Mark and his family were visiting a local zoo. As they passed the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge animals were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. Mark could see that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds. But for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why the elephants made no attempt to get away. “When the elephants are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them,” the trainer said. “At that age, it was enough to hold them. As they grew up, they were conditioned to believe they cannot get away. They still believe the rope can hold them, so they never try to break free.”
Mark was amazed. These animals could break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they didn’t try. The elephants were stuck right where they were.
How many of us go through life believing that we cannot do something, only because we failed at it before?