Cut The Rope

Contributed by Tami Matheny - Founding Partner of Success for Teams, Owner at Refuse2Lose Coaching and author of "The Confident Athlete"

If you have ever been to a circus or seen one on tv, maybe you have noticed that the elephants are not kept in cages as are the other animals.   Instead, these massive creatures are only contained by one small rope tied to their front leg.  Since elephants are big enough and strong enough to break this bondage why don’t they? The answer lies in their conditioned mindset.  You see, when they’re young and much smaller and not as strong, they can’t break away from this rope. It’s strong enough to hold them. As they grow up, they slowly are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They think the rope can still hold them, and eventually they give into the belief that they can’t break free.”

These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they could not, they were settled where they were. Like the elephants, many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it before. Many of us hold ourselves back by clinging onto outdated beliefs that no longer serve us. We have “settled” where we are because we don’t have strong enough belief in ourselves.

Have you avoided trying something new because of a limiting belief? Worse, how many of us are being held back by someone else’s limiting beliefs? Our beliefs are formed based on our thoughts of our past experiences and interactions.  Hanging onto a limiting belief only ties you down.  The first step is to challenge the beliefs that you have of yourself that hold you back.  Are these beliefs actually true, or have you just fallen into the elephant’s trap of believing them because maybe you have failed in the past or because someone has reinforced those thoughts of yourself

The majority of your limiting beliefs can be overcome.  Challenging them automatically makes them weaker.  The next step is to start changing your self-talk.  Start adding the word, “yet” to your thoughts.  “I haven’t beaten her yet” or “I am not good at hitting curve balls, yet”.  Yet tells your brain to hold on that its just a matter of time.

Another way to build confidence, is to use “I am…” statements.  Start saying, “I am good with my left hand” or “I am confident when the game is on the line”, etc.  These “I am…” statements combined with consistent practice will help you to cut the rope around your ankle that is binding you mentally.

Quit limiting yourself and cut the rope!  Start becoming the you, you are meant to be.