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How to Think Outside the Box

Your beliefs will determine how you recognize and pursue opportunity, friends, and colleagues. Get-It-Done Guy helps you think outside the box about how the world works, and the people within it.

By
Stever Robbins,
March 25, 2013
Episode #260

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How to Think Outside the Box

We learned at age 2 that one box is fun, but many boxes make a cool fort! As we get older, we build more and more boxes in our minds. We call these “beliefs.” Some of the boxes work well for us! But some of those boxes can turn our fort into an asylum, complete with straitjackets.

In my episode on how to overcome limiting beliefs, I shared The Work of Byron Katie, one way to learn to think outside the box of your beliefs. I suggested you explore your beliefs about what is and isn’t possible for you to achieve. Today, we’ll learn about other boxes we use to build forts. Some of these boxes may be worth thinking outside of. Make sure you’ve listened to the overcoming limiting beliefs episode, since today’s episode assumes you know the technique of exploring outside your beliefs.

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Explore Beliefs About Cause and Effect

Some of the most powerful beliefs are beliefs about what causes what. If you believe that dancing around with a lampshade on your head waving a rubber chicken will cause people to like you, you’ll do that. You’ll do that at every available opportunity. We’ve all known someone like that. Heck, we’ve all been someone like that. And some of us figured out really quickly that it doesn’t work too well. Others have never challenged that belief.

In business, if you believe punishment gets people to work hardest, you’ll punish poor performers. If you believe that rewards get people to work hardest, you’ll offer incentives. If you believe that a good work environment makes people work hard, you’ll put efforts into creating a good work environment. Your beliefs about what causes what determine what you do to try to affect the world.

Breakthroughs happen when someone challenges beliefs about what causes what. Doctors used to believe an imbalance of bodily humors caused sickness. Then germ theory was invented, and as people began to believe germs caused sickness, medicine was revolutionized.

So how do we challenge our beliefs to create these personal breakthroughs? Here are two options:

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