What elephants know about the power of belief.

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This morning I learned how circus elephants are trained and it blew my mind.

If you’ve ever seen an adult elephant attached to a tent by a flimsy chain and wondered how the elephant stays there, this explains it.

Basically, when elephants are young, they’re attached to heavy chains that are deeply rooted into the ground.

As little elephants, they do everything they can to become un-chained. They move around like crazy, pull, yank, and push with all their might.

They just can’t get free.

Every little elephant eventually has a point where they just give up. They realize the chain is too powerful for them and they simply stop trying.

As soon as this happens, trainers realize they’ve got the elephant. It’s “trained”.

The elephants can now be tied with slender chains or ropes. It doesn’t matter what they’re attached to really, because they’ve reached the “trained” point.

If an elephant now moves and feels even the slightest bit of resistance, it will just stop trying.

So even as adults, when the elephants easily have the strength to pull a whole circus tent over, they don’t even bother.

They believe they can’t, so they don’t.

It’s incredible how powerful animals’ minds are.

(As you know… we’re animals too.)

When I catch myself thinking a disempowering thought in the future… either about how I can’t do something, or maybe feeling like I have limited options, or if I catch myself getting into fear…

I’ll be thinking back to this and realizing how I create my own chains.

Think you’re limited in your relationship options?

Think you’ve gotten to where you are because of a specific lucky circumstance that can’t be repeated?

Think you can’t make money?

Can’t lose weight?

Can’t sing?

Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain.

Not true.

 

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0 thoughts on “What elephants know about the power of belief.”

  1. The elephants aren’t trained, they are broken, after years of beatings and chains. Couldn’t you find a better example? Elephants are extremely intelligent, self-aware, social beings, right up there with oolphins, human beings and chimpanzees. Please show more respect.

    Reply
  2. Great post, Rachel.
    Just been thinking about how we'd been "trained" when we were children. It was very similar to the little elephants you mentioned above… Don't do this, do that, you're not allowed to…, you'd better not…, wait till you can do that, etc. etc.

    And here comes the one that can destroy a child's self-belief and self-confidence: "you" cannot do that (so don't even try it!). This is the stuff for a whole life's self-limiting beliefs – chains, chains, chains.

    Tragic: as adults we don't even try to change that anymore although we could do it. We'd been "trained" so well, trained to accept "our" limits. Just like the elephants…

    Reply
  3. This is one example I love sharing in my training events, specially when talking about limiting beliefs. We can take out so many learnings and from so many angles in different aspects of life.
    Another great one is the experiment they did with monkeys in a cage, perhaps in France where they put starving monkeys in a cage and hang a banana from a corner but they are showered with cold water everytime anyone attempts to grab it. Did you know about this one?

    Reply
  4. This is one example I love sharing in my training events, specially when talking about limiting beliefs. We can take out so many learnings and from so many angles in different aspects of life.
    Another great one is the experiment they did with monkeys in a cage, perhaps in France where they put starving monkeys in a cage and hang a banana from a corner but they are showered with cold water everytime anyone attempts to grab it. Did you know about this one?

    Reply
  5. This is one example I love sharing in my training events, specially when talking about limiting beliefs. We can take out so many learnings and from so many angles in different aspects of life.
    Another great one is the experiment they did with monkeys in a cage, perhaps in France where they put starving monkeys in a cage and hang a banana from a corner but they are showered with cold water everytime anyone attempts to grab it. Did you know about this one?

    Reply
  6. Hey Rachel,

    Very good post and we are indeed animals. If we do something over and over again, eventually we become good at doing it.

    I remember when I couldn't write in English – it took me 6-hours of labor to create 400 word article. Now, I can write anything – sales pages, information products, emails, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this post with people in your circle, as this is very inspiring and in the same time good reminder – you can to anything you put your mind to…

    Cheers,
    Peter

    P.S. I still need to do that Wealth Dynamics test you gave me. Somebody reminded me about it and I instantly remembered our chat on Skype back in March…

    Reply
  7. Hey Rachel,

    Very good post and we are indeed animals. If we do something over and over again, eventually we become good at doing it.

    I remember when I couldn't write in English – it took me 6-hours of labor to create 400 word article. Now, I can write anything – sales pages, information products, emails, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this post with people in your circle, as this is very inspiring and in the same time good reminder – you can to anything you put your mind to…

    Cheers,
    Peter

    P.S. I still need to do that Wealth Dynamics test you gave me. Somebody reminded me about it and I instantly remembered our chat on Skype back in March…

    Reply
  8. Hey Rachel,

    Very good post and we are indeed animals. If we do something over and over again, eventually we become good at doing it.

    I remember when I couldn't write in English – it took me 6-hours of labor to create 400 word article. Now, I can write anything – sales pages, information products, emails, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this post with people in your circle, as this is very inspiring and in the same time good reminder – you can to anything you put your mind to…

    Cheers,
    Peter

    P.S. I still need to do that Wealth Dynamics test you gave me. Somebody reminded me about it and I instantly remembered our chat on Skype back in March…

    Reply
  9. Hey Rachel,

    Very good post and we are indeed animals. If we do something over and over again, eventually we become good at doing it.

    I remember when I couldn't write in English – it took me 6-hours of labor to create 400 word article. Now, I can write anything – sales pages, information products, emails, etc.

    Thanks for sharing this post with people in your circle, as this is very inspiring and in the same time good reminder – you can to anything you put your mind to…

    Cheers,
    Peter

    P.S. I still need to do that Wealth Dynamics test you gave me. Somebody reminded me about it and I instantly remembered our chat on Skype back in March…

    Reply

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