Reducing Conflict 56 Get Outside of your Box

You need to get outside of your box.  Sometimes people forget what this statement means.

You are in a box when you are imposing some kind of walls or barriers that contain you. They prevent the freedom to do things that would enrich your life in some way. I doubt there is a person who is not in some kind of a box. 

Here are some tips for recognizing the boxes you are allowing for yourself and getting out of them.

Take Personal Responsibility

It is easy to blame circumstances or a host of external factors for a feeling of helplessness. Blaming external factors is really taking the easy way out.  You almost always have the ability to at least influence external factors. You always have the opportunity to choose your reaction to them. Step up to the personal power that you have. You can find creative ways to burrow through the sides of boxes that constrain you.

Learn to Recognize Your Boxes

It is important to feel the joy of what it might be like to get outside of your box. My grandfather made a plaque that now hangs in my shop. It reads, “Success comes in cans…failures in can’ts.”  Whenever you think you cannot do something, that is a signal that you are in some kind of box. That may be a good or bad thing, but at least you need to be conscious of it.

Look For Creative Solutions

Sometimes taking an indirect approach is an easy way to experience something. Although you may not be into ski-jumping, you can still experience the thrill vicariously in many ways.

Listen To Your Inner Voice

Pay attention to your bucket list.  Make sure you find ways to pursue these dreams in some ways. 

Document Your Goals

Goals are what pull us forward. If you write down your goals, it will double your chances of making them happen. 

Just Do It

Too many people are living on a desert island called “Someday Isle.” Do you know how many people have started a book but never finished it? You probably know people who say “I’ve got a book in me, and someday I am going to get to it.” 

Or someone else might say, “Someday I am going to take a cruise.” I think you need to be careful with the phrase, “someday I’ll…” It means you are content to sit in your box and perpetually dream about some other experience.

What a tragedy to be on your deathbed and regret missing things that you always dreamed of doing. If you are no longer physically able to climb your mountain, at least you can go to the mountain. You can, see it, and smell the fresh air.

Have the resolve to experience some of the things that you have imagined in your dreams. If you are creative, there are ways to rip open the side of your box or perhaps create a bigger box.  What fun! Isn’t that what life is supposed to be all about?


Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.  For more information, or to bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him at, or 585.392.7763.


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