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Policies, rules and regulations
The beliefs and assumptions we hold about ourselves, others and the world are like the policies, rules and regulations of our system.
Have you ever stopped to notice that systems run efficiently by following specific policies, rules and regulations? They are essential to the balance and well-functioning of those systems; without them, chaos would ensue.
Take the road hierarchy system, for example, as we move from highways (arterial roads) to collectors and local roads, speed is reduced, and the number of intersections is increased. We don't see any intersection on highways, nor do we see fast speeds and high traffic in local neighbourhood roads. The main goal of this system is to maximize traffic flow. It accomplishes that by having high traffic flow and high speeds on arterial roads, and slower traffic and more intersections on collector and local roads. They follow strict policies, rules and regulations.
The beliefs and assumptions we hold about ourselves, others and the world give us a sense of control. They help us maintain a sense of safety physically and mentally and provide some necessary stability. They are the policies, rules and regulations of our system.
In Immunity to Change, Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey talk about how our beliefs and assumptions form a sort of immune system. They are the invisible forces that keep us safe from anxiety, and when we challenge those forces, our "immune" system kicks in.
Challenging our immune system is essential; it allows it to grow more robust and supports and protects against more dangerous conditions.
Creating transformation in an area requires us to challenge our assumptions, perhaps leaving some behind and creating new ones. Creating change requires destabilizing the system for a short period while we establish new policies and regulations.
Coming back to our road network, creating change can feel like trying to force a high amount of traffic through our neighbourhoods without the proper connections and planning.
We must first adapt our existing road network to create new collectors and local roads before allowing traffic to flow through smoothly.
If you're willing to challenge your beliefs and create new connections, here's a great way to identify limiting beliefs. If you find the exercises challenging, I would be happy to speak with you. We can all benefit from smooth traffic flows and robust immune systems.
Quote of the week
The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
From Albert Einstein
Sparknotion – Think Differently.