Overcoming Limitations

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Overcoming Your Personal Limitations…

A baby elephant is born into the world. It’s young and naive. The world is new and every experience is enthralling. It is at this age that the baby elephant learns most about itself and about its limitations within this world.

It is said that elephants are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. This may be true, but even the most intelligent creatures succumb to the process of conditioning.

Just imagine for a moment an elephant trainer at a circus trying to control a 10,000 pound animal. The elephant has so much mass and strength that it could walk all over its trainer and do whatever it pleases. But it doesn’t. The elephant doesn’t rebel against its trainer for one reason. And this all has to do with the conditioning it received as a youngster.

Training elephants must begin at a young age, because when they’re young they are very impressionable and the trainer can therefore use this time to teach them how to do certain tricks and follow simple commands. But the greatest discovery about training elephants has nothing to do with the ticks they perform, but rather with the method trainers use to subdue an elephant’s movement.

Consider this for a moment: A 10,000 pound adult elephant has a thin flimsy chain tied around one of its legs. This chain is attached to a tiny wooden peg that has been nailed into the ground. Who in their right mind would think that this could prevent an adult elephant from escaping? It doesn’t seem possible, does it? But it works.

The adult elephant could very easily offer just minimal resistance and pull the wooden peg out of the ground in an instant. But he doesn’t resist. He doesn’t resist because he believes that resistance is futile. He believes that he simply just doesn’t have the strength to break free of that flimsy chain. But why?

When he was a baby the elephant trainer used the same wooden peg and flimsy chain to keep the elephant from escaping. However, back then the baby elephant wasn’t strong enough to break free from its shackles. Yes, he certainly tried escaping. In fact, he tried, tried and tried, but to no avail. The chains were too strong and he soon realized that resistance was futile. There was no escape because the shackles wouldn’t budge. And so he eventually just accepted his fate and never tried escaping again.

Today as an adult he could easily break free of those chains. He’s certainly strong enough. But because of past conditioning he simply doesn’t believe he’s strong enough, and therefore never even attempts to escape.

This adult elephant is stuck within his self-imposed limitations. He has all the potential in the world to break free, but his limiting beliefs about the situation prevent him from even trying.

In many ways you, me, all of us are just like this adult elephant. We are trapped by our own limiting beliefs and past conditioning. Yes, of course we all have untapped strength and potential within ourselves. And yet we keep holding ourselves back based on what exactly? Based on experiences we had as a child.

As a child you had a plethora of experiences. Some were of course empowering and helped you get ahead in this world, but others were unhelpful — creating a set of limiting beliefs and perspectives about yourself, others and the world around you. Now, of course you were very impressionable back then and had a different view of the world. But now you’re an adult, and yet you’re still living your life based on old beliefs and perspectives that aren’t helping you get ahead in this world today.

Don’t you think it’s about time you broke free of those flimsy chains?

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Action Points

Consider for a moment the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, and ask yourself:

  • How are my limiting beliefs holding me back in life?
  • What childhood perspectives no longer serve me today?
  • What boundaries do my limiting beliefs and perspectives put on me?
  • What must I begin believing about myself, others, my circumstances or the world around me to break free of these boundaries?
  • How must I shift my view of the world to break free of these flimsy chains?

Your limitations are only limitations of the mind based on past conditioning you received when you were younger. These limitations are not real, they are rather only figments of your own imagination.

IQ Matrix Maps

Here are links to complementary IQ Matrix posters that go into more depth about this topic:

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