Relatively speaking, it is still early in the year. It’s barely the ending of the first quarter and already it feels like there isn’t enough time to get everything done. For some people it is already starting to feel like there is so much that we need to do to ensure that we don’t miss out on the opportunities before us. For some, this kind of pressure to get everything right can cause a loss of clarity about how to proceed. When that happens we can wind up feeling stuck.
Feeling stuck often leads us to believe that the problem we are facing is so much bigger than us and we get overwhelmed just thinking about it. Sometimes we can even start to question whether we are really capable of achieving what we have envisioned. We start to worry whether we are worthy or even deserve the dream that we have in our hearts. Before long, we get locked into a pattern of doubt and over-analysis. We become paralyzed. The result? We do nothing.
Over my years as a coach and a trainer I have found that most people, very often, do not see themselves clearly. Most people underestimate what they are really capable of accomplishing and they over-estimate the effort that they are making to realize their dreams. We are often quick to identify what we cannot do and we often believe that we have made every possible attempt to address a situation. We then wind up feeling hopeless and weary.
Instead, we need to change our mindset. We need a paradigm shift. Change our minds and we will change our world. For years I have made a practice of helping people to see their situation differently. Often, when we contemplate how really big a problem is, we get discouraged. When we think that we have tried everything, we get exhausted. When we think we must have all the answers at the start, then we feel inadequate and unworthy.
However, when we begin to look at the problem differently and consider that the action which we need to take might be smaller than we originally thought, we are more willing to give it a try. When we recognize that we don’t need to know everything to start and when we realize that it is possible to start with what we have now and go from there, the mountain seems less daunting for us to start climbing. When we make that shift in how we view the problem and how we view what we can do about it, then we are in a better position to move forward with a solution. Our emotions start to move into a more positive state and our energy to be creative engages for the task ahead.
To make that shift in mindset, requires us to acknowledge that are likely operating with an outdated paradigm or vision of self. To change that paradigm or perception of the world and what we are capable of doing in it, we need to look at our old thought patterns. We need to consider whether we have the right definition of the problem. We then need to ask, what do I know or am already capable of doing that can help me start moving toward my vision? What is holding me back? What actions can I commit to taking right now, where I am?
Paradigms are never easy to shake. However, once you realize that they are there and that they influence how you behave and the choices you make, you have to take deliberate and consistent action to move beyond the self-imposed limits that they represent. Start building a clear picture of who you are now and not who you were. Start thinking about your strengths and your passions. Believe in your vision and have a little faith. Paradigms may be tough to shake but people are resilient and no matter how long it takes, we can and do change.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados.