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  • Writer's pictureCulture Evolve

Are you held back by invisible shackles?

Asian Elephant owners keep their elephants from wandering off by taking a small rope, tying it to a wooden post and attaching it to the elephant's leg. To the elephant, the rope is nothing more than string. One jerk and the rope will snap. One kick and the post will go flying. Yet with nothing but the small rope holding it back, the elephant stays put.

How is that possible? The answer is that it has little to do with the piece of rope around the elephant's ankle and everything to do with the invisible shackles around the elephant's mind. The elephant is strong, smart, holds incredible potential yet is somehow held back by nothing more than a piece of twine, left almost powerless by a lie.

Why doesn't she just break free? The strength is there. Why doesn't she use it?

When the elephant is still young, her owner takes her from her mother and shackles her to a large tree with a heavy chain around her leg. For days and weeks, the young elephant will strain and pull, trying to break free, but all she succeeds in doing is causing the shackle to cut deep into her leg. Eventually she gives up and accepts the idea that she can't go anywhere when there is something around her leg.

Soon the owner can replace the tree with a post and the chain with a piece of twine. Once the elephant feels resistance, she stops. There's nothing but a piece of twine around her ankle, but there are heavy shackles around her mind.

Are you like that elephant? Do you have the strength and potential to move forward but are held captive by a lie? Have you been conditioned to believe what is false? To stop when things feel hard? To miss out on your unique calling?

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