Letting go of old paradigms is so simple and yet one of the hardest things we have to do. It’s simple because all it requires of us is to look at things differently. It’s hard because it requires us to look at things differently.
Looking at things differently means that we have to become willing to let go of belief systems that most likely have been with us a very long time and that have become a part of our identity. Our beliefs give us a sense of comfort in feeling that we know something about how the world works (or at least how we feel it should work). Letting go means we may also have to face the fact that some of our core beliefs have been wrong, or shall we say not helpful or productive to our efforts of advancing a career or a business.
More to the point, letting go of old paradigms requires us to venture into a place that we may seldom go; a place in which we come to feel differently. Feeling differently requires a sizable effort of will, or otherwise catalyzed by some significant event.
If we stay in our mind and our intellectual understandings of the world and how we see it, we do not give ourselves the space to feel differently. In fact staying in our minds means that we are continuously re-justifying the way we feel and further solidifying our stance.
This is the reason that paradigm shift is so difficult to achieve in large organizations. The larger an organization becomes the more it becomes driven by systems, research, and trial and error improvement; which of course are good things for continual improvement, yet are actually counterproductive to paradigm shift. The reason is, that as important as systems, research, and trial and error improvement can be, they keep us rooted in old paradigms.
The small entrepreneur who gives everything she has to her unique vision purely because she believes. The large organization conducts focus groups and measures new ideas by comparison to old ones. The start up visionary gets up early and works late because he loves working for a singular vision. The large organization measures a worker’s success based on the quantity of work, not necessarily by how much a person’s work breaks from the mold.
Paradigm shift is so simple because all we have to do is be willing to feel—to feel how we feel about our work and our business, and then to let the feelings flow until the vision appears. It’s hard because it means we must be willing to think less and feel more.
Tip of the Week
Our modern society teaches us to rely on our minds more than our hearts. Living from the heart means that we step out from the norm. It is also emotionally uncomfortable if we are not accustomed to living and working this way. The tip of the week is to start small and work your way from there. Begin by changing your vocabulary when giving opinions, ideas or impressions. Instead of saying, ‘I think this or that,’ start saying ‘I feel this or that,’ and then really ask yourself what you feel. The more you practice this, the more you will begin to rely on your gut feelings. Your analysis can support your gut feelings, but not be in the driver’s seat.