How changing your perception of reality can help you make a quantum leap in your business.
How did Nicole pivot her struggling business three years in, overcome depression, deep shame and imposter syndrome, start a completely new social media presence with new ideal clients, offers and niche, and start pitching her TEDx – all within six months? And make more than she had made in the previous three years?
She “quantum leaped.” But what exactly is that?
There’s a conversation in the entrepreneurship space around “quantum leaping.” It’s variably aspired to and eye-rolled at because whilst it’s clear that some people do it, what’s so often left unclear is how or why.
Specific modalities or practitioners are credited when it happens, but then the next person who comes along doesn’t get their leap. It seems there’s no science to it.
But in reality, there is: it’s that of how reality and identity interrelate. And culturally, that understanding is fundamentally flawed.
The personal development industry espouses the idea that you alone “create your reality” – you are the sole agent, in control of everything, all you have to do is believe and take action.
And that might work, if you are an affluent, white man – the identity for whom the dominant reality is centred around.
The system is created to facilitate the emergence of powerful, white, male identities. The same is not true for everyone. The more intersectional our identity, the more difficult it is to emerge as powerful, because the system is set to draw our power away.
In my research as a quantum archaeologist and anthropologist, pioneering in relational approaches to understanding diverse human experiences, it became clear that we have to understand our reality as a spider’s web.
We typically live our lives as one point on that web, connected to all of the other points, which comprise all of the people, places, things, ideas, social constructs (money, I’m looking at you), energies, animals and more that we interact with. We also interact with the idea of the things that are “not there”, for example, a child with a single mum will interact with the idea of “a father.”
Every single connection to the web acts back upon us. We are not the only actor, against a neutral backdrop of “reality”. That’s why it’s so hard to create real lasting change. We change one connection, but the rest remain intact, forcing the shape of the web to stay the same. Over time, the original issue we “changed” is likely to return to our original baseline. It happens because we’re continually looking for evidence. We believe the evidence that we “can’t change” because it feels so clear – we’re seeing it all around us, in every other connection within the web.
Changing your identity without changing your reality is virtually impossible. We’re not taught inner safety in our society, instead we’re taught that being in control is everything. Since change always brings unintended consequences, we resist the very changes we desire.
Your experience of reality is best likened to the tuning of your web. The more low vibrational (or negative) the connection, the less joy and abundance you feel in your life. Higher vibrations create a “better” experience. But these terms are all relative. My life is so far removed and “better” than the poverty and trauma I experienced as a child. Elon Musk may feel like the mighty had fallen, should he find himself here.
So what is a quantum leap? A quantum leap happens when we understand that our reality is the web. When we become conscious of every connection and embody the understanding that, whilst a great many of those connections were determined for us at birth, through the cultural systems we inherited, they are not reality. They are constructs made by people. Every name, label, measurement, fact, figure, all of it – all constructs.
All determined to centre specific experiences and exclude others. Sometimes with malicious intent, but mostly because we’re all predisposed to believe that what we see around us is real and immutable.
Anthropology and archaeology remain my greatest tools as a coach because they show us the nature of the entire system. They provide windows into alternate realities which exist here and now or in the past. They facilitate rapid and radical change in understanding of who and what we are, by highlighting the specific areas in our lives that we need attachments to function.
Make a quantum leap
Returning to our case study, Nicole, what did she do to reorientate her identity and reality so rapidly, and how can you do the same?
Learn how the patterns that hold you back are emergent from culture, and what you can do to heal those connections. By removing personal blame (and also blame for family members etc) we can expand rapidly, simply by focusing on what is a “yes please” to you, and what is a “no thank you.” The more religiously you observe the yes please and no thank you, the more inner safety you build, as you prove you can rely on you to look after you.
Create spaces of belonging around you by becoming a point of light in the webs of others. This does not mean people pleasing, it means sharing your story and transformation. Words are magic – it’s no coincidence there are prayers, mantras, affirmations, wishes, vows, oaths, chants etc.
Incorporate your journey into your work, whether it’s part of a mission statement, a charitable contribution you make, reflected in who you hire as interns, or becomes the focus of your whole business (as Nicole’s did). Not only does this facilitate genuine self-esteem because you see yourself making a positive impact, it’s also how we change the world on issues we care about. Leadership is fundamentally attractive to others. It matters.
You matter. Business should never be just about the money. It can’t be. We can’t feel the presence of “money” in our web. What we can feel is safety, belonging, significance, contribution, freedom, power and joy. Making your life and business reflect you isn’t selfish – it’s part of wholeness.