03/21/2013 02:56 EDT | Updated 05/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Creating New Horizons: Paradigms at Work

In many ways, psychological treatment, coaching and business consulting is about working within a specific paradigm (or way of seeing the world). A paradigm is a lens you look through to help you make sense of reality. It helps you feel more confident when you are in uncertain environments or situations.

One paradigm in therapy is that being compassionate towards clients leads to better results (I agree). Another paradigm is that counseling is for sad and depressed people who have no where else to turn. A third paradigm (my own) is that counselling is for adventurous souls, and that it's fun.

Some paradigms support us better than others. 'The world is flat' was believed to be true until Christopher Columbus proved it otherwise. And though we need paradigms to help us make sense of the world, the minute we turn them into concrete truths we become enslaved by them.

In business and in life we have to be careful not to close our eyes to new ideas that sail beyond our expectations.

I often challenge clients in my counselling and coaching practice to ensure that a fundamental way of thinking is not limiting their success. Depression is curable is a paradigm I use. Another one is that Adult ADHD is a result of an unbalanced lifestyle and is not a disorder. And a third paradigm is that You have to be happy to be successful at work.

So if you come into my practice and hold the belief that: 'depression can't be fixed' then we have to remove that belief first, because it is already limiting your potential for success in counselling.

Whether or not you have a relationship, personal development or workplace issue, you want to make sure that you are not limiting yourself to what is possible. You have to go limitless first otherwise you'll come up against your own wall or (someone else's) very quickly.

It doesn't matter what other people have told you or other stories you have read about, reach beyond what you think is possible to discover where the true horizon really is.

Create a new paradigm without limits. Put it out there. And see where it takes you. That's my advice.

And hopefully very soon, you'll be sailing into uncharted lands that you never dreamed were possible.

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