It starts with a small elephant and a big rope. You know the story, it’s how humans control an animal that’s greater than we are in both size and strength. It’s also how bullies control others they know will become greater than themselves.
When a young elephant is being trained, a thick and heavy rope is tied around its ankle to bind it to a spike that is driven far into the ground. The young elephant may struggle for a while but eventually, the elephant gives up the fight. The baby elephant learns to live within the limits and confines of the rope. It can only reach out as far as the length of the rope will allow. Obviously, humans can’t overpower a large elephant; but when the baby elephant has been trained in this manner, physical strength has no bearing. The elephant is controlled by his or her own limiting thoughts. It has convinced himself that the pulling of the rope and the resistance, is stronger than his own strength. It gives up in defeat. Now, as a mature and large elephant, a simple string around the elephant’s leg will provide all the control necessary to keep it restrained, restricted, and mentally imprisoned.
I’m sitting here looking at my ankles and I don’t see any strings, yet I know I’m bound by some limiting thoughts. There aren’t a lot of them but still, I know they exist. Many of these thoughts have been self-imposed and others have been unintentionally placed by influential people who have crossed my path in life. These limiting thoughts are more apparent when I look at my dreams and desires. When I take one of these dreams and go through the steps to turn them into a goal, SNAP– there goes the jerk and pull from the rope of doubt and insecurity. Case in point, let’s look at this very blog. I continued to tell myself that “I’m not a writer, I’m a speaker.” For over five years I wanted to write a book but the tug of a limiting thought kept me from achieving my dream. I discovered the weakness in the rope that bound me by asking myself, “Who told you that you aren’t a writer Annamarie? What was the motive for telling you this?” Imagine my surprise to discover that I am the person responsible for telling myself I wasn’t a writer. I recognized that it was as a result of motivating myself as a speaker that I limited my success as an author. It wasn’t my intention to bind myself up and cause doubt; and yet I did. Little unobtrusive thoughts constantly cross our minds. Consciously we give them little regard but our sub-conscious is listening loud and clear. Prior to a speaking engagement, I’d pump myself up by reviewing my past speaking success but I wasn’t taking the same steps to review the comments I’d received for writing. I wasn’t even taking the time to transfer the success and recognizing that I first had to write the speech before I could give it.
So, what TO DO? Do…Take a look at your dreams and listen closely to hear the sound from old ropes that tug, bind, and limit you. Some of the limiting thoughts may sound like, “You’re too old for that.” “You tried that once and it didn’t work out then.” “It’s not worth it.” “Why bother.” “You’ll never be able to…..” Cut those ties and replace them with positive and constructive comments that free you to reach out past the length of your ropes. Take a look at “why” the rope was put there in the first place and free yourself. The old rope that was put there by yourself or by someone else doesn’t fit any longer; it’s not who you are today.
Be aware of the comments you tell yourself and what you recklessly say to others; especially children. You are an influential person in the lives of others and what you say can bind them or set them free to reach incredible heights. Your positive words are the fuel to strengthen and encourage a young personality. Speak with intention and thoughtfulness.
I am a writer; a storyteller; and a speaker of words. I may not be on the stage right now but I’m having fun between performances. When on stage, one of my greatest rewards is to see the look on someone’s face when we connect and share “a moment” of oneness. Your comments and questions are now my connection. Please share your comments and sign up to receive future blog posts.
Look at your dreams and cut anything that binds or prevents you from flying. Free yourself up to move toward your dreams; establish a goal, and achieve success. The thoughts that limit you aren’t real. Fly!