Irene Lebedies on How to Think Outside the Box

So often in business, and life, people are encouraged to “think outside the box.”  While that may be good advice, it is a bit vague and could leave a person wondering just exactly what to do with it.  To that end, Irene Lebedies, performance coach to professional women, offers six ways to “climb out of the box.”

Following are Lebedies’ six simple ways to climb out of the box:

 Ask for feedback

 “Oh, boy! This certainly blows my hair back! Why would I voluntarily allow others to criticize me? This is pure suicide! I cannot take the negativity! Well, look at it this way: feedback is just feedback. It is facts and figures and someone’s opinions. You can take it or leave it. BUT…it can also be super valuable in seeing something you never saw before. Peeking over the edge of the box. Starting to climb out of it. In that way, it is totally cool! Besides, not all feedback is “negative.” I surprise my clients all the time by asking if they are open to feedback, and if they say yes, I just plaster them with a wonderful, but sincere, compliment. And that is also useful in getting out of the box.”

 Go for something 100%

 “Our brains think all the time, they are created that way. The thing is, our brains think a lot of negative things all the time, too. I cannot, I am not cool enough, tall enough, smart enough, rich enough, etc. Our brain wants to keep us safe, which in itself is a great thing. Nonetheless, it also tells us not to try new things because it is not safe. Well, playing it safe won’t get us far out of the box, in fact, it keeps us in there. When we go 100% for something, and are totally focused, the brain does not have time to mess with those negative thoughts, because it must keep us moving forward. Amazing things happen when you are 100% committed.”

 Acknowledge your gifts

 “For some reason, our minds are wired to think poorly of ourselves. Maybe we were brought up that way, or maybe we heard it from our teachers in school enough times so it stuck. Taking stock of what our gifts are is a freeing exercise, because it makes us free of self-pity, self-criticism, self-doubt and self-loathing. We will rise out of the box almost naturally, like a balloon!”


 “OK, this is one awesome tool: true forgiveness takes us out of the box immediately. Think of that a little while. This includes, of course, forgiving ourselves. What a catapult out of the box! When we forgive, it may do nothing for the other person, but it sure releases us from shackles of bitterness, hate, envy and denial. Wow!”

 Ask for what you want and need

 “Often we whine and complain about the circumstances, the money, other people, joblessness, bad knees, all the craziness in the world, and the bone in our leg. How about, if you – for once – asked for what you want and need, directly. Maybe you need a little love. Attention. Courage. Patience. How about if you asked how you could contribute? How about trying to find a solution? Your emotional brain will do somersaults trying to figure this one out.”


 “Here is another one of those rockets that shoots you out of the box immediately. Be grateful. Make a list if you have to. See the little things that matter. Kiss a child. This world is still a pretty marvelous place, just take a look and be thankful.”

 According to Dr. Lebedies, as well as other success experts such as Kevin Neagle and Dan Kennedy, reframing your thoughts and actions can lead to lasting positive results in life and business.

For more information about Dr. Irene Lebedies and Confidence Point Coaching visit

Chris Gunkle

Chris Gunkle is a speaker and best selling author profiling leading entrepreneurs.