When feeling stuck, break chains and don’t give up

Joleene DesRosiers

Feeling stuck is uncomfortable. It can hurt, make us feel worthless and even restrict our range of motion. And because it’s such an uncomfortable feeling, it can leave us in a place where we merely exist in life; a place where every day is only about going through the motions.

Stuck is when we suddenly realize we’ve hit a wall with our jobs. It’s when we recognize that our relationship or marriage has gone south. Or it’s when we’ve given in to addictions and other self-destructive behaviors that pull us farther away from the sun.

There is an old parable about a chained circus elephant: A man followed a circus that was coming into town and wanted to observe them setting up. He watched as the workers removed ceiling tiles to accommodate the giraffes and spread straw on the concrete floor in an attempt to make them more comfortable. On the other side of the large room a trainer was chaining a large, 15,000-pound elephant to a makeshift stake that merely rested on the concrete floor. The trainer covered the end of the unsecured stake with straw.

Stunned that someone would be so irresponsible, the man asked the trainer, “Aren’t you afraid that elephant is just going to up and run away? Head down Lincoln tunnel and wreak havoc?”

The trainer stood up and looked at the man. “Not at all. This elephant isn’t going anywhere.”

“But you weren’t able to drive that stake into the concrete! He could just take off at any given moment.” the shocked man said.

“This elephant isn’t going anywhere,” the trainer said. “You see, when elephants are very small, we chain them to a stake in the ground immediately. They try and try to break away, but eventually they give up because they know they’re not going anywhere. They grow into adults knowing that they are stuck and so they don’t even try. They just give up.”

Ask yourself this right now, “What chains are holding you back? Keeping you stuck? And are they really holding you back?

We constantly constrain ourselves with our own self-limiting beliefs. Constantly. When you find yourself falling into that pattern, remember this story. And don’t give up, ever. Chains can be broken at anytime, anywhere.

Joleene DesRosiers is a transformational speaker and freelance writer who lives in Pulaski. Contact her at joleene@joleenespeaks.com. Visit her at www.joleenespeaks.com.