Every morning I start my day with a 15-20 minute meditation. One of my favorite meditation guides is Kenneth Soares. In my meditation this morning, Kenneth shared a story that I feel has a lot of relevance to business success.
One day there was a baby elephant that was born in the circus. When he was a baby, they tied a rope around his leg and attached it to a stake in the ground. This baby elephant could only move as far as the rope would allow him to. Every day he would try to break free from the stake but he wasn’t strong enough. Days went by, weeks went by, months went by. Failure after failure, he finally gave up. Then one day, he became a grown-up elephant. He was big and strong, and perfectly capable of breaking free from the stake. But he never tried, because he had learned that he could not be successful. He stayed attached to that stake because of his learned beliefs.
I kind of wish this story was about a baby giraffe because that’s my animal. But heck, we’ll go with the elephant.
This elephant story made me pause and think about the way our mind works in sneaky ways to hold us back from all that we desire and deserve. It confirms that it doesn’t just happen for me or for you, it happens to many of us. A business colleague and mindset coach, Dan Mendilow, just shared his story today on Facebook.
For years, he did everything he was “supposed” to do to build his business. He spent $35k on business and marketing coaches. He followed all their instructions. Although he was a rockstar on the phone, he received very little engagement from his online marketing. He learned that changing from one strategy to the next wasn’t the answer. The answer was in his heart and mind, where all his blocks resided. The mindset work he did enabled him to engage with his ideal clients in a loving, trusting, and self-accepting way. This is what built his business to multiple six figures.
The mind is tricky.
But there are ways to notice when your mindset is the reason you are not having the success you desire and deserve.
- We stay small, even though we want to be big.
- We make excuses as to why we haven’t had the success we want.
- We let fear stop us from making important decisions that will move us forward.
- We procrastinate on important projects and business activities.
- We avoid people because we hate networking and selling.
- We don’t charge our worth, or charge low fees because we want to “help” people.
- We don’t tell the truth about who we are.
- We fail to let our brilliance and uniqueness shine through.
- We believe that success is only for “other” people.
- We sabotage our success when it gets near.
- We help others be successful but ignore ourselves.
- We allow ourselves to burn out so we don’t have the energy to be successful.
- We convince ourselves that we don’t really want to be successful because…
- We immerse ourselves in all the education because we aren’t good enough right now to be successful.
- We stalk successful people on the internet, secretly wishing we could be successful like them.
- We let life get in the way instead of prioritizing our success.
- We avoid the inner work because it’s much harder than concrete, practical ways to grow our business.
- We chase every new, bright shiny object in hopes it will be the next solution to growing our biz.
- We crawl up in a ball, lay in our bed, or complain that success is too hard.
- And the list goes on.
Do you engage in any of these activities? I know I have, and sometimes still do. We all do. Even the most successful people have been here, and probably sometimes still fall into one or more of these traps.
But successful people get out, and they get out fast. They do the mindset work that is necessary for growth. And it is a constant habit that is part of their everyday lives.
I’m curious. What do you do to work on your mindset?
This is what I commit to every day:
- Prayer and meditation. I wrote an intentional prayer that I read out loud every day. I spend time in the morning doing a guided meditation that feeds positive affirmations into my conscious and subconscious mind.
- Accept and love myself. I accept that I am not perfect, but I am amazing in many ways. I embrace my strengths and will admit my weaknesses. I work hard at forgiving myself when I make mistakes. I love myself, even when others don’t.
- Practice self-care. I take care of my body in every way – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I eat right (most of the time). I work out regularly. I express my feelings. I engage in constant learning to grow my mind. I surrender to a Higher Power greater than myself.
- Honor Transparency and Authenticity. I cannot be anyone other than myself. I am honest with myself and others about who I am. I am vulnerable even when it’s hard. What you see is what you get. I am not afraid to share my truth with love. I am an open book. Ask me questions and I will answer.
- Make tough decisions. I am always asking myself what I need to be aligned with my truest self. Sometimes that requires me to make tough decisions that hurt me, displease others, or create short-term fear.
- Listen to my intuition. My gut rarely lies. Even though I have sometimes ignored my intuition, it always came back to bite me. So when I feel a red or yellow flag, I address it. If it feels wrong, I don’t do it. Conversely, if it feels right, I jump in. Because I know that even if it turns out to be wrong, it was right in that moment. It was exactly what I needed to experience to learn a lesson.
- Question my beliefs. I’m sorry, but our beliefs can be fucked up sometimes. I ask myself, “Where the hell did I learn that?” “And why the hell am I hanging onto that belief?” I have friends who aren’t afraid to make me question my beliefs and I regularly talk with them. Then I work hard to rewire my brain and create new beliefs that actually work for me.
- Lighten up and have fun. The positive energy has to flow in my life. So I am social. I get excited about things I love. I travel. I hang out with people I love. I regularly text my team just to talk to them because I miss them. I set myself up for laughter and joy. And I just breathe through the tough times in life.
- Surround myself with positivity. I love to be inspired. So I get lost in positive quotes on the internet. I read stuff from people who inspire me. I write to inspire others. I look for a positive spin on anything that others deem as negative.
I don’t want to be the baby elephant who has learned beliefs that hold him back from his greatness. I want to be the big, strong elephant that breaks free and experiences all the success I deserve and desire. My success and your success is a big win for the world!
Lori Young is the founder of Amazing OBM, where she dedicates her time helping heart-centered entrepreneurs create the success they desire. We have the team to help you realize your business dreams! Access our free resources here to get started.
Business Success: The Story of the Baby Elephant
September 9, 2019