It’s Time to Get out of the BOX!

Connie Butler

 

“It is never too late to be what you might have been” –George Eliot

 

I have found that truly successful people surround themselves with the support that makes them excel. Most people struggle when they put their businesses and their lives in a self-imposed limiting box and keep doing the same things over and over again. I define a limiting box as any idea of yourself or the world, any attitude, any language you use, any belief or any experience that diminishes you in anyway or robs you of your personal power and prevents you from moving forward in the world.

Living in these boxes keeps us within what we already know. We repeat the same habitual actions hoping for a better result, and end up disillusioned and feeling stuck. In order to live the best life possible for yourself you have to master the skill of moving into the unknown. The unknown is really anything outside of the box that we have created from past experiences, beliefs and ideas. It is where fresh opportunity, excitement and more satisfaction reside.

In working with new clients we uncover the ways in which they are creating difficulty for themselves by not even seeing the opportunities that are right in front of them, just slightly outside of their box. Often, they feel frustrated in their efforts and even give up on doing what they love most. In doing this they turn away from what could bring their greatest reward.

Here are some symptoms of living “in the box:”

Frustration

Anger

Lack of energy or motivation

Feeling stuck

Resentment

Lack of creativity

Disorganization

Cynicism

Not doing what you love

Boredom

A sense of failure

Despair

There are many boxes that people create for themselves. Here are a few of them:

1.The box of language. The I’m not or you’re not good enough box. Language is a powerful tool. How we use it both describes and begins to structure our experience for us. Every time you use language that diminishes you or others, “That was stupid of me,” “I’m never going to make this work,” “life it just too hard,” and so on, we strengthen the walls of the box.

2. The box of familiar actions. The I’m safe if I don’t try anything-new box. Our actions can either open new doorways for us or keep us in the same groove we are familiar with. Someone described his experience of this lately. He said that it is like going down a dead-end street and then having to turn around and come back again over and over again, wasting a lot of energy and time in the process. After doing this a number of times, people often give up. Seeing and acting outside of the box can allow you a different perspective from which to connect the dots.

3. The box of blame. The I have no power box. Many people insist on blaming their circumstances, the financial markets, their spouse, dog or anyone else for their situation. Until you can recognize and identify the ways you are perpetuating this box and take responsibility it is very difficult to make real progress. Granted externals have an impact but recognizing how you create a box out of circumstances allows you the power and energy to begin moving out of it.

4. The box of negative expectation. The I know that the same thing is going to happen box. When faced with something you don’t know notice if you expect either something negative to happen or expect that what you have experienced before will repeat itself. Many people use this as a way to move away from their fear of change and keep the status quo in place. They would rather stay with the known pain than risk something new. The unknown I am talking about has all the possibility in it. If we project our negative or limiting expectations on it there is no room for anything new. Imagine what would happen if this box didn’t hold you!

What are your favorite boxes and what might happen in your personal or professional life if you were guided out of those boxes?

 

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams

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