid, bravery is facing your fear and doing it anyway.
6. Practice makes perfect so practice who it is you want to become.
Have you ever heard the saying; fake it until you make it? I am not suggesting that you are not your authentic self, but you can adjust your picture of success to match your point of gratitude. If you can enjoy where you are in your self-development while striving to be better, you will. Just keep reaching for those little goals that add up to the sum of the whole.
7. Stabilize your emotions.
If you fail to manage your emotions and the emotions of others. You become more influenced by your emotions and/or the emotions of others, and you become reactionary instead of regulating. When you fail to regulate your emotions, you open yourself up to repeating the same defeating actions or thought patterns that maintain the status quo. You also become susceptible to negative thought processes and negative self-defeating cycles.
8. Approach your emotions with intention.
Emotions are a very powerful motivator, so use them to your advantage, not your disadvantage. I am not talking about manipulating others with your emotions. I am talking about manipulating your emotions to achieve your goals.
9. Evaluate, reevaluate, learn, and upgrade, alter, and adjust your paradigms.
You will never get to where you want to be until you step back and take an honest look at how you got to where you are and who you are.
If you fail to accept that learning is a necessary process in discovering yourself, and who you are meant to become. You will always live in a state of existence, and a state of want.
If you fail to alter bad habits with good habits, you will always be in the rinse and recycle modus operandi. You will never arise above circumstance, but worst of all you will never become the person you were created to be, and you will deprive the world of the gifts you have. CP