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The Elephant, The Ostrich and The Woodpecker Author: Julie Plenty
"Sometimes it is the thing which we least want to do or find the most difficult to do, that will have the biggest impact on our lives" - Julie Plenty
The Elephant is in the living room. Everyone knows it's
there, but no one mentions or acknowledges it.
The Elephant is symbolic of issues, situations that we don't want to acknowledge - even if we're unhappy about them. It is the real issue.
The Elephant is often hidden by surface issues - the things that often result in "petty" arguments or disagreements. So you may criticise a partner, friend or colleague over something relatively minor - but the real issue is something much larger and more frightening to look at.
Often this is because you're scared of the consequences of
acknowledging the elephant and adopt the Ostrich Position of putting your head in the sand, or even the WoodPecker Position of nitpicking around things.
What you resist persists! The consequences of not seeing or acknowledging your elephants and staying an Ostrich or a
Woodpecker are far far worse than gathering the courage to
deal with it.
Money is a popular Elephant. Think of those bank statements which go unopened and straight into the back of a drawer! Until a financial crisis really hits home. The crisis is when the unacknowledged Elephant starts getting tired of not being noticed, starts to make a mess and trash the place - so that dealing with it becomes unavoidable.
It doesn't have to be like this.
As soon as the Elephant walks into your living room (better
still as soon as it approaches your front door!) is the
time to start dealing with it - not when you're faced with
metaphorically (and sometimes literally!) cleaning up the
mess and replacing the furniture!
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
- What is the Elephant in my life that is stopping me
progressing and enjoying life?
- Am I adopting the Ostrich/Woodpecker position or am I
starting to proactively address this issue?
- If I'm an Ostrich/Woodpecker - what is REALLY stopping me
from addressing it and................
- How can I find the courage to acknowledge and deal with my
Just because you're dealing with your Elephant doesn't mean
that you approach it like a bull in a china shop! Taking
incremental measures can help - but this depends on how big
the Elephant has grown. If your Elephant is of gigantic
proportions then large steps probably need to be taken!
Julie Plenty is a Personal and Business Coach who helps people to build their self esteem and confidence via coaching programs and ebooks. Subscribe to her free newsletter: "Only Connect" and you receive a free ecourse: "5 ways to not improve your self esteem". To subscribe visit: