Saturday, September 3, 2011

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm Shift

Not good enough.  That is the story that my brain feeds me daily. 
I should be a more knowledgeable coach, a faster runner, a focused worker,  a patient mom, organized, make nutritious meals every day, be a diligent housekeeper, a loving wife….the list goes on and on in a continuous story loop in my brain.   But yesterday, I had one of those “Aha” moments that literally changed my way of thinking. 

I happened upon Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and ever since reading this sentence very early in the book, I feel like a weight has been lifted.  Covey says “We see the world not as it is, but as we are-or as we are conditioned to see it."
Yes!  The way I choose to live my life is not “right” or “wrong”, or “good” or “bad”.   It just IS. 

I have spent much of my life being a “pleaser”.  Therefore, when other people disagree with me, I automatically become defensive.  What is wrong with me?  What is wrong with them?  The truth is that nothing is “wrong” with either of us; we just see things differently.  Aha!  I don’t have to worry about what others think, and I can even appreciate their opinions!   Wow, such a simple, life changing shift in thought.   Covey calls this difference in thinking a “paradigm shift”. 

I had my first paradigm shift after I first started running with a group of homeless runners in a Run On! sponsored program.   Going into the program I was admittedly a bit scared, and more than a bit judgmental.  I assumed that if you work hard, you would reap the benefits, for this is what I had always been taught.  This was my experience growing up in a disciplined family.    Through this program however, I learned that people are the same, we have just been dealt different cards.  Not right, not wrong….just different. 

Each person has their own perspective on life, and only when we learn to appreciate and embrace our differences, will we become a more interdependent (and successful) society. 

I look forward to the lessons that this book offers.  I look forward to a change in perception, and to stepping out of the “social” expectations that stifle me. 
After all, nobody’s perfect…but …what does “perfect” mean anyway?


  1. Now I'm sure you're going to love being 50! I am always humbled by the women who do these long runs with us who are trying to be great moms, and wives, and sisters, and housekeepers, and workers, and chefs, and marathoners. I can't even ima...gine. So, I keep reminding them -- don't let these runs become another thing you "have" to do. Let them be your "you" time -- something you just do for yourself. No obligations. No pressure. No guilt. "Want" to come and run with us. Great post, coach Jenn! You know in your heart what the best Jenn is -- you don't need others to tell you that. Just be the best Jenn. That's the person we all enjoy so much!

  2. So true! My trail time is definitely my "me" time- a place where it is easy to stay in the moment.
    Thanks Nelson!