girl in a boxHave you ever felt boxed in, either by yourself or someone else? Sometimes we put ourselves in a box which can feel confining, restrictive, stifling, suffocating. The dictionary defines box as a rigid, typically rectangular receptacle, often with a cover; a small compartment. A box has clearly defined boundaries or perimeters. Being in a box or boxed in is a great metaphor for how we restrict and limit ourselves. How does it serve you to put yourself in a box, a rigid, confining, restrictive space? It doesn’t. Have you ever heard the saying thinking outside the box? It’s one of my favorites. Thinking outside the box is all about possibilities, options, choices. What is available to you from this point of view? Endless possibilities.

Sometimes others put us in a box because it serves their purposes. It appeals to their sense of order, neatness, organization and control. People who are analytical, critical, rigid can have a tendency to put others in boxes or compartments. Have you ever felt like someone in your life has put you in a box? How does it feel? You don’t have to remain in the box they’ve put you in. You have choices, options and you can break out of that rigid box anytime you choose to. Being the curious, free spirited person that I am, if I feel confined, restricted or boxed in, I ask myself the following questions? How can I get out of this box? What are my options? How can I break down these rigid borders? What are the possibilities once I am free of this box?

How about you? Have you ever put yourself in a box? Have you ever been put in a box by someone else? How can you break free? How can you think outside the box? What are your choices, options? What are the lessons to be learned from being boxed in?

Boxed In

9 thoughts on “Boxed In

  • January 9, 2016 at 5:28 am

    I loove possibilities! I’ve got this little activity for thinking outside the box that I usually gives me lots of insights. Here it is. Take a blank sheet of paper. Draw a box in the middle of it. In the box write, draw, doodle what you already know about your situation. Then relax and start drawing outside the box. Without thinking. Just let your hand move. Once you’re done. Have a look at your drawing. What do you see?

  • January 9, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I have this split personality~ part logical and businessy – the other creative and out of the box! I love thinking of different solutions and possibilities in many aspects of my life. Exploring my artistic endeavors has helped me grow “outside the box”
    Thanks for sharing his thought provoking post

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks for your comments Tat. I am going to try your exercise, sounds like fun:) Will report back on outcome.

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Sue, sounds like we are similar in our logical, practical, business oriented brain and the creative, out of the box brain. I love looking at possibilities and often use the words,What if…… or I wonder……. as prompts in my writing. Thanks for your comments!

  • January 16, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Boxes can be very helpful in the short term for people who are having trouble coping, like teachers of small children who need to convey a lot of standardized information in a short time–not easy if you let them proceed at their own pace, or pursue their own interests! But then it can become too easy to not remove the boxes once they’re no longer needed.

  • January 16, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    Twyla Tharpe speaks of boxes in her book The Creative Habit – one of my favorite quotes – “Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box” . You have inspired me to take that book out and reread – There has been much written about how sometimes trying to think outside the box isn’t a good thing – as sometimes it is better to get deep into the corners of YOUR box – and own your own box! and as Twyla says – there has to be a box to think outside of to start with! Thanks for your post!

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for your comments Scott!

  • January 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Thanks Vickie for this interesting perspective. To think outside the box, I need a box to think outside of. What’s in the deep corners of my box? Have I thoroughly examined all 4 corners of my box? How can my box help me to cope with a particular situation? I wonder How I can break out of my box? What are the possibilities. Thinking out loud here:)

  • January 18, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Interesting post with so many questions. Just thinking about ‘boxes’ doesn’t give me a good feeling because one of my core desired feelings is to feel FREE. Not sure if that answers you question and yet it does share how I feel. thanks!

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