Your Personal Power Pod

Do You Think Outside the Box?

June 04, 2023 Sandy and Shannon Season 3 Episode 73
Your Personal Power Pod
Do You Think Outside the Box?
Show Notes Transcript

When you’re confronted with a challenge you’re not sure how to handle, do you just give up, do what you’ve always done, or do you decide to get creative and think outside the box?  In today’s episode of Your Personal Power Pod, we look at what happens when you stay stuck, and the magic that happens when you think outside the box

E73 do you think out of the box
[00:00:00] Shannon: Welcome to Your Personal Power Pod, a podcast about aligning yourself with the life you want. And here are your hosts, Sandy Abel and Shannon Young
[00:00:20] Sandy: Shannon. Good morning. How are you today? Hi, Sandy. 
[00:00:23] Shannon: I'm quite well. I am probably doing better than you. How are you? 
[00:00:29] Sandy: You are absolutely right. I am good. Although, as you know, and our listeners will soon know, last week I was working in the garden and managed to trip over something and fell and broke my wrist.
[00:00:40] Sandy: Oh. So since then, it's been very interesting trying to function with one. Arm, especially since I'm left-handed and it's the left one. So I've had to learn all kinds of new things and it got me thinking about thinking outside the box because we always do what we've [00:01:00] always done. We don't even think about it until suddenly part of that doesn't work anymore.
[00:01:05] Sandy: I have been thinking about how do other people handle that? What is the whole deal with doing things the way we've always done and then thinking outside the box and finding new ways to do things, so, mm-hmm. That's what we're talking about today. 
[00:01:20] Shannon: I have to say, I'm very impressed. I knew we were planning on doing a podcast this morning, and I had not received an outline of the topic yet, so I wasn't sure what we were gonna talk about.
[00:01:29] Shannon: And then it occurred to me, I wondered how you were gonna type up this outline. Because you only have one functional hand and you've done a beautiful job. 
[00:01:38] Sandy: Well, thank you. There are a lot of misspellings, but fortunately there's auto correct, so that works. And uh, typing with one hand is kind of a trick. So you don't think about that until it's time to do it.
[00:01:51] Sandy: And then you go, oh, look at that. I need two for that too. But then you think outside the box and you go, oh, well I can prop this up. And yeah, that [00:02:00] thinking 
[00:02:00] Shannon: outside the box phrase is one we hear a lot. It's become kind of a buzz phrase around the office in many offices. What exactly are we talking about right when we say we're thinking?
[00:02:11] Shannon: Inside the 
[00:02:12] Sandy: box. Well, when you think inside the box, you just do what you've always done and you don't even think about it. Like using two hands to do something. You stay in your comfort zone and follow the Tried and true. Yeah, you count on outcomes being predictable. You do the same thing every time, every way, and it always works out.
[00:02:30] Sandy: You don't have to deal with new things. In a lot of ways it's good because it's easy, but it can keep you stuck in a place where you don't learn or grow or improve your life. Mm-hmm. When you just stay inside the box. I think we do 
[00:02:42] Shannon: that for a lot of reasons. It's easy, it's comfortable, like you said, it's predictable.
[00:02:46] Shannon: We know what's gonna happen. If it's been working for us, then there isn't really a reason to change, especially if we're not getting criticism from anybody else. That's kind of a tacit signing off on those behaviors, you know? [00:03:00] We don't have to be creative. We don't have to think, but at the same time, right, nothing ever gets 
[00:03:03] Sandy: better.
[00:03:04] Sandy: Yeah. Nothing changes. If Uhhuh, everybody in history had just done what they've always done, heck, we wouldn't have wheels, we wouldn't have light bulbs, we wouldn't have computers, we wouldn't be talking to each other. There're so many things that somebody had to think outside the norm Uhhuh in order to create.
[00:03:22] Sandy: I am grateful to all of them for all that they did. It's quite fascinating how things came about. But if they'd stayed inside their little box and just done what was comfy, I guess we would just be cavemen still. Yeah. Yeah. So if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten.
[00:03:40] Sandy: Yes. In some ways that's good, and in some ways that's not so good. 
[00:03:44] Shannon: I think it's. Key to understanding that because then you morph into the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing you've always done, but expecting something 
[00:03:54] Sandy: different. Yes. Yeah. You cannot do the same thing you always do and expect a [00:04:00] different outcome because it's not gonna happen.
[00:04:01] Sandy: Mm-hmm. You have to expand your thinking. It's interesting. There's a puzzle. I'm sure we've all seen it. It's some kinda shape with different colored dots in it and it says, connect all the blue dots and all the green dots and all the pink dots and just draw a line and connect those. The only way you can do it, most people try to do it and stay inside the shape.
[00:04:23] Sandy: Mm-hmm. And the only way you can connect the dots is to go outside. The box that all the little dots are in. And if you are just thinking that you have to stay inside that little box, you'll never connect the dots. Mm-hmm. And you'll never succeed. 
[00:04:37] Shannon: That's connecting the dots without crossing the lines.
[00:04:40] Sandy: Yeah. It's quite fascinating to see how people just. Struggle and then say, well, this can't be done. And there are a lot of people who just believe things can't be done. Yeah. You have to get 
[00:04:50] Shannon: imaginative and be unconventional. 
[00:04:53] Sandy: Yes. You have to think of things that haven't been thought of before. There's a couple of shows on the history channel that your [00:05:00] dad and I really enjoy watching.
[00:05:01] Sandy: One is the machines that Build America. Mm-hmm. And the other is the food that Built America. And it's fascinating to see how those people long ago, Got an idea. They wanted to create something or they wanted to improve something, and how they moved ahead. They never let things stop them. They didn't let people's criticism or laughing at them get in the way.
[00:05:24] Sandy: They just persevered and they came up with all the amazing things we have today. Mm-hmm. Edison created the light bulb, but he did not get it right off the bat. No, it took a long time and a lot of failures before he was able to actually create something that worked. Everything that is now something we take for granted was new and different and didn't work in the beginning.
[00:05:49] Sandy: Mm-hmm. And people had to refine it and fix it, and they were thinking outside the box. And what does that. Entail when you think outside the box, it means you're [00:06:00] imaginative and unconventional in your approach to situations in both your workplace and your personal life. You're being creative and approaching problems from a creative rather than a standard position.
[00:06:13] Sandy: Mm-hmm. 
[00:06:13] Shannon: It means deciding to look at things from a different perspective. And sometimes that's figurative, but sometimes that's literal. I know one time I was trying to find a particular earring, a little stud earring, and I had dropped it on the bathroom floor and I kept looking and looking and looking and looking and looking, and I couldn't find it.
[00:06:31] Shannon: So finally I got down on the floor and looked at it. Oh dear. Sideways. To see what was sticking up above the plane of the floor and instantly found it. But it literally, I just changed my perspective. 
[00:06:44] Sandy: Yeah. Smart. And that's how you think outside the box is you shift your perspective so that you can see things from a different point of view.
[00:06:53] Sandy: Mm-hmm. That way you discover novel ways to resolve challenges and accomplish your goals. You found your earring, [00:07:00] go chan. 
[00:07:02] Shannon: It just means exploring ideas that are unusual. Different maybe that are not limited or controlled by rules or tradition thinking differently. Mm-hmm. Why is that 
[00:07:13] Sandy: so hard? Because when you think outside the box, it breaks the rules.
[00:07:18] Sandy: Mm. And other people may not think that you're really smart to be doing it, although you'll eventually show them you're brilliant, but your ideas. Might sound ridiculous, so embracing them can be hard and they might laugh at you or criticize you for not following the norm. Yeah. 
[00:07:33] Shannon: You have to have a certain degree of willpower combined with innovation, combined with hope and determination and.
[00:07:42] Shannon: Inner strength to believe in yourself, even when other people don't. You just can't give up. Giving up can't be an 
[00:07:48] Sandy: option. Exactly. Yeah. That's the one thing that has impressed me when I've watched the History Channel shows that people would try something and it wouldn't work, and they go, oh, well, [00:08:00] okay, so what about this didn't work?
[00:08:01] Sandy: What could have done better? What could we have shifted? And they didn't go. Oh, it didn't work. We're just failures. Let's go have a soda or something. I mean mm-hmm. No. They hung in there and they figured out what was going on and they didn't make it personal. Yeah. And that's what you have to do is be persevere.
[00:08:17] Sandy: Don't give up. 
[00:08:19] Shannon: It goes back to our discussion a couple weeks ago about failure. Like failure is built into this process. Mm-hmm. You cannot move forward 
[00:08:27] Sandy: without failing. Absolutely. That is a huge point and so important for people to remember. Anytime you do something new, you're gonna fail. Mm-hmm. Anything anywhere.
[00:08:37] Sandy: You are not just born naturally able to do everything, but the more you do it and the more you refine it, the better you will become. That works with just about everything. You just have to believe in yourself enough to have the persistence to keep on keeping on. Mm-hmm. There 
[00:08:54] Shannon: are Benny's. To thinking outside the box and not just because you come to novel [00:09:00] solutions, it means that you could be moving humanity forward, you know, depending on what you're working 
[00:09:05] Sandy: on.
[00:09:06] Sandy: Yeah, that's true. That is true. That's pretty powerful. You'll be creating ways to improve everybody's experiences. Depending on what you're doing. 
[00:09:14] Shannon: I found my earring if that improved. 
[00:09:17] Sandy: Yeah. Nobody else's experience, but that's true. But that did, that improved your experience, that improved yours, and if it stayed on the floor, you might have stepped on it and that would've really hurt, so, right.
[00:09:29] Sandy: Yes. There are little ways in big ways to think outside the box, and they're all powerful and they all make a difference. Everything from the invention of the wheel and the light bulb to finding your earring or me dealing with my. One hand instead of two. Mm-hmm. You just have to figure it out and believe that there are ways.
[00:09:47] Sandy: If you say, oh, nothing will ever work. I'm not gonna try, it'll, it's just gonna fail. Well then you're right, it'll fail. But if you say, there has got to be a way I can do this, then you'll find a way you'll be able to create. Ways [00:10:00] of doing all kinds of things, or if you're at work, you'll create new products or services.
[00:10:05] Sandy: One of the most important things is thinking outside the box teaches you to adapt more easily to unexpected situations. Mm-hmm. So like in emergency situations, you're able to deal with things and find ways to deal with it quickly. Because you have taught yourself that there is more than one way to cope with things.
[00:10:25] Sandy: Like so 
[00:10:26] Shannon: many of the skills that we talk about on this podcast, thinking outside the box is a muscle. The more you use it, the easier it becomes. Yes. Kind of keeps your brain 
[00:10:37] Sandy: elastic. Ooh, that's beautiful. Yes, exactly. That's what it does. And then you become more adaptable. You have really improved problem solving skills.
[00:10:46] Sandy: And if you have an innovative drive, it can help you think creatively all the time. And that will be very handy if you're ever in an emergency. 
[00:10:54] Shannon: And it will also just make you look brilliant to the people around you. 
[00:10:57] Sandy: Well, of course, of course. [00:11:00] People will be in awe after they've stopped laughing at you, and 
[00:11:05] Shannon: that's what happens.
[00:11:06] Shannon: People thought Edison was nuts. Yes, yes. And now we use his inventions every 
[00:11:11] Sandy: day. Yeah. Yeah. So how do we start? Well, first of all, you have to have the willpower, which means you have the motivation to keep on trying not give up, and the way power, which is your ability to find new pathways, to reach your goal, you have to have hope, which is the sum of your willpower and your way 
[00:11:28] Shannon: power.
[00:11:28] Shannon: One of my favorite things to do when I'm feeling stuck is to brainstorm or brain dump, where I just write down. Mm-hmm. Everything that comes into my brain, no matter how stupid, illogical, crazy it may seem. And then don't worry about grammar. Mm-hmm. Or whether it makes any sense. But that gets everything out where you can see it and creates clarity and can help you make connections that weren't 
[00:11:51] Sandy: there before.
[00:11:52] Sandy: Exactly. And you have to go into that believing there are no stupid ideas. There are no bad ideas. Mm-hmm. Just get it out there. [00:12:00] Because something that if you're just thinking about it inside your head, you might think, oh, that's really stupid, but you put it out there and all of a sudden it starts to make sense.
[00:12:08] Sandy: You get rid of judgment when you do that, and having 
[00:12:11] Shannon: them in front of you helps you organize them and evaluate them, and then you can put ideas together that you maybe wouldn't have. Combined if they were just swirling around in your head. It helps you broaden your scope and be open to new ideas 
[00:12:23] Sandy: and perspectives.
[00:12:24] Sandy: Yeah. Right. So that way you start thinking about things that are outside your comfort zone. You don't just go, oh, well I've never done that, so I can't do it. Or I don't know how to do that. So we won't look at that. You don't go there, you just put it out there. And it's also sometimes helpful to just ask somebody who isn't at all familiar with the kind of thing you're looking at who doesn't know the rules.
[00:12:45] Sandy: Yes. Because they're not limited by rules or expectations. You just say, Hey, I'd really like to make this happen. What does that sound like to you? And then just listen and see what they have to say because mm-hmm. You can get fascinating ideas from [00:13:00] people who really are not part of what's going on. Yeah, 
[00:13:02] Shannon: it's fun to see how somebody in the sciences wants to do something.
[00:13:07] Shannon: They run it by somebody in maybe a creative industry, like an artist or a painter, or vice versa, and then those different disciplines can really compliment each other in ways that somebody who just stays inside their own isn't able to see it. 
[00:13:21] Sandy: Yeah, you need to get outside the box and see what other people are seeing or feeling or thinking.
[00:13:29] Sandy: Another really cool way to do that is just ask a child, yes, children have an uncorrupted view of the world and they believe everything is possible. So say, Hey, we would like to do this. What do you think about that? And they'll come up with totally bizarre, random, crazy ideas that might actually work if you then take them and refine them and fit them into your knowledge, into what you know.
[00:13:53] Sandy: Yeah. If you're creating a product or a service, talk to people who would be the end users. First of all, find out [00:14:00] if they think that there's a need for that. Would they want it? Right? And then how would they like it to function? Yeah. 
[00:14:06] Shannon: What are you missing? Because oftentimes from the design 
[00:14:08] Sandy: standpoint, we fail because we haven't thought of all the parts, or we just come from our perspective.
[00:14:14] Sandy: Mm-hmm. And we have to come from the end user's perspective, not ours. Yeah. Which means we have to get out of our own way. And let go of our ego and stop assuming that we have all the answers. Because if you're creating, you don't have all the answers, and you have to be okay with that. You have to have enough self-esteem to say, I don't know how to do this.
[00:14:35] Sandy: I think it would be great. I see there's a need. What do you think? Let's brainstorm. Give me your thoughts. But you have to be comfortable enough with who you are to be able to admit that you don't know everything. Mm-hmm. Because nobody knows everything. Yep. Yeah. So, have you had other occasions to think outside the box besides your earring?
[00:14:56] Shannon: Yes. Usually they're little and not [00:15:00] terribly interesting. I have recently been working on my yard and I've lived in my house for a really long time, and like I've told my husband, I'm just now starting to have vision for the yard, but it's because I started Ooh, cool. Looking at what I had as far as materials go, instead of uhhuh.
[00:15:17] Shannon: What I couldn't afford to buy. So that made me more 
[00:15:21] Sandy: creative. Oh, yeah. 
[00:15:23] Shannon: Which made me have more vision, which was pretty cool. But it took me, I mean, a decade or more to get to the point where I was like, okay, I don't have the money to hire a landscaper. Right. I don't have the skill to just like jump in and do it, so what am I gonna do?
[00:15:38] Shannon: I just started collecting rock. I think we've talked about that. Yes. Right. And eventually built a pretty phenomenal patio if I do say so myself. You 
[00:15:48] Sandy: did. It's spectacular. 
[00:15:50] Shannon: And started building things out of what I already had on hand. And so that's my example. How about 
[00:15:55] Sandy: you? Well, mine glaringly right now is my hand.
[00:15:59] Sandy: [00:16:00] Yes, and the fact that I can't use it, but I can still use parts of it. I figured that out that there's parts I can use. I can wiggle my fingers a little bit. They can grip things a little bit. Well, heck, doing a podcast that was way outside the box for me, not for a lot of people, but for me, it was way outside my comfort zone at the beginning.
[00:16:17] Sandy: Oh yeah, yeah, absolutely. The common denominator always with what you'd said about your yard and what I'm doing with my hand and with everything, is that you have to first acknowledge that there's a need for something, and you have to do it differently because what you were doing isn't working and then move ahead and believe in yourself.
[00:16:38] Sandy: That's so important. So, and your yard's looking beautiful, by the way. Thank you. 
[00:16:44] Shannon: And I think it's key to look at the story you're telling yourself. I have some friends who are getting over it by the way, but who for a good portion of their life have just said, oh, I'm not a creative person. I don't create, oh, and I wanna grab them [00:17:00] by the shoulders and say, oh dear, life is a creative process.
[00:17:05] Shannon: Everything about where you are today is because you created 
[00:17:07] Sandy: this. Oh, that's gorgeous. Shean. That's fabulous. You're right. Yeah. Change your 
[00:17:12] Shannon: story. Stop telling yourself you're not creative. You are inherently a creative being. Yeah. And once you start accepting that, 
[00:17:21] Sandy: Things will shift. Yes. Brilliant advice.
[00:17:24] Sandy: Everybody out there, you always have what it takes. Yeah. You just have to believe it. You think outside the box, you don't do what you've always done and amazing things happen. You claim your personal power, you do something different. Watch in awe as things unfold, and it can be 
[00:17:42] Shannon: so simple on days that I'm feeling stuck, I take a different route to work.
[00:17:46] Shannon: Change your scenery. Smart. Shake up your routine. Yes, Uhhuh, that's not even a big thing, but it is huge on a cosmic 
[00:17:54] Sandy: scale. Yes. And it does make a difference. It shifts everything. So when you get to work, you have a [00:18:00] different perspective. Mm-hmm. Brilliant. 
[00:18:01] Shannon: Awesome. I'm so glad your hand is somewhat functional.
[00:18:04] Sandy: Oh, thank you. And the doctor. We'll fix it next week, so Yay. It'll all be good. And I would love to hear from our listeners if they do something outside the box, if they're being creative in some new way, that's probably a little uncomfortable. I hope they're proud of themselves for it. I would love to hear about that.
[00:18:22] Sandy: That would be so 
[00:18:23] Shannon: fun. Yeah. These stories are super cool and they inspire other people, so share them with us and we will share them with the world. 
[00:18:30] Sandy: Yes, we will do that. Would you like to wrap us up? Absolutely. So if you are confronted with a situation you're not sure how to deal with, you can do what you've always done or you can think creatively and outside the box.
[00:18:42] Sandy: When you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always gotten. If you're willing to deal with the discomfort of trying something new, you can start thinking outside the box to find new solutions. There are many ways to do this, including ignoring other people's rules, writing down all ideas, even [00:19:00] if they sound silly.
[00:19:01] Sandy: Talking with people who don't have preconceived opinions or asking a child to be successful, you will have to be persevere and not let failure stop you. That's part of the process. You will also have to have way power, which is the willingness to be creative and find new pathways. You will have to claim your personal power and believe in yourself and your goal.
[00:19:23] Sandy: And when you do this, you might create the next great thing that changes the world. So cool. It's 
[00:19:29] Shannon: like magic. 
[00:19:30] Sandy: It is, and it all starts with believing in yourself. Claim that personal power. Absolutely. Adopt the I can doit attitude. Thank you, Sandy. Thank you, Shannon. I appreciate you and that you always know that you can do it.
[00:19:46] Shannon: Well. I have a great support system. Thank you for that. 
[00:19:52] Sandy: You believe in yourself. That's what is most important. It's 
[00:19:55] Shannon: the key, and we wanna hear how all of you guys have done it. So [00:20:00] please share your stories with us about how self-esteem and personal power affect your life. Or if you have any ideas for future episode topics, let us know.
[00:20:09] Shannon: We'd love to hear from you. And if you'd like to review our podcast, we wholeheartedly support that. You can do so wherever you stream, or you can just visit your personal power Click contact and drop us an email and talk to us directly. You can also get through to us on Instagram at your personal Power podd, and if you wanna just chat with Sandy about how coaching can change your life, you can reach out to her at
[00:20:33] Shannon: Thank you so much for listening. We look forward to hearing from you. And until next time, find your power and change your life.[00:21:00]