In some cultures around the world baby elephants are conditioned in such a way that they form powerful belief systems which are almost impossible to break.


As the baby elephant was so small, it could be tied to a twig preventing its escape. The rope used to tether the elephant was relatively thin, but because baby elephant is very young and small it finds breaking free impossible. After the elephant tries so many times to break free and is unsuccessful, it believes that trying to break free is useless so eventually stops trying. Through repetition, the young elephant has formed a belief system, constantly trying and failing to break free.

As the years pass, the elephant quadruples in size and has the strength and ability to pull trees out of their roots and squash anything in its path. However, because the elephant has been conditioned he believes he can never break free, so he doesn’t even try and remains tethered to a tiny twig!


Like the elephant in the story above us humans also form powerful belief systems through repetition. Some are formed in more complex ways than being tied to a tree! But, the resulting effects are still the same. We give up or stop trying!

Have you ever been told by a friend or family member “You’ll never be able to do that” over and over again? It gets you down right? Makes you doubt yourself? You bet it does!

Or like the baby elephant have you tried something over and over till you get to the point you genuinely believe that you cant and wont reach your goal, have you given up? In some way shape or form we all have been there. I thought I’d share with you some strategies that have helped me and some of my clients over the last few years


Henry Ford’s memorable quote springs to mind “If you believe you can or can not do something then you are probably right!” we all talk to ourselves in our heads, try and change the message if its not a positive one.

AND BREAK AWAY FROM YOUR TWIG! (I love cheesy metaphors)

  • Forget your limiting beliefs, choose to surround yourself with only positive people who will support you with your dreams goals and ambitions
  • If you have tried and failed before, try a different approach “The definition of insanity = To try the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome!”
  • Set goals, time frames and right them down!
  • Find someone who has done what you want to do and learn how they did it! (One of my favourites)
  • NEVER GIVE UP “You only fail when you stop trying”

These few approaches helped me so much over the last few years, I would love to hear what you think and if they help you at all I love to here about it

Neil Fbbc

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