There once was a majestic elephant capable of roaming many miles.
Only she wasn’t free to move more than a metre or two, for she was kept in captivity, in a circus for the entertainment of people.
So as to keep her from wandering off, a rope was tied to her young legs. From an early age, she learned that she could go only so far as the rope would reach.
Each time she ventured just an inch more, it would strain and pull her back.
This was frustrating at first, but gradually she began to accept her limitations, unable to break free.
Many years later, the rope was cut. The majestic elephant was at last free to roam.
Can you imagine how she would run towards liberty… the miles trailing off beneath her enormous footsteps?
But the majestic and free elephant did not move any further. She didn’t even try.
She had “learned” that she was tied up and and this had become not only a default, but an identity and a truth. And so, tragically, she did not realise that the rope was in fact no longer there.
Its old, imaginary fibres, still rained her in, still comprised the remit of her world.
This story can serve as a powerful metaphor for limiting thoughts.
One of the most powerful limiting thoughts is often that we are powerless to affect any change.
Of course it is wise to understand our limitations, what we have influence over and what we do not. The flurry of thoughts in our busy minds can certainly be very difficult to control at times. However, we can learn to influence our response to these thoughts, as well as to question the truth of what we may be thinking.
Some of our thoughts may have originally been designed to protect us, or we may have inherited them from someone who wanted to preserve themselves or us, out of fear.
When we bring our awareness to these thoughts, pin them down, as if looking down at the rope holding our legs, we can begin to trace them to their source, and perhaps find there is not much value or strength attached to them “at the other end”.
Old constructs that we thought were keeping us blocked may have fallen away, or we may be ready to move away from them.
This enables us to move toward freedom, but not if we believe freedom itself is inaccessible.
Limiting beliefs and thoughts can show up in a variety of ways. Some examples could be:
I’m not good enough to do this.
I can’t figure it out.
I don’t have the courage.
I’m too sensitive.
I have to avoid mistakes.
What I really want is too hard.
I don’t deserve it.
I don’t have what it takes.
Take a moment to consider a thought that is limiting for you and that often comes up.
Can you feel it reigning you in?
Can you question it?
What if it wasn’t true?
What is this thought trying to keep you attached to?
Can you move towards freedom?
Even if it is just one inch?
Wishing you enlarging freedom…
The Tree-house Network.