Shift Your Paradigm | #MyFridayStory №335

Frans Nel
3 min readJun 7, 2024


Jill Wellington | Pexels

When you first start challenging your paradigms and beliefs, you can’t help but feel like a fraud.

To shift your perspective, you must first relinquish a previously strongly held position or point of view to allow for a new possibility. While entertaining these new thoughts and worldviews, your old beliefs scream their relevance and authenticity. Our biases and stereotypes are built over time through social interaction and external influences. Most of these prejudices we hold onto tightly, as they become second nature and almost intuitive.

Among the many biases we can possess, implicit bias is one of the worst culprits. Implicit bias influences our decision-making, interactions, and behaviours. It can be based on any social group membership, like race, gender, age, sexual orientation, or even the colour of your shirt. Often, we’re not aware of how these biases are influencing us. It is sometimes called unconscious bias, which is a bit of a misnomer. We can be aware of these biases, so it’s not necessarily unconscious. However, we are often unaware of how they’re influencing our behaviours and thoughts.

Even when our implicit bias and the damage it causes are revealed to us, we struggle to change our views because our environment supports our bias. We don’t like having our biases analysed because being labelled as biased implies being racist, prejudiced, or bigoted. Being called biased can leave you feeling accused and judged unfairly. However, research shows that our prejudice is malleable. If we change the environment as well as how a person thinks, we can change the outcome.

Our children are more susceptible to picking up biases than we like to think. By the time a child is 5 or 6 years old, they have already developed strong stereotypes and biases that will remain with them for life. Unless those biases are consciously checked for relevance and effectiveness, they will continue to wreak havoc in their relationships with others. Being aware of your shortcomings (conscious or unconscious) and being willing to address them to become a better person takes courage and humility. Knowing that our nature is influenced by external stimuli that cloud our decision-making process is the first step to tackling the problem.

We must trick our brains into not using obvious categories when grouping people or objects but instead cast the net wider and make different connections. For example, when hiring someone for a position, the interview process and the qualification checklist can be tightly structured to leave less room for subjective reactions. When we can affect both the environment and the person, we can achieve the best possible results. By becoming aware of our biases and taking note of how these affect our relationships, we can make the necessary paradigm shift.

If you have ever had to change your mind when faced with new evidence, you’ll know it’s not that easy. Such a paradigm shift is often followed by a period of grappling and learning. As we grapple with the newfound knowledge and the unfettered thoughts darting around our minds, we can tap into the love and “oneness” we have with our fellow humans and the earth.

Have a great weekend and please remember to be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading. 🙏

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