To understand the way your mind works and how it can be one of the biggest roadblocks to getting what you want, you have to understand paradigms. They’re like bumper guards designed to stop any forward progress in a person’s life. We know what we shouldn’t do or that we should do better, yet we keep getting the same results. That’s because we’re caught up in a destructive loop, one that starts and ends with your paradigms.
Do you find yourself saying: I promise to do better next time. I’m going to show up for that event next time. I’m going to show up for my kid’s school play next time (or I’m going to take the dog to the dog park). I’m going to connect with that friend. I’m going to take better care of myself.
Many of the high achievers I speak with are in the process of re-evaluating their lives, their contributions in life, their relationships, their family dynamics, how they want to serve, what their purpose is, etc. They’re working hard, but too often we get so sucked in that everything that’s important falls by the wayside and we find ourselves keep chasing the same To-Do list.
They’ll make resolutions to do better, only to find themselves backsliding again. Think about some of the people you know who are grossly out of shape. They swear they’re going to do better and even have all the tools they need at their disposal: the plan, the trainer, the access, the nutrition plan. Yet they keep sitting on the couch and eating junk food. That’s a paradigm at work right there. It’s a habitual way of being that takes over, even when you say you want to do better.
All of us know better, but we’re not doing better. Why?
It goes back to the subconscious mind and the part of that housing all of our beliefs and our habitual way of being in the world. Those paradigms, formed from a multitude of habits and beliefs that have been passed down from generation to generation can stop you from your best intentions. Think about it like a thermostat in your house. The thermostat governs and regulates the temperature in your home, no matter what the conditions are outside. If you opened all the windows in your house that thermostat would work extra hard to regulate and maintain the set temperature in your home. Your paradigm does the same thing to control the temperature of your life.
Imagine someone who goes on a diet. They hire the trainer, follow the nutrition plan, they’re losing weight and feeling great. A few weeks later they start sliding back slowly but surely, and before they know it, the weight that was lost is found and back on their hips. It’s because their paradigm kicked in. If you haven’t changed the belief in yourself, you haven’t changed your self-image to align with somebody who is thinner. It’s the same as becoming the person who is a phenomenal parent, the friend who shows up, the person who takes care of themselves. You can’t just change your behavior, you have to get to the root cause of your behavior, and that is your paradigm.
You can change those paradigms with an easily repeatable process. Let’s try it now.
Paradigm Shifting Exercise:
Think about something you want to change. Maybe it’s attending your kids’ recitals or keeping in touch with friends or getting to the gym. Write that situation down and write a couple of paragraphs about why you want that for yourself. For example, let’s use: I want to get up early in the morning, do my workout, and feel clear and excited about the day.
Maybe right now, you hit snooze when the alarm goes off. You take your time and lollygag getting ready. Then feel guilty about not having enough time to work out. You grab a coffee and an Egg McMuffin and run out the door to work, frustrated before you’ve barely started your day.
Write down what normally happens and underline the verbs and actions. This is not to make you feel bad about yourself, not at all. It’s to help you see where the inner dialogue is working against you. I hit snooze. I take my time. I feel guilty. I run late. I threw away that time.
Now write down the opposite of that. I set my alarm, it goes off, and I get up on time. I get dressed right away. I get to the gym. I make myself a priority. I feel great.
You are building affirmations that are the opposite of what you’re currently doing. This is how you start the process of reprogramming your subconscious mind so that you can change your paradigm. You might have a lot of things you want to work on, but just pick one at a time
Read these positive affirmations every day, recite them in your head. When the alarm goes off, think through those positive affirmations. I’ve heard everything from twenty-one to sixty-seven days to make a new habit, but whatever it is, keep doing it until you have created new habits.
It takes persistence but you can do it. You can reprogram those inner beliefs to make yourself more successful in life and work. If you want more on this, and more exercises you can do, go to RatRaceReboot.com, subscribe to my newsletter, and download Six Mindset Changing Techniques for a More Fulfilled Life. Come back for the next blog post where we will talk more about how to make these new mindsets into a way of life.