To create a major paradigm shift is an inside job!
… Whether you want to make minor or major changes, in your life, you have to start with changing the way you think, and the way you feel … and this in turn will change your attitude, which changes your behaviour.
Stephen Covey the author of – The 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE – shares a story of how he was commuting to work early one morning and a father stepped into the train at the next stop. He sat on the train while his children were being rambunctious and disrespectful of other passengers. Despite the behaviour of the children, the father was just sitting there – ignoring them.
Stephen was getting worked up and agitated, and he finally turned to this father and said “Can’t you control your children?” and the man turned to him to say: “What would you like for me to tell them, we have just come back from hospital and their mother has passed away.”
What would you have done?
How do you now feel knowing that they had just lost their mother?
Well, this is a classic paradigm shift. Finally, when you were in possession of all the facts, (the full story) you can feel empathy, patience, compassion. And I know …. Deep down you feel terrible that you even got upset without knowing the full story.
It’s important to realise that our behaviours and attitudes naturally and automatically change when we have a paradigm shift.
Ask yourself: What paradigms do you have of the people in your life? How does that affect your relationships with them? What of them have an impact on your attitude and behaviours?
If you think you don’t have any, think again. Paradigms are usually the stories that start in our head, something along the lines of “She always does this” … or “He’s just always like that…”
Attitude and behaviours are consequences of how we perceive the world…
Anything that you do or say gets filtered through the lens of whatever you are going through at any given moment. And it starts with the words you use, because words are a lens of what you are focused on. Words are a hint to how you are thinking and feeling… And if it doesn’t feel right then you are not aligned with that higher aspect of ‘self’.
The lens you choose will transform the way you look at things.
So, if you see everything through rose-coloured glasses and be happy with the ‘little’ things in your life, by looking at them as little treasures – then you will see the world in a different way.
Most of us are ‘reactive’ – it’s simply a by-product of our mind’s programming over a lifetime, and it’s difficult to break …. But possible. Next time you’re tempted to just jump the gun and assume something about people, or a situation, or make a sweeping generalisation about the way someone ‘always’ behaves, remember that your perception is not real.
Say what? It’s not. It’s just the way that you’re looking at things and it can be changed by practicing one simple technique. For a moment, be the ‘observer’ of what you are seeing. Pretend you just walked in on this particular scene in a theatre or at the movies, and then challenge yourself to see how many story lines that you can come up with to get to this moment.
By doing this, you’re challenging your reality. Say to yourself ‘Ok, this is what I’m seeing right now, but what evidence do I have that support my perceptions of the way I’m judging it? Is it a story I might have fabricated in my mind? Or, is there another side I’m not seeing?
Once you consciously gather evidence that doesn’t support your reality … it’s amazing to see how you can come up with a completely different story.
Our attitude creates filters which colour the way in which we see the world. And because you are the creator of your reality, everything that you experience, every person you meet and every moment of every day – good or bad – is your creation. You will learn a great deal if you pay attention to your responses to life, work and all your relationships …Mastering your emotions will be the greatest tool you have in assisting you to create new habits and neural pathways and… in doing so, you will enable YOU to achieve better outcomes.
Next time you have any form of resistance, ask yourself what you need to learn from this experience or how can you can see it in a different light. And how you might be able to behave differently to get a better outcome for yourself. It’s quite simple – just change the meaning you give any situation!
Perception and reality are two very different things…Perception is real even when it’s not reality.
Our conditioning mental patterns…
Have you heard of Pavlov’s theory? Pavlov was looking at salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he was not bringing them food.
Pavlov’s conditioning theory came to life when he started from the idea that there are some things that a dog does not need to learn. For example, dogs don’t learn to salivate whenever they see food. This reflex is ‘hard-wired’ into the dog. What he discovered was that the unconditioned stimulus, the trigger was the food and the unconditioned response was to salivate.
And then he discovered that the conditioning could take place with any object for example the lab assistant with the white lab coat would trigger the same response, he then realised that he had made a very important scientific discovery.
Pavlov knew that the dogs in his lab had learned to associate food with his lab assistant. This was therefore a learnt behaviour (that is, the result of learning). He then expanded his research with bells – every time he gave food to his dogs, he would ring a bell and after a number of repeats he tried the bell on its own and guess what? The bell on its own now caused an increase in salivation.
What are some of your triggers? And how do you respond?
We are all conditioned by our environments, objects or events. The trick here is to be conscious of what are those triggers. Triggers usually cause us to react. Can you pause for a moment and summon the courage to put your reaction in your back pocket and instead ‘respond’ in a mindful and present and clear way?
Eckhart Tolle says:” Your unhappiness ultimately arises not from the circumstances of your life but from the conditioning of your mind.”
It’s always your choice. If you can shift your mindset, you can see things differently. And when you see things differently, the world around you and the people in it respond differently too.