Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Monkey Trap

Ah yes, the good old monkey trap.
My parents used to tell me this story a lot when I was young.  The monkeys were too agile and clever to get caught by hand or with the typical traps hunters used.  So they devised something that would work every time - the monkey trap.

By putting a banana in a heavy glass vase, with the opening big enough so the monkey could reach in but not big enough for the monkey to pull its fist out.  The monkey grabs the banana...and is stuck.  The hunters walk up with a net...

If only the monkey could just let go of the banana, it could be free...

Sound familiar??

All of us are victims of the Monkey Trap from time to time.  Like the monkey, we become fixated on something, tangible or intangible, that we want.  We just won't let go - can't let go - and the thing we want ends up causing us harm.  We are too blind to see past our own wants and desires and accept the fact that some of the things we want (or think we want, anyway) just aren't good for us.  Some of the most common things we can't let go of were recently reminded online, and I share the list below:

1. Limiting Beliefs - anything you believe that is holding you back.
2. Dwelling on the Past - Life is to be lived IN THE NOW.
3. Worrying about the Future - Everything is going to be Fine. Trust me.
4. Negative Self-Talk - If you don't believe in yourself, who will?
5. The Need to Impress Others - Let them love you for who you already are.
6. Complaining - It's better to just get on with things.
7. The Need to always be Right - Accept that you are human too.
8. Resistance to Change - Learn to go with the Flow.
9. Blaming Others - It probably isn't their fault either.
10. The Need for other people's approval - The most important respect is Self-Respect.

I am guilty of holding on to all of these from time to time - some far more often than others.
Maybe you are, too.  By not letting go, we prevent ourselves from the happiness we say we really want.  An important step in personal growth is acknowledging this - and then working to improve on it.  Happiness is a journey, and we must keep moving to keep making progress.

What's YOUR banana?
How can you learn to let it go?

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