Trans4mind Home Page
~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~

Looking for a better life?

Our online, interactive video workshops present the most effective methods of personal development, combined with personal support from expert life coaches.

Explore Article Library

Paradigms are Containers for Change

By Jeanie Marshall

Paradigms are ubiquitous. They show up in conversations, books, bedrooms, films, families, restaurants, professions, games, sports, industries, and social systems of all types. Paradigms fall within paradigms, overlap other paradigms, and bump into still others. Paradigms are big or small, new or old, comfortable or uncomfortable, familiar or unfamiliar, long-term or short-lived. Paradigms are ever-changing.

Paradigm Defined

My understanding and appreciation of paradigms have been greatly enhanced by Joel Barker's book, Future Edge. Even though this book is out of print, it as a powerful contribution to the business world, in my view. Barker defines a paradigm as "a set of rules and regulations (written or unwritten) that does two things: (1) it establishes or defines boundaries; and (2) it tells you how to behave inside the boundaries in order to be successful." A paradigm shift occurs when a change in the mind-set occurs. New paradigms develop when old (or current) paradigms no longer work. (Barker, Joel Arthur. Future Edge: Discovering the New Paradigms of Success. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1992).

The Energy Field of Paradigms

Reading the energy in a paradigm is an efficient way to recognize its boundaries and density. Just as each person and each organization has an energy field, so too, each paradigm has an energy field. When paradigms conflict with each other, either a change is occurring or a change must occur. Changes within one paradigm do not occur in isolation -- all interrelated paradigms change. We can observe the changes at all levels of the energy field as well as in the concrete.

It is more accurate to consider that a group or organization has many active paradigms than to define an organization as a single paradigm. Paradigms grow, just as people do. Therefore, paradigms may be immature, well-defined, aged, wise, silly, useful, outdated, ready for death, or dead.

Paradigm Death Fear

We need not fear death -- any kind of death. When something dies, we honor it most by celebrating its life and letting it transform. Generally, those who are most invested in a paradigm are the most fearful for a change in that paradigm. We might, ask, "Who has the most to gain or lose with the current paradigm? And, "Who has the most to gain or lose with a paradigm shift? When we explore these questions deeply, we may discover that what appears obvious initially may not hold true with investigation.

Interestingly, paradigm shifters are often those who have the least to gain or lose with a paradigm change. Paradigm shifters are usually outsiders or those who are new to the system. They have nothing invested in the old or current paradigm, which is precisely why external consultants can impact a system as they do (when they do).

Case Study: Ted

Ted is a senior manager in an investment firm. Ted reports to one of the firm's five partners; six managers report to him. The investment field is highly regulated, so we know immediately that many legal and regulatory paradigms exist. When Ted went to school he had to learn about the paradigms operating academically and socially in each class.

Ted is expected to understand and solve problems using the rules of the managing partners, his peer group, his team, his support staff, his customers, and his suppliers. The rules that make him successful with his subordinates are not the same rules that make him successful with his boss.

Each organizational function (e.g., accounting, human resources, sales, research, legal) all have various paradigms operating which Ted must understand, at least to some extent, in order to be successful when interacting. Some problems are solved by going outside the established rules; other times, problems are created by going outside the paradigm. He must know the difference.

Your Paradigms

What are the paradigms in your life? Look as deeply as you wish, noticing any resistance or other feelings you experience as you respond to the following questions:

* Are the customs you grew up with still an integral part of your life?

* How successful are you with people who are different from you?

* When you step into unfamiliar territory, how do you respond? (Start with a general answer and then look at a specific recent unfamiliar situation.)

* When the rules change within a paradigm, are you eager or resistant for the change? (Again, look at the general, then the specific.)

* In the most important paradigm of your life, how successful are you?

* What paradigms do you wish to shift?

Copyright 2006 Marshall House

About The Author

Jeanie Marshall, Empowerment Consultant and Coach with Marshall House, produces Guided Meditations on CD albums and MP3 downloads and writes extensively on subjects related to personal development and empowerment.

Voice of Jeanie Marshall,


Careers & Employment
Grief & Loss
Kids & Teens
Public Speaking
Self Help
Self Improvement & Motivation
Sexual Relations
Stress Management
Travel and Leisure

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

  • The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
  • Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
  • Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
  • Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
  • Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
  • Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
  • Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
  • Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
  • Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
  • Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
  • Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
  • Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
  • Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search on an issue that interests or concerns you...

Trans4mind Training is the best thing we've ever done! It's a series of interactive video workshops covering the key challenges we all face in life - to help you achieve greater inner peace and true fulfillment.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Trans4mind Ltd