It’s amazing how much the metaphors we use can be enabling or disabling. For example, I used to think “in life there are no second chances” or “you never get a second chance at first impressions.” Once I adopted, “life’s an experiment”, it was much more enabling. It means, changing from getting everything right up front to boxing my risks, trying more, and learning and adapting as I go.
Test Your Results
My manager is very much into experiments around impact and improvement. He’s got a research background, but he’s into applied research. That works great for me because I’m a fan of learning what works over theorizing endless possibilities. It’s about testing your assumptions. It’s about testing your results.
Test Your Metaphors
For me, the keys to metaphors are knowing which ones I use, and which ones are limiting. I always need to ask, what’s the most enabling metaphor for the situation I’m in. What will make me more resourceful? For example, in a group like patterns & practices, experimenting and continuous improvement come with the job.
Find Your Best Metaphors
I’ll have more to say on metaphors another day, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this … do you know your 3 most enabling metaphors? … do you know your 3 most limiting? (hint – limits and opportunities are in the eye of the beholder … whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right)
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