|Chains (Photo credit: Nina Amaho)|
When elephants are young, living in a circus or a zoo, they are tethered with a chain around their leg that restrains them from moving far.
Initially, the baby elephant will pull and tug at its chain trying to free itself, but eventually, after some time, the elephant will learn that escaping is futile, that no matter how hard it tries it remains imprisoned and thus gives into the restraint, for good.
Yes, for good.
You see, from that point on, the elephant is convinced that there is no way to break free.
And even-though a fully grown elephant, could easily walk away, snapping its chain, without breaking a sweat, it still believes to be as much a prisoner as when it was a little baby and therefore doesn't even think of trying to escape.
And that's what got me thinking.
Are we any different from the elephants, when it comes to our own limiting, sturdy beliefs? One would think that we humans with all our education and highly developed reasoning skills, are far too smart to be taken in, by such a cheap manipulative trick. Sadly, we are not.
To put it, in the proper psychiatric term: "conditioned reflexes", originating from negative experiences, way back into ones past, may still influence his decisions and way of life, today.
Negative experiences, failures of one sort or the other, tend to create powerful ripples in our lives, whether we know it or not and many of our most important decisions, anything from leaving a job, starting a new business, get married, have children, or take a divorce and move across the world, may be highly influenced by limiting beliefs created from those negative experiences, deeply embedded in our souls.
Leaving my highly paying job, as a marketing professional, to help my husband build his architectural firm and take the time to think about what it is that I truly felt passionate about doing, was one of the most difficult, life decisions for me.
Don't get me wrong here, I did not hate my job, I just never felt like we were a perfect 100% match but even-though that feeling was there from the beginning, after spending the last 10 years of my life working in cubicles, I still couldn't find it in me to just change my path.
I was holding myself back, with a chain my parents have created almost 20 years ago, when they wouldn't let me quit French class, because "winners don't quit".
And let me tell you something, I hated French, so for the first couple of years I repeatedly made it clear to my parents that I didn't like the class and that maybe I should try something new, but the answer was always NO.
So, I've spent 5 miserable years learning French and now I can only remember a handful of phrases, including the awkward pickup line "Voulez vous coucher avec moi?".
That was it, a limiting belief had found its way into my life and had me convinced that changing my career path was actually quitting, admitting defeat and cowardly walking away. I couldn't see it, for the opportunity that it was. I was chained.
And it took me almost 2 years to realise that, to stop making excuses and finally start pushing myself towards the life, I have been wanting for years. A meaningful life of service and love.
So, if you are not currently, live the life of your dreams, or at least work daily towards that direction, now is the time to ask yourself these questions:
Are you, in any way, like the full grown elephant?
Can you recall a time when you just gave up on something you were passionate about?
What is the "chain" that holds you back?
What do you think would happen if you broke that chain?
Is the possibility of being free, scaring you, in any way?
And if you are in need of encouragement and guidance, remember I am here for you. Lets replace that voice in your head telling you "this is too hard, you shouldn't even think about it", with a new empowering voice, screaming "You can do this. Go, for it!"
If you have a question you'd like me to personally answer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nichole Vourvourioti is a Change Architect and a Motivational Speaker, Coaching, Writing and Running Workshops about Personal Growth and Positive Change. As the creator of the popular website Take-Ten.com, Nichole writes weekly about Health, Wealth, Love and Happiness. To visit Nichole's blog, click here.
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