How Are Your Elephants?

People talk a lot about elephants:

  • There's an elephant in the room or
  • Who can see the pink elephant?

Kind of curious, since rarely there are elephants in a room, and generally they aren't pink.  How come these amazing creatures have been made the picture of something unspoken, but undeniably there?

When I think of elephants I think of the story of the elephant rope.  Here is a summary of it:

A man was passing elephants and was surprised because he noticed that all that held them was a small rope tied to their front leg.  He asked the nearby trainer why these animals made  no attempt to escape.  "Well," the trainer said, "when they are very small we use the same size rope and at that age it is enough to hold them.  As they grow up they are conditioned to believe that they cannot break away.  So even when they are grown up, they believe that the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free."

Maybe the elephants in the room, or the pink elephants that nobody sees, are more akin to the things that keep us small, the ones we know are there but don't want to speak of.  How many of us go through life believing that we can't do something, simply because we have tried once and failed?

Think about how many things you'd like to do in your life and there is this automatic story that comes in, proving to you why there is no benefit to even trying because you already have evidence that it won't work.  There is certainly safety in not trying.  You won't fail.

Here's a new perspective for you (in NLP terms):  there is no failure, there is only feedback.  So if the feedback was long ago that the rope was big enough to hold you back, how about giving it another try?  What if you found out that that rope is no match for you anymore?