I remember stumbling across a story in college about elephants and chains which I still think about on a constant basis.
In the circus, when elephants aren’t performing in the show, they’re held in place by a chain attached to stake in the ground. The chain is weak and no match for an elephant, yet they never break free of them. The reason they don’t even attempt to break free is that the circus keepers have been using the same chain on the elephants since they’re young, and at that small size the young elephant can in fact be restrained by the device.
As the elephants grow up they’re already conditioned to think that the chain can’t be broken, so they stop trying after a while.
I use this story as motivation for self-analysis periodically. There are lots of things I wasn’t good at before and might’ve been a failure at, but things CAN and DO change. What limitations have I been placing on myself for years which no longer hold true?
When I ask myself these questions I slowly start to realize that I’m selling myself short in some areas. There are just some things I’ve given up on over the years which might yield different results if attempted again now.
These limitations can occur in our professional lives, in love, in physical endeavors, in learning, and who knows where else. What non-existent limitations are you currently living under? Some might be obvious, but some might not be. Think about the things you’ve walked away from in the past which are worth another shot. Chances are you’ve fallen prey to self-limiting conditioning over time. Having a memory like an elephant isn’t always a good thing.