“It is impossible said pride. It’s risky said experience. It’s pointless said reason. Give it a try whispered the heart.” ~ Unknown
A man was passing by a herd of elephants. One look at them and he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held only by a small rope tied to their front legs. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could at any time break away, but for some reason they did not. The man saw a trainer nearby and asked him why the beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
“Well,” he replied, “When they were very young and much smaller we used the same size of rope to tie them and at that age it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” And the man stood amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
As much as it can sound absurd and unreal, we are so much like the elephants, hanging all through our lives to a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed somewhere, sometime at something. In fact, we conveniently forget the fact that life does not require us to be the best, it only requires us to be trying our best.
How many times have you thought to yourself, “It is impossible, I don’t think I can ever lose weight. My metabolism is so bad that neither diet nor exercise can help me lose weight” or “It is impossible, the competitor (s) is so strong, I don’t think I stand a chance to win say, the job or the contract,” and you gave up on the idea even before trying.
True, your metabolism may be very different from your friend who lost five kilos in one month or maybe your competitor won five contracts in a row, but is that a good enough reason for you to give up? Is there nothing new you can try or is there nothing better you can do than your competitor?
How often have you tried to confront the negative thoughts that come to your mind, that distract your focus and somehow allows you to settle to lose the battle that you are fighting with yourself?
Most often you really do not try as much as you should. You would by now be coming up with 10 reasons why you did not try well enough, and most of them are very genuine and very apt for the situation that you have been in, but really did you have no other choice or did you give it your best. Most often, “Not really” because what shapes your opinion now is based on your past, past experiences, past assumptions and past results. Unfortunately, you find yourself in a comfort zone, analysing situations based on the past. You create your own boundaries, fences as well as limitations of what you can do and what you cannot do.
Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve! Choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past. While that is one side to the story, the other extreme is where you try and break the shackles of the past, and do something so dramatic and dangerous that you often don’t realize where you have landed yourself into. I have seen many young boys and girls who want to break free from shackles of poverty and complex and do the weirdest things in life that you cannot even imagine.
From incessant gambling to blind dates, from crash diets to insane weight training, from trying hands in multiple businesses hoping at least one of them would take off to going all the way out to outdo the competitor. In fact none of these work. These can only lead to heightened fear of failure or depression.
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all,” said American writer Dale Carnegie.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy: Be it freedom, money, power, position, or anything that you can think of. You need to work hard to get it.Stop trying to hold onto your past: You cannot start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.Don’t worry about the failures: Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try. Success is not final and failure is not fatal.Take risks: If you win, you will be happy. If you lose, you will be wise. If you are unwilling to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.Start each day with a grateful heart: You got to look for the good in the bad, the happy in the sad, the gain in the pain, and what makes you grateful and not hateful.
The solution to how to balance past beliefs with the new ones can be simple if you want it to be so. Re-examine your belief system, question the status quo and get ready to try new things. It all starts with you trying to understand and respond to your deep set beliefs. So are you ready for the challenge? Go for it!!.
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