Paradigms often operate at an unconscious level, yet they determine to a large degree our attitudes and behaviors. They serve as a filter through which we process life experiences. Data that does not fit our paradigm is screened out, never reaching our conscious mind. Information that does fit our paradigm is magnified by the process, and adds even greater support for that particular way of believing.
Paradigms, like road maps, can be great tools for speeding us along on our journey. Unfortunately, if they are outdated or inaccurate, they can send us in the wrong direction or fruitlessly driving around the same old neighborhood. When this happens we often keep trying harder to find our desired destination while feeling more and more frustrated. Even though an individual following an inaccurate or outdated paradigm may think his behavior makes perfect sense, those around him may wonder what he could possibly be thinking to make him act the way he does.
Most paradigms are developed when we are young, naïve, and relatively powerless. They are often based on the inaccurate interpretations of childhood experiences. Since they are often unconscious, they are rarely evaluated or updated. Perhaps most significantly, they are assumed to be 100 percent accurate — even when they are not.
Now that you are older, you can create and edit your own paradigms to change yourself and your life.
No More Mr Nice Guy