Have you ever seen an elephant at a circus? Magnificent creatures. Enormous in size, and truly dominating in presence. Have you seen them when they’re not performing and just in the back awaiting their turn?
Circus elephants typically have a rope wrapped around their foot and knotted onto a small pole that’s wedged into the ground for the purpose of keeping the elephant in that area. It’s quite strange to see this 5000 kg elephant tied to this small, dinky poll. One forceful pull and surely the elephant could break the pole into pieces.
Perhaps the elephant doesn’t actually want to leave, but then, why would they be tied to the pole in the first place?
Much to my surprise, I learned that the elephants don’t think they can break free. You see, when the elephants are very young and much smaller, the trainers use larger ropes to tie them to the pole. At that young age, many elephants will try to break free but the rope and pole is sufficient to hold them. Many months of attempts to break free, and failures to escape have them grow up conditioned to believe that they cannot break away.
Though these powerful creatures can break free from their bonds at any time, they don’t, because at one point in their childhood, they learned that they could not.
Their present strength is limited by their past experiences.
How many of us still think we can’t do something, because we failed at it when we were younger?
How many of us hold on to childhood struggles and memories, as if they were still true to our capacities today?
How many of us go through life holding onto a belief that we once thought was true, and have not challenged ourselves past it?
These are called our limiting beliefs, and they affect our mindset. No you’re not ‘messed up’ for having limiting beliefs, in fact, we all have them about something in our lives.
By identifying these limiting beliefs, you can bring them into your conscious mind. Begin to slowly rewire your way of thinking by challenging yourself when those thoughts reappear.