As a man was passing the elephants at a circus, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.
Thanks to my friend Susan for sending this to me last week. I think we’re all guilty of falling into this trap. We are truly only limited by the barriers we create for ourselves. In order to break free, we have to be able to see what’s holding us back. It could be a bad relationship, a tough childhood, self-doubt, or a handful of other factors. Only when we recognize what’s keeping us stuck can we start to free ourselves. What rope are you tied to? Are you ready to break free?