Are you ‘out of the box’?

Those of you that have been reading this blog for a while realize that I really dislike clichés. In fact, I dislike them so much that I regularly make fun of them. So you may be puzzled as to why I chose the first comments of 2013 to have a cliché at their core.

The answer is simple. The concept of ‘out of the box’ is good. The overuse of it is ridiculous.

Let’s talk about “the box.” For purposes of this article, the box is a way of living and thinking. While boundaries are good in some contexts, being restricted to a defined way of living and thinking is often limiting and prevents you from achieving results. Perhaps the box has been defined by others for you or perhaps you have built it yourself. The box is how you see the world, how you make decisions, what you believe and how you act.

I am most concerned about how ‘boxes’ keep organizations and individuals locked into a specific way of operating. It is unlikely that anyone will ever live and work completely out of the box, but it is necessary that the box be expanded in meaningful ways.

Perhaps now is a good time to rethink your limiting beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. Face it – we all have them.

Here are some ways to live and work out of the box:

1. Clearly identify where you may be thinking and living with limits (perhaps you could first explore those times when you use phrases like “I couldn’t” or “I would never” or “I am not comfortable doing that”).
2. Choose one thing you could do today that would get you out of your box. A way you think, a behavior you do or don’t do.
3. Do something, anything, that genuinely demonstrates you are acting or thinking contrary to your ‘in the box’ thinking.

Do that consistently for several weeks, adding things as you go.

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