Elephants and Fleas – The Power of Self Belief!

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

The Life you truly want is the life that CAN BE YOURS

Success QuoteThe saddest two words in the entire English language are “If only…” Don’t  focus on what was or that which could have been. Look forward, progress and move  towards that which you truly desire. With all your heart and soul.

Elephants and Fleas

Jim Donovan in his book This is Your Life Not a Dress Rehearsal tells the  story of why elephants don’t run. Seeing adult elephants tethered by a slim  rope, he asked the trainer why the great animals don’t break free to which the  trainer replied to the effect that as young animals they are tethered by the  same rope and grow up believing that they are held and cannot escape.

In a similar vein there is a famous story told by Zig  Ziglar in his book, “See You at The Top.” You can place some fleas in a  jar with a lid on it. The fleas will of course begin to jump, repeatedly hitting  the lid in their attempt to escape.

After about 20 minutes, the fleas begin to learn that they cannot escape and  stop jumping as high as they did to begin with, to avoid smacking their head on  the lid.

Once they become accustomed to the fact that they cannot escape, you can  remove the lid and the fleas will continue to jump at the same height, never  escaping the jar. Since the fleas BELIEVE they cannot escape the confines of the  jar, they stop trying. Because of their experience with smacking their heads  repeatedly, every time they tried to escape, they never even bother looking up  to see that the lid is no longer there.

These two anecdotes illustrate well how, like elephants and fleas, we are  easily trained into believing how little we can achieve. Like elephants many of  us cling to beliefs that we too are unable to achieve what we truly want simply  because either we never tried or maybe we tried and failed once. These incorrect  self-limiting beliefs are what hold us back.It is a self-limiting belief and  self belief is the key that both locks us into self-limitations and yet is the  same key that can open the door to new horizons, new ways of thinking and  greater self-achievement.

For example, for many years I had the self-belief that I had a talent for  writing and yet I had no confidence in that belief and it was this that held me  back. Like the fleas in a jar I limited myself, although I never even tried to  jump high enough to bang my head on the lid. Nevertheless, I imagined  there was a ceiling just above me that I never aspired to exceeding because I  believed I never could. Self-belief is both what holds us back and exactly that  which can free us from our own self-limiting thoughts.

The situation is not hopeless. We can change. We can change our beliefs. We  can let go of those beliefs that hold us back and replace them with new, more  confident and more realistic belief and confidence in our abilities and talents.  We can change the way we think, in time and with a little effort.

‎’Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the  direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.’ Henry David  Thoreau

Today is the first day of a new YOU and achieving the happiness of life you  so richly deserve. On my blog is a free  plan with links to a free support forum  that will help you Change Your Mind and Change  Your Life in 30 days. Check it out.


Wytchewoode –    About  the Author:

The author of this article is Steve W. founder of Changing Minds Changing  Lives, a not-for-profit enterprise that aims to enable individuals to create  richer lives through valuable and permanent personal  development.



To change your life, change your beliefs “simple”.

Commentary by Joanne

Beliefs are a powerful mechanism by which our subconscious mind gets programmed. Whatever our beliefs, our mind strives to prove to us that it is true. We get back what we believe about the world, as the universe has no choice but to offer situations that match our beliefs.  Thus the best way to create better experiences is to take away all limiting beliefs that we have formed about ourselves and replace them by positive beliefs.

 Elephants in captivity are trained from an early age not to roam around beyond a restricted area. One leg of a baby elephant is tied with a rope to a wooden post planted in the ground. The rope confines the baby elephant to an area determined by the length of the rope. Initially the baby elephant tries to break free from the rope, but the rope is too strong. The baby elephant “learns” that it can’t break the rope. When the elephant grows up and is strong, it could easily break the same rope. However since it learned that it couldn’t break the rope when it was young, the adult elephant believes that it still can’t break the rope, so it doesn’t even try. This is how we limit ourselves with our beliefs throughout our life. The only limitations we have are the ones we impose on ourselves.


Examples of some limiting beliefs:

  • This article is good, but very difficult to apply in real life. Almost every post attracts a few of these responses! 🙂
  • Meditation is difficult and does not work for me.
  • I am to too old to be able to learn that now.
  • I am too young to learn about spirituality now.
  • I am not good enough for the task.
  • I am good, but this world does not favor good people.
  • My wishes never come true.

Examples of some of my beliefs:

  • I am loved. There is no lack of love in my life.
  • Everybody I meet is beautiful, wonderful and full of love.
  • Everybody I encounter is helping me on my path – they are out there for me as I am for them.
  • Everybody I interact with is God in human form giving me the exact experience I asked for – good or bad. If it’s not something I like, then there is something I need to learn that I have not yet learnt.
  • Everybody around is conspiring to make me successful. Jack Canfield calls this “Being an Inverse paranoid”.
  • Everything I need is within me – there is nothing I lack. I attract the right people, things and situations in order to experience life the way I am here to experience.