A man was visiting the zoo one day. As he was passing the elephant enclosure, he suddenly stopped. The majestic creatures were restrained by only a small rope tied to their front leg—no chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break free, but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer standing nearby and asked why the elephants did not attempt to get away.
“Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we use the same size rope to tie them.
At that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they continue to believe they cannot break away. They think the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The visitor was amazed. These enormous beasts could break free from their bonds whenever they wanted, but they felt they were stuck because they thought they couldn’t.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that restrains us simply because it held us back once before?