Action 5: Test the Limits of Your Constraints
Do you know how elephants, the most powerful animals on earth, are kept constrained? Soon after they are born, they are bound to a stake by a large and heavy chain. At first the baby elephant struggles a lot, but eventually it gives up. Over time, the elephant’s trainer is able to replace the chains with progressively smaller chains, until the now massive adult elephant can be successfully constrained with a light cord. You see, at some point the elephant “learns” that its chain can’t be broken. In its mind, it still envisions itself as that smaller animal that is bound by something massive and unyielding.
We humans are much the same way. When you were a child, you may have had the experience of being laughed at when you stood in front of your class to speak. If so, you quickly “learned” that you weren’t good at public speaking. Similarly, if you were the last one picked for your school baseball team you quickly “learned” that you were not athletic. In your mind’s eye, that cord by which you were first bound still appears fearsome and unbreakable. Fortunately, sometimes we are lucky enough to encounter life experiences that encourage us to challenge these limiting views of self. Along the way, we look down at our feet to discover that we have been dragging along, not a massive chain, but rather a small piece of broken string. It’s at this point that we often wonder, “Is that what’s been holding me back for so long?”
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