I once went to a circus and saw a huge elephant tied to a small pole
with a rope, just standing there. So I wondered why the elephant is so
obedient and doesn’t break away from the stick with all of its
enormous strength and mass.
So they told me this story: once when the elephant was very young, it
was tied to the pole the same way. Naturally, it didn’t like that and
tried to escape, but try as it might, the rope and the pole were too
strong for it. The rope is tied so well they cannot break it. And so
it learns the rope keeps them in place. So the elephant eventually
gave up. And when it grows older, it keeps on believing it could not
escape from the rope, and remains standing in the same place, despite
the fact it could then easily escape.
And that is a good lesson for life: It is just as easy to make a human
being believe in his own powerlessness. If you had a past experience
that makes you believe you are powerless, you keep on believing it. If
you do that, you sabotage your own life by not even trying to reach
for new things, to explore your potential at present. And only because
you believe you are still the same person (child? teenager?) that had
that experience in the past.