How a Life Coach Can Bring About a Paradigm Shift

How a Life Coach Can Bring About a Paradigm Shift

What is a Paradigm?

Well, in science, a paradigm is best described as the framework within which a particular scientific school of thought operates. A paradigm sets the boundaries within which, for example, experimentation takes place. On the plus side, this means the experiment is carried out in accordance with particular rules, particular ‘givens’, making it relatively simple to explore the results of said experiment and so understand the outcome. On the negative side, however, the boundaries created by the paradigm can also limit the extent of scientific exploration. This can lead to the stagnation of scientific thought within the discipline in question. It goes without saying, therefore, that, certainly in the long term, paradigms are harmful. They stand in the way of advancement, of evolution.

Paradigms were, at one time, the exclusive preserve of the scientific community. Nowadays, however, we talk about paradigms in almost every area of life, so we do in life coaching . We talk about political paradigms, sociological paradigms, business paradigms and even personal paradigms.

So, how do a life coach avoid the negative consequences of paradigms? Well, the life coach bring about what is known as a paradigm shift.


What is a Paradigm Shift?

 A paradigm shift is where a community or other collective body, by accident or design, begin to look at things in a completely different manner.

The most famous example is the paradigm shift brought about by Einstein when he published his paper on special relativity. Up until that point, Newtonian mechanics utterly dominated the field of physics. A more every day, comprehensible example is that of the quartz watch.

The quartz watch was created by the Swiss, renown as watchmakers for centuries. They failed to patent or market it, however, because their paradigm prevented them from seeing beyond their own superior (in their opinion) watch-making traditions. Consequently, the Japanese stole a march on them and have been at the forefront of popular watch-making and marketing ever since. The Swiss watch-making industry never recovered. This example is especially striking because the Swiss actually invented the quartz watch but failed to see its advantages. Their paradigm blinded them to what was right before their eyes.

Even Susan Boyle, of X-Factor fame, could be said to represent something of a recent paradigm shift. Up until the very moment she began to sing, the entire world appeared to be unable to accept that someone so physically unprepossessing could possibly sing with the voice of an angel. Up until then, beauty and talent were inextricably linked in our perceptions. We were, collectively, locked into a beauty/talent paradigm.


What Has This Got to Do with Life Coaches?

Think of a life coach as someone from outside your realm of expertise, with ‘your realm of expertise’ being, of course, you. A life coach doesn’t know anything about you, at least not at the outset. They don’t have any insight into your character, your history, the numerous events that have made you what you are. You might think this would put a life coach at a considerable disadvantage (of course, over time, your life coach will come to understand you like no other) but, at the outset, they are a pair of fresh eyes, which means they possess none of your life-limiting paradigms.

Like the Swiss, there could well be some completely life-changing tool right before your eyes, but your utter ‘you-ness’ will always get in the way. You could be literally moments away from a dramatic paradigm shift which could send your whole life hurtling in a new, hitherto unexplored direction. You could be on the verge of a wonderful and wild adventure. A life coach could be just the person to help you break down those barriers and make it all possible.


All it takes is a little shift.

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