How Your Mindset Can Drastically Limit or Expand Your Potential

Published Mon 15, 2023

At a certain point in our lives, what we've learned and believed may no longer be helpful, prompting us to question it or even question our mindset.

For instance, I've come across beliefs I learned growing up that no longer work for me, leading to conflicts within myself.

One example is the difference between the lessons I teach my daughter versus what I learned at her age or what my grandmother taught me.

In my upbringing, there was a greater emphasis on how other families perceived us, influencing everything from our careers to our behaviour at social events. However, this has changed in newer generations, who no longer follow these traditions stringently.

Many elders struggle to connect with the younger generation due to differences in thinking and behaviour. While there's nothing wrong with them, their conditioning makes it challenging to adjust to current society and learn new things, leading to limitations.


I want you to contemplate for a moment how a change in your paradigm could be just the trick you need to get you moving again when you're feeling stuck or something is not working in your favour.

Understanding Paradigm (Mindset)

What is it?

Paradigm stems from Greek and was a scientific term. Today it means model, theory, perception, frame of reference or even assumptions.

A simple example is this.

A paradigm is a map, like a map of your city.

The map is not the territory itself but the representation of its parts.

How we navigate the world is the basis of our internal map.

How do we create this map?

Paradigms are formed through a combination of our experiences, upbringing, education, culture, and environment.

Throughout our lives, we accumulate beliefs, values, and assumptions based on the messages we receive from these sources.

For example, our parents and family members may instil specific values and beliefs in us from a young age, shaping how we see the world.

Our education also plays a significant role in forming our mental paradigms by exposing us to specific ideas and ways of thinking.

Our cultural background also contributes to our mental paradigms, including the traditions, customs, and social norms that we're exposed to.

The people we surround ourselves with and the media we consume can also influence our mental paradigms.

Your reality is being measured against the current paradigm, and when something doesn't work, it leaves us in emotional states depending on the circumstance.

What we do from there is a matter of how much we hold ourselves back or excel forward.

Paradigm Problem

What happens if you take a trip to London and are given a map of Paris labelled as London from a trusted source?

I think you'd begin with confusion and move quickly to frustration. Your effectiveness in exploring or reaching a destination is not drastically limited.

Thankfully we live in a world of technology; you can swiftly make the necessary adjustments and be on your way. Unfortunately, our mental paradigms cannot be altered instantaneously like Neo from The Matrix.

What is our initial behaviour? To create the changes on the outside. Learn new skills, change your attitude or positive self-talk.

Changing the external may create a better attitude towards your challenges, but applying that to the incorrect map still leaves you lost.

Changing your paradigm first, your inner map, paired with the outer skills, now makes for an effective way to overcome obstacles that come up en route to the destination.

The ‘Ah-ha’ Moment

Paradigm Test


Do you see a Young Woman?

Do you see anything else?

[Share what you saw in the comments]

Cartoonist illustration by W. E. Hill's 'My Wife And My Mother-In-Law.'

Did you see an Old Woman?

If you can only see one way, I encourage you to study the image further. Change the way you look at it. Tell yourself this is an 'old woman' or 'young woman', the one you cannot see. Squint a little, tilt your head, and force yourself to see something other than what you see.

Once you see it, the 'Ah-ha' moment occurs.

You see more than initially perceived. Turn away for a moment, then go back to it. Does it change from what you initially saw? It likely wont.

That's because you are conditioned to see that.

If, within a few moments, you are conditioned to see the image in such a way, imagine your lifetime of conditioning.

Do not allow everything you see, read, listen to, or watch, to enter and condition you, be intentional with what you allow in and settle.

What you will find for those looking to break through some obstacle or challenge, the more bound they are to a particular conditioning, the more significant the 'Ah-ha' moment will occur for them.

That when people say, “oh this is life changing”.

It's why Magicians are powerful at showmanship, yet when you know how the trick is done, they lose all such momentum.

We all, at some point, find ourselves stuck or in a position where we cannot see the wood from the trees, and our paradigms contribute to it.

Seeing is being

What you see is NOT what is.

What you see is who you are.

Your perception and behaviour are subject to your conditioning.

Well, what does that mean?

Your attitude and behaviour about the woman you saw above are subject to how you perceived her.

You cannot think about helping the old woman with shopping bags if you see a younger woman. Your thoughts are relative to that which you see and how you act.

Our life is subject to the conditioning we've experienced, and to create breakthroughs, overcome limitations, or if you want to craft a new life, you must change yourselves on the inside, not just the outside.

It's why coaching is such a powerful investment.

Allow Yourself To See More

The more aware you are of your paradigm, the better you will be able to challenge your obstacles and take the necessary action to break through.

At the foundation, here's what should be a MUST:

1) You want to change

2) Be open to shifting your beliefs

3) Adopt a learning mindset

4) See beyond what you believe to be true

5) Be willing to take action on new insight

Questions you could ask yourself

  • What am I not seeing?
  • Have I missed something?
  • What beliefs are being questioned?
  • How do I perceive my challenges?
  • What action can I take to help me shift myself?
  • Am I constantly thinking about something?
  • What is it that I feel conflicted about?

When you're ready, here's how we help you:

A Purposeful Path Workshop
A powerful workshop to get you aligned with your connected path. With a deeper appreciation for who you are explore what beings you a sense of meaning. Find Out More.
Compass Of Life Course - Navigate The Choas
A self-paced course designed to build your inner compass and navigate life with complete certainty. Wield your most powerful tool and lead your life - Register interest
1:1 Sessions - Hire A People-Centric Coach
Often, inner constraints are expressed differently and never reveal the actual problem; it can be frustrating - Get yourself back on the path of progress.

Anks Patel

Founder, Growth Coach, People Developer, Strategist,Unconventional Thinker, Aligner, Clarifier


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