Day Two: Ok. So You’re the Elephant. What Now?

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.

image from animal.discovery.com


 

Day Two: Ok. So You’re the Elephant. What Now?

Yesterday you identified something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t. How was the free writing? Did you freak yourself out a little bit?

You just might have. And you probably also realized that you do in fact have an elephant mindset when it comes to your dreams (which are now called goals).

You need undo those false boundaries that are keeping you from taking a chance or two. Answer these challenge questions first:

*If you attempted your goal today, even by taking one tiny step towards it, what would be the worst thing that could potentially happen? Let’s think absolutely, positively worst-case scenario here. Scare yourself a little. Imagine the thing that worries you the most. What’s your thought process? Write about that for 5 minutes.

*Now, write for 5 minutes about the best case scenario. Say you want to start a wedding photography business. If you just imagined the worst thing that could happen if you started taking steps towards that goal (financial insecurity, not being good enough, etc), now think about the best thing that could happen. What if you went onto Amazon, browsed cameras, and found the one you really, really wanted on sale. With free shipping. And an extra lens. Plus a spare battery. Well, that would be awesome, right? Write your best case scenario, or something positive that could come from taking a step towards your goal.

This exercise will do two things: it will show you exactly what the false boundaries are in your mind. There right there on paper now. Look at them. Check ‘em out. Laugh at them a little. They’re kind of ridiculous, aren’t they? They lose a bit of power on paper.

This exercise will also show you the flip side of the false boundary coin. How often do you think about the great things that could result from taking a chance on your goal? Probably not as often as you think about all the things that could go wrong. It’s easy to get caught up in saying no; when we say no over and over to ourselves, we prevent anyone else from saying no to us. To keep ourselves saying no, we create boundaries, affirm them in our mind, believe them, and thus give power to them, which takes power away from us.

To wrap up this challenge, take another 5- 10 minutes (or more!) to answer this question: Are these boundaries that I’ve created around my goal realistic? Or am I just trying to protect myself? If it’s the latter, write about what you’re protecting yourself from. Your answer may surprise you.

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!

 

1 thought on “Day Two: Ok. So You’re the Elephant. What Now?”

  1. First of all, thanks for the comment on my comment yesterday, Kristin. I am going to keep posting my responses as comments, maybe it will help out others who are having trouble answering their own questions and maybe others can give me some words of encouragement to boost my confidence.
    Now, onto today’s challenge: (with my goal being a successful and profitable career as a freelance writer)
    Q1: What is the worst thing that could happen if I attempted my goal today?
    I attempt this goal every day, and the thing that worries me most is losing my contracts with online publishers that I really enjoy writing for. I’m especially worried about it now because a recent editor tried to accuse me of repurposing a reference I used in an article. This situation, although I know in my heart I didn’t do what they are accusing and don’t feel a bit of guilt, has me worried anyways…that my argument against the accusation will not matter. It’s truly hard to push myself through work today, knowing that article is sitting there…while I wait on a reply of some sort. So, my worst-case scenario is the fear of not being able to freelance write profitably…getting further behind on bills and ending up looking for another job.
    Q2: Best-case scenario?
    One thing I have learned from all the positive thinking teachers I have listened to (Burt Goldman, Ester Hicks, the creators of The Secret) is that thinking positive and always imagining the best-case scenario is crucial. Like you said, Kristin, thinking negative just brings more and more negative things. And the more detail you can image the good things in, the better you are at thinking positive and the better you will attract good into your life. So…my best-case scenario: The troubled article is dealt with, I’m in the clear…the passion with which I argued my point prevails and proves that I am not a lazy writer, only one focused on delivering the facts, which often means para-phrasing sources. (because you cannot make up rules when talking about a topic that is truly black and white) In addition: my family and friends begin to understand and better support my career as a writer, instead of thinking all I do is sit in front of the computer all day (which is what I do…but you other freelancers out there will understand what I mean about how family and friends think our jobs are SO easy) Best-case scenario: I get a ton of work every day, with ease…in a few short hours, I start writing at the speeds I used to before I went into my 3-4 month “death period” and miraculously at the end of the day and at the end of every week I have enough work done that I can sit down and enjoy other things I love to do: crocheting and sewing, gardening, hiking…
    See how much bigger the best-case scenario is?
    Reflections:
    I’m worried about nothing. I know I didn’t do anything wrong and God or Karma isn’t going to let me take a fall for something I’m innocent over. Making freelance writing a profitable career is possible, even if I were to lose my contract with that employer, it just takes hard work, patience and devotion…even through the stress and worry…it requires confidence that I can break the ropes that are holding back my elephant mind.
    I think about the good things that could happen to us: I help us get out of debt, have plenty of extra money after the bills are paid…money to help us build the new house so we’re not stuck in this metal box forever. But, I don’t think about them enough.
    Worry is keeping me back, being my main boundary. I sit and worry about the worst-case scenarios constantly, think about how I am going to handle those bad situations and tell myself I’m just preparing for the worst as a way to protect myself and cope with the bad thing does happen. Preparing for the worst only makes you expect the bad things more than the good.

    Like

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