Are you an ‘Elephant’? Limited by your invisible shackle?

What does this have to do with your success? How can the elephant trainers method help you conquer your limitations?

Circus elephants are conditioned to accept their limitations.  A huge two-ton elephant shackled by one leg. At the end of the shackle is a small wooden stake dug into the ground. Hard to believe but true, that elephant is being limited by that short chain and the small stake. Obviously the elephant has enough power to free itself and roam around as he pleases. You see as a youngster the shackle placed on his leg was able to hold him in place. After tugging on it for a certain period of time his leg became bruised. This created enough pain in him that he stopped attempting his own freedom.

Once he accepts the limitation imposed on him it becomes a permanent belief, or in his case, a conditioned reaction. Now as he grows into adulthood, he has the power to easily pull the stake out of the ground, but his conditioning has taught him that the effort will not only be futile, it will be painful as well.

Here is what is important. We are not young elephants. We don’t have to create or accept these limitations. We can choose to break free. We will soon go through four steps that will guide you in eliminating the stakes that are holding you back. But first lets visit our circus elephant again. For the sake of this example, we’ll call our elephant “Jimbo.”

Here is Jimbo shackled to the ground. I’m his new trainer and I want to recondition him. First and foremost, I let Jimbo get hungry. I let a day or two pass without feeding him. Then I get his favorite food and place it inches from his reach. Close enough that he can smell it. Close enough that he is salivating. Next I provide encouragement, “Come on Jimbo. Come and get it.” I yell out. I repeat this process until, little by little, Jimbo starts pulling himself to freedom.

Here are the four steps:

1. Get hungry. Desire is one of the key components for destroying limitations. If your desire is strong enough you will become internally motivated to take action.

2. Keep your goals in front of you. So close that you can smell them and you salivate with desire to have them. This again will create the internal motivation to go forward no matter what may be holding you back.

3. Small steps bring huge rewards. Arrange small milestones along the way to the achievement of your big goal. With each tiny effort forward the stake will lift itself from the ground. This will re-enforce the belief that you can in fact attain your goal.

4. Get a mentor. A mentor is more than just a guide. Mentors encourage and cheer you on. They place the plate in front of you and say, “come and get it.” Follow their advice and you will satisfy your hunger.

Are you hungry yet for more, do you have goals that are so close you can smell them? Take small steps, celebrate the small wins, this will reinforce your efforts and invest in yourself..



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James Michael Sama

Relationship Coach | Relationship Consultant | Confidence Coach

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