The word paradigm is used often in the coaching field. “It’s your paradigm holding you back.” “You need a paradigm shift to change your results.” To give clients clarity, a good coach has to inform them what that means. Let’s dive into paradigms. I want to help you get a good understanding of what they are and the role they play in your life.
Bob Proctor defines paradigms as, “a multitude of habits stored in your subconscious mind”. Essentially it is our programming and our habitual behavior. And most of our behavior is habitual. The subconscious mind is the store house for our habits, memories, conditioned beliefs and self-image. It is our emotional mind. It has to accept any idea you give it and it cannot tell the difference between real or imagined. This is why affirmations work. Get my Affirmations Handout from the home page of my website, www.darlenecurlee.com.
We have been programmed
Most of our behaviors, attitudes and responses were learned as babies and toddlers. Others we learned through our life experience. Paradigms can be generations old. Our parents passed to us their paradigms, and many of their paradigms were passed to them from their parents.
Paradigms control our thinking, which controls the feelings and feelings control our behavior which in turn controls the results we see in our life. To get different results, start by changing your thinking and making a decision.
If you have a bad habit that you would like to eliminate, you must replace it with a desirable habit to put in its place. You can never get rid of a bad habit. It creates a void and that void will be filled with something. If you don’t decide to replace it with a good habit that you want to create, you are likely to find another bad habit there. You must consciously decide you will replace this habit with a new one.
Most of the time when we talk about habits, we mean a bad habit or negative behavior. But habits, just like paradigms, can also be good. If you have the habit of never being late anywhere, that’s a good habit, a positive paradigm. On the other hand, if you hit the snooze button every morning thinking you can sleep another ten minutes, then have to hurry to be on time, that’s also a paradigm. One that’s not so good.
Take the habit of hitting the snooze button. To change that habit, it takes a decision that you are no longer going to do that and that you will get up when the alarm goes off. To create this new habit will take a committed decision. Think about the reward for creating this new habit. In this case you would no longer feel rushed in the morning, you’d be starting your day with a calmer mind. Keep focused on the desired result of the change.
To make a new habit permanent, you need to do the new habit every day. You cannot miss a day, or you need start over. One study says that on average, it takes 66 days for the new behavior to become automatic. Even that can vary. It could be longer depending on the habit and how deeply ingrained it is in the subconscious mind. I recommend at least two months and see how it feels. If you have broken the old habit and replaced it and no longer have to be so deliberate about making the decision every day, then you are good to go. When you have conquered one habit then you can do another one. Never try to change too many at one time though. One or two at the most.
Create an affirmation for your new habit. Write out in present tense a statement affirming your new habit. For the example above it could be, “I’m so happy and grateful now that I get up as soon as my alarm goes off and I am relaxed and calm when I arrive at work.” You would not say, “I am grateful that I am not so rushed in the morning.” That won’t work. Anytime you put a not or a negative in there, the subconscious doesn’t get it. It would only hear that you rushed in the morning. So always use the positive opposite of the behavior you want to change.
In this example you are telling your subconscious mind that this new behavior is already happening. You say, “now that…”. As previously stated, the subconscious must accept whatever you tell it. It does not know the difference between real or imagined. Always write affirmations in the present tense. Never use “I will” or “I am going to”. Always use “I am”. Using “I am” has you in the process. “I will”, or “I’m going to” are future statements – something for tomorrow.
Repeat the affirmation throughout the day. Repetition is a must when changing a paradigm. Repeat it out loud. Put post it notes when you can see them. Record yourself and relisten to it, and say it in front of the mirror. You want to keep it in the front of your mind. This repetition will reprogram your subconscious to help you in achieving the new behavior that you desire.
Look forward to new results the changed behavior will give you. That is so exciting and can be very freeing. Get rid of unwanted habits. Continue to change another when you have successfully changed one. You could potentially change six habits a year. Just imagine what that will do for you!
In summary, the process to change a paradigm is:
Following these steps will give you the permanent change and improved results you want in your life. It starts with awareness. You must take an honest look at your current behaviors and really see what you’re doing that’s not serving you. When you can get honest about that, then you can begin the process of creating new paradigms that will serve you.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay