And keep you hiding out …

An Elephant, a Mouse and your success.  Intimately connected.

Sounds really weird, doesn’t it? How could they limit your success?

Mouse riding Elephant

Let me tell you a story

You want to promote a teleseminar, design a new programme, or finish the copy for a page on your website. You want to raise your profile and be more visible to the clients who need you.

You set aside a whole day to devote to it. You get up that morning raring to go, and after breakfast, a shower and your meditation or whatever daily Connection practice you use …

It’s time to get started

But hey, it’s such a lovely morning, you decide to go for a walk first.

When you get back, you check your emails (because there might be something urgent that needs a quick response, right?)

A mere hour or so later, after clicking through on all those great newsletters, watching the videos and registering for free teleseminars, you start feeling a bit peckish.

Guess what happens next …

Hmm, must be lunchtime

That’s ok, the day is young.

Clearing up after a spot of lunch, you can’t help noticing the smears on the kitchen windows – haven’t been cleaned in ages.  Might as well do it now while you’ve got the time.  While you’re at it, the fridge could do with a clearout too – there are some very sad looking vegetables that have been languishing in there for a while.

Mid-afternoon and you’re back at your desk

Time to get started.  Just have to make a few phonecalls first.

One is to a potential client, who enrolls (hurray!!!).  You spend the best part of an hour pulling together all the documents you need and composing a wonderfully personalised email to her.

It’s now late afternoon – OMG is that the time?!!!!

Too late to start anything now, soon be time for the school run.   I’ll start tomorrow ….

And all the while there’s a thick grey fog hanging around on the edge of your awareness because yet again …

You’re NOT DOING that thing you set out to do!

Which means you’re still hiding out. Fear not though, it’s perfectly normal behaviour when you’re heading into new territory (outside the comfort zone).

Picture it like this:

Mouse riding Elephant

Your Conscious mind (the part that intends to do whatever it is you intend to do) is like the little Mouse in this picture.  It knows where it’s heading and (somewhat naively) believes the Elephant (your Subconscious mind) will travel in the same direction.

Elephant, on the other hand, is responsible for your safety and survival, and may have convincing evidence from past experience that it’s not safe for you to head in that direction.  And Elephant is controlling 95% of your daily behaviour on automatic pilot.

Oh, and it’s true brilliance is coming up with a million different ways to steer you off-course and keep you hiding away.

Which is incredibly frustrating for Mouse 🙂

What can you do about it?

Talk to Elephant.  Find out why it thinks this particular goal is not a good one.

Very often it’s looking at the situation from the perspective of a 6-yr old.  Or its perception is distorted by a more recent trauma.

Giving it updated information is a great idea, but sometimes that’s not enough to have it feel safe to alter course.

Elephant-Whispering tip:

Add a little Tapping to the mix to release it from the spell of the story it’s been telling and it will gladly start walking in the direction you want.

Over to you

So how about you, how do you know when your Elephant is in charge, what symptoms do you see in yourself?  And how do you deal with them?

We’d love to know.  Please share your insights and tips below.

PS:  Want a meaningful conversation with your Elephant?

Complete my free Quiz, Discover Your Hidden Blocks to Money & Success – and find out what you can do to clear them. Grab your copy below:

Money Blocks Quiz

I guarantee there’ll be surprises in there for you!

26 Comments on These creatures limit your success

  1. I loved this post. It’s so true. Our mind has so many visionary plans it pursues completely unaware of the memories and resistance to change our bodies hold. The picture of the mouse and the elephant is a perfect illustration of this . To me the post is reminding me that if i don’t take note of and try to understand my body’s reactions and resistance I end up hating and rejecting it . And what does that do? Probably increases my sense of separation from myself which might just be the very opposite if what i was trying to achieve with my minds visionary plans!
    Thanks Linda . That picture has really made me think

  2. Linda, what a great illustration of how we can get side-tracked and not realise it until it’s too late ! I love your mouse and elephant analogy. I can relate to this very well ! It reminds me of another one of those ‘sayings’ – something about not avoiding “the elephant in the room”..
    If only we were aware more often how we are pulled offtrack by well meaning ‘saboteurs’ – in this case walloping great elephants!
    I’ll remember this one – thankyou! 🙂
    Ann Brown recently posted…When Is It OK To Break The Rules?My Profile

  3. Hi Anne, yes you’re right, I hadn’t thought of it in an ‘elephant in the room’ way.

    There’s also a saying that ‘an elephant never forgets’. Which is very useful when it’s remembering something that encourages us to be courageous and step into the new. Otherwise not so 🙂
    Linda recently posted…THESE CREATURES LIMIT YOUR SUCCESSMy Profile

  4. Dear Linda

    I love that post.

    Did you write it about me?

    Love the mouse and the elephant, the metaphore and the drawihng.

    thank you so much!!

    oh!! BTW can I traslate some of it into Hebrew with full credit to you of course?

    thank you


      • Hi, Linda 🙂
        I’ve seen this metaphor many times, but this is the clearest explanation (and the cutest illustration) – and it cannot be explained too often, or in too many contexts!

        Where would I find “Marissa’s 30-day Get Focused Challenge”?
        I definitely need to get to know *my* purple elephants better!

        Have a great weekend, too ~
        Karen J recently posted…On Cigarettes… mine in particular 🙂My Profile

  5. I really synched with this post from the first few words. It’s excellent!

    My elephant takes me off into deep and extraordinarily interesting places …. usually the internet! She loves to dip a toenail into new things because she wants to become a ‘master’ at ALLLLL of them and then she gets overwhelmed and faints for several days!

    uh huh! you get the picture….. 😉

    Thank you…. just wonderful!

  6. What a wonderful metaphor, Linda. 95% – that is quite some statistic. I’ve made a mental note to be mindful of the elephant in my room. Thank you for this wonderfully creative post.

    • Thanks, Lisa. It’s my all-time favourite metaphor in the work that I do, as it seems to interrupt the cycle of internal battling, frustration and self-blame. Understanding the elephant’s misguided perceptions and giving it new information so it can willingly get behind our goals is much more fun (and far less exhausting) than fighting to turn it around 🙂
      Linda recently posted…School leftovers, anyone? My Profile

  7. Coming back to this one from an old post at Corrina’s 🙂

    I just had a major run-in with my Elephant yesterday!
    I had great intentions to go to a class in the city, and a birthday party later. Looking forward to the class – it promised some deep, intense work, leading to great breakthroughs. And then, I failed miserably to prepare for the day: didn’t calculate how much driving-time I’d need, decided at the last minute to do laundry “first”, and finally got out the door, without breakfast AND too late to get there on time!
    In the course of deconstructing all that, I realized that I was not only resisting doing the “discovery work”, but also afraid of the naked visibility that would be required of my Elephant.
    Whew – what a ride! And sooo not where The Mouse wanted to go… ]

    Yaknow what, though? Putting this “out here” feels like a giant step…:0 Thanks for the “safe place”, Linda!
    Karen J recently posted…Life Advice from Mike RoweMy Profile

    • Hey Karen

      High fives for having the insights, and also the courage to post them here 🙂

      I’m sure your comment resonates with many of us in the self-employed community.

      Awareness of unconscious patterns is the first step to freedom and I agree with you totally, ‘outing’ them can feel like a big step but it does loosen their hold on us.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing so generously.
      Linda recently posted…Are you afraid to quote your rates?My Profile

  8. I definitely resonate with this post! I have done that so many times, including today in fact! Thanks for the great post. Off to do some tapping now 🙂

  9. This is describing me on a very non productive and scattered day!! I get on and do what I set out to when I write a “must do today list” otherwise I can drift and fill my time with other kind of important but not tasks!! Thanks for explaining about my elephant and mouse Linda 🙂

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