You feel you’ve tried your best. Yet you’re still not getting the results — what could be wrong?
You must be operating with the wrong paradigm.
But what is a paradigm?
Read on to learn what it means, how it’s formed, and how to change your paradigm to transform your life.
Let’s dive right into it.
What Is a Paradigm?
A paradigm is a thought system that drives our habits. It’s derived from the Greek word “paradeigma” which means a method, system, model, or pattern.
And since most of our actions are based on our habits, the paradigms we hold are fundamental to the results we achieve.
Each of us has paradigms although some might not realize it. We need them otherwise we’ll be too slow to act, using too much energy to decide how to do anything since it’ll mean we’re thinking from scratch.
Therefore, the way you handle your morning, the entire day, weekends, and other repetitive activities in your life are mostly influenced by your paradigm.
This means, if you work around a system ineffective to your goals, you won’t get the results you want.
You now must be wondering how this critical system gets formed.
How do you create a paradigm?
You form a paradigm through the set of concepts you accept and the actions you take repeatedly.
The way you think about money, relationships, happiness, and anything in life is based on the paradigm that you’ve developed your whole life.
From the way you were told to handle money as a kid to how you were loved all the way to your adulthood, the things your surroundings told you to be true — things that you accepted, make up parts of your paradigm that define you today.
Let me show you some paradigm patterns.
Examples of paradigms
- It’s a weekday — you wake up, freshen up, meditate, get to work and since you had prepared how your day is going to unfold, you start executing the tasks. When procrastination starts creeping in, you choose to do that hard project anyway since you always strive to do anything out of the comfort zone for the sake of the end goal.
- You wake up and prepare to go to work. Your tasks are quite laid out but have no timeline of execution. So you spontaneously choose what to start with and then encounter some work you’ve been dreading to do. Since its deadline is far and you don’t feel inspired enough anyway, you postpone and wait for inspiration or urgency.
You can operate around these two paradigms depending on your consistent choices.
See, while the conscious mind can help you choose how to act in the moment, the subconscious observes and records those actions and uses them to create a system.
The subconscious mind develops default behavior that makes responding to your surroundings easier. Instead of using a lot of energy to decide how to live every day, it records the things you’ve been consistently doing and prompts you to function based on such patterns.
While this is helpful, it also poses a problem.
If you consistently choose actions that enable bad habits, the subconscious picks them up and uses them to influence the next thing you do hence creating a system of bad habits.
But all this can be changed. Through a paradigm shift.
What does it mean to shift your paradigm?
This is simply a change of your belief systems and actions. What’s the purpose? To yield new results.
Think of it this way, if you wish to alter the structure of your business, say you’re moving from retail to wholesale, you’ll have to change the idea governing the previous model. The actions you take now will be different from those you took when in retail.
You can take the same approach in other areas of your life.
Here are examples of paradigm shifts you can apply in your life:
- From finding solutions externally to searching within self.
- Instead of living in the past or obsessing over the future, live in the present.
- From drifting with life’s motions unconsciously to choosing to live with intention.
- From seeing inadequacy in and around you to exercising gratitude.
- Rather than being emotionally unavailable, decide to embrace emotional attunement.
Now that you understand paradigm basics, stay with me for a bit, and learn how you can change your life by shifting your paradigm.
How to Shift Your Paradigm in 9 Steps
To be clear, these steps aren’t quick hacks you can apply over a weekend and change the model in your subconscious, no. A paradigm shift happens over time and requires consistent application of the following steps. Let’s check them out!
1. Determine the paradigm centerpiece you wish to change
Every paradigm has a consistent habit manifesting it. Whether it’s disorganization causing you to always operate unproductively and feel confused in your life, you have to deal with that.
So what is the main habit causing you to not get the results you desire? Think about this deeply, analyzing your behaviors and the whys behind them.
In this step, you’re seeking to understand yourself, breaking down the reasons why you think and act the way you do. This will help you narrow down what to focus on when changing your paradigm.
2. Write your goals
Now that you know the one main thing holding you back from what you want, it’s time to decide what result you want to get during the paradigm shift.
And I’m not going to regurgitate the common things you hear about setting goals all over the internet, no. You’ll learn from one of the master thinkers the world has ever seen.
Bob Proctor, the author of Your Were Born Rich and a great teacher of paradigm shifts in the Proctor Gallagher Institute once said that “If you set a goal properly, you WILL get what you want. Always.” He was talking about this in an article How To Override Paradigms And Achieve Your Goals.
He declares that no matter how deep the systems in your subconscious mind are, you need to make them a non-factor when setting goals. In other words, you shouldn’t set your goals while thinking about the things you already can and cannot do. You need to declare what you TRULY want.
He even is widely known for his quote, “Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time.”
So write down what you crave from the model shift and move on to the next step.
3. Cultivate thoughts influencing the paradigm shift
Thoughts are the source of change. But they also come and go and if not cultivated, our subconscious can’t pick any of them.
Therefore, to ensure that your desire to change develops so much your limiting beliefs can’t pull you back, you have to digest relevant information and nurture thoughts that drive you to improve.
You can influence your thoughts to shift your paradigm by:
- Reading inspirational materials
- Surrounding yourself with people that incite progress
Keep your activities as close to your paradigm-shifting goal as much as possible. This will help you maintain the drive to change and keep you going even when you don’t feel like it.
4. Start doing the uncomfortable
Commonly, if you’re not getting results, it’s because your subconscious mind keeps you in the comfort zone. After all, it’s what you get back to when you feel pressure.
However, to make a mind system shift, you must lose comfort. And once the subconscious notices this change, it’ll start reprogramming to push you forward.
See, whatever you’ll feed it by intentionally acting towards your goals, it would accentuate the push to help you change. That’s the secret to mental programming that many don’t know about.
5. Practice who you want to become
Whatever your goals define is the person you want to become. And you won’t get there by practicing those good traits in the future, no. It all starts now.
Becoming who you want to be means:
- Beginning planning now if you wish to be more organized.
- Following up on the plans you set if you want to stop procrastination.
- Applying marketing tactics if you want to be an effective business person.
- Forcing yourself to exercise because you want to be healthier.
The list goes on. So who do you want to be?
Whatever your answer, you should know that you need to be that person starting now. You need to embrace their amazing qualities from now so you can master them over time.
That’s the brutal rule to success in behavioral change.
6. Balance your emotions
Emotional imbalance happens to every one of us a couple of times in our lives. The problem is, these emotions are unpredictable and can ruin even the most rock-solid plans we made.
But that’s if we give them control.
You can’t possibly start looking for a fire extinguisher while the flames are already consuming everything around you, right? What do I mean?
With proper planning and mastering how to deal with some significant emotions in your life, you can avoid the havoc they may exert in your life. In most cases, you can plan issues beforehand, and in all cases, you can intervene early.
Merely determining how to go about the next day a night before can help deal with the circumstances better.
Even better, here are steps to help you balance your emotions when they hit:
- Pause first. Instead of distracting yourself or doing whatever is stirring up negative emotions, stop and breathe.
- Acknowledge and Identify the emotions you’re feeling.
- Express the emotions in words. For example “I’m feeling angry, anxious, confused.”
- Determine why you’re feeling that way.
- Step away from the emotion, feeling it but not associating your image or identity with it.
- Deal with the emotion, or let it pass on, depending on what’s best for the situation.
By step #5, you’ll already experience a state of balance. So whenever you notice some emotions that could tamper with your paradigm shift plan, you can use the above steps and maintain charge over your mental state.
7. Intentionally use emotion to reinforce the new paradigm
Studies on emotion suggest that it is a powerful motivator.
Think about it: when you love someone, it’s easier to go above and beyond to do things for them than someone you merely like.
Also, when you think a deadline is approaching and the fear of losing your position in case you don’t finish a project creeps in, it’s easier to get things done than when you’re 45 days away from the due date.
It’s all human nature to associate various emotions with the need to do something.
And when the subconscious mind connects the desire to achieve a particular goal with a strong emotion you exude while thinking about it, it records it and drives you in a similar direction when working on that goal.
So what you need to do in this step is identify the emotions you associate with your goal. You can use negative or positive ones depending on what will keep your momentum.
Since fear is considered the most powerful motivator, you can use it to achieve a paradigm transformation.
8. Review your goals and upgrade your paradigm
Setting goals helps you recognize where you are and where you want to go. Reexamining them helps you determine whether you’re on the right path.
Based on your understanding along the journey of changing your life, you can polish your plans even more for success.
And when reviewing goals, you might also need to upgrade your paradigm.
The amazing qualities you amass during your mind shifting strategies shouldn’t end when you achieve one goal. You need to use them to continue achieving more goals you doubted to be possible for you.
This doesn’t mean you should become a crazy paradigm shifter. As you enjoy the developments of a new mindset, simply look forward to more you can do with this life.
9. Ensure repetition
I wrote this article to help you not change your life for a year but to help you embrace positive change for a lifetime.
Yes, you can ditch your old paradigm in one month especially if it’s not deeply ingrained but most can take months or even years to shift. So you have to embrace one of the most fundamental of these steps which is repetition.
Norman Vincent Peale, the author of The Power of Positive Thinking famously said, “Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.”
I don’t have to tell you that what he’s describing here is a paradigm shift in a nutshell.
If you repeat these steps for changing paradigms, you can develop amazing habits and change into a whole new person your old self only dreamed of.
Choosing to change your paradigms with the above steps can help you change your life immensely. Always keep the last step in mind for it unlocks the power of the rest.
So which paradigm shifts do you wish to make? Let me know in the comments! Also, help change lives by sharing this piece.