Undoing the Elephant Mindset is a 10 day challenge designed to help you identify the false boundaries you’ve created in your own life, recognize the deeper reasons you stop yourself from stepping outside those boundaries, and then break free from the ties that hold you back from living a life you are passionate about. What you’ll need: a notebook or blog or computer, a desire to reach for more in your life, and an open mind.
Day 1: Are You The Elephant?
To begin, lease read this blog post about the elephant mindset. Think about the elephant, how it always believes that those flimsy ropes are strong enough to hold such a huge creature in place. The elephant doesn’t question the ropes: they’ve always been there, tied to his body, so why would he doubt their strength?
Most of us are the elephant in some way. You probably take calculated risks all the time, but there’s most likely a risk or two you haven’t let yourself try. Maybe you want to write a book, travel to a far-off country, hike the entire Appalachian trail, act in a play, learn an instrument, sail a boat across the Atlantic, do volunteer work in a third world country, quit your job and start your own business, buy a house, write a screenplay…
You can call it a dream if you want, but that just makes it feel even less real than it already is, since it lives in your elephant mindset. Don’t call your dream a dream anymore. Call it a goal.
There, see how that changes things immediately? It’s like focusing a lens to bring an object closer into view. A dream is far-off and vague. A goal is nearer and concrete. It’s within grasp.
What’s your goal? What’s the risk you would take if there was no chance of failure, rejection, loss of ambition, or whatever it is that stops you? Put aside the boundaries that you see around your goal. Maybe it seems impossible that you could backpack around Europe for a month, but if that’s your goal, ignore the logistics for a second (money, traveling, your job, your family, etc).
It doesn’t have to be something huge and lofty. You don’t have to become president. Maybe you want to lose 15 pounds but you’ve always believed it’s too difficult. Maybe for years you have wanted to try a new hobby like cake decorating or photography, but always stop because you think you’ll be bad at it.
Isn’t that always part of what stops us? Fearing we won’t be good enough? Mix that with the elephant mindset and you might never get up the gall to chase your goals.
Today’s challenge: Fill in the blanks of the following statements. Then take 15 minutes to free write about your goal. Question the number you chose for the second answer. Is it realistic? Does your elephant mindset force you to choose a low number? Or are you confident that you can achieve your goal? Write about your goal realistically. What scares you about it? What doesn’t scare you about it? Why is it your goal? How much does it matter to you?
- 1. If success could be guaranteed, my #1 goal right now would be ____________.
- 2. On a scale of 1 to 10, my ability to achieve this goal is ___________.
If you feel up to sharing, please leave a comment below. You can either write your entire day 1 challenge in the comments, or just give us an overview of your goal and some of the main points you wrote about. See you tomorrow for more Undoing the Elephant Mindset!