I’ve been reading and thinking a great deal about paradigms and paradigm shifts.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers the following simple definition of a paradigm: a model or pattern for something that may be copied: a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about.
In most people’s world, paradigms are sets of beliefs which explain our behaviors and way of being, both consciously and subconsciously. We all live within our paradigms–received from our parents, our neighborhoods, what’s expected of us, what’s “good”, what’s “bad”.
And so, a shift is a change around what “should be” in favor of a new way of thinking.
In science, crisis often led to paradigm shifts–when evidence or outliers which could not be explained became too prominent, causing a change in what is considered “normal”.
In regular lives, this is when a belief or idea of what “should be” comes into conflict with what we want, and becomes too painful to ignore until we make change. If we have the courage and the knowledge about what we want, we can create a new paradigm which serves us better.
Have you ever experienced a paradigm shift?