Why Learned Helplessness Will Destroy Your Life?

You can change your life for better

Afroz Chakure
4 min readAug 3, 2022

Have you felt that much of your life has been a result of Luck and not how much you work hard? That however hard you tried, you are still stuck in a rut and no matter what you do, nothing seems to change around you.

To learn the concept of Learned Helplessness, let us take a look at the story of a baby elephant.

Photo by Loïc Fürhoff on Unsplash

What is Learned Helplessness?

In olden times and even today, whenever a new baby elephant is born — it is tied to a tree with a chain. The chain & tree are strong enough to keep the baby elephant in his place and prevent it from running away.

While it is young the baby elephant will try every trick to get away and break free from the chains. But sooner than later it’ll give up. It’ll learn to wait till the master provides him food and allows him to drink it’s mothers milk.

The same baby elephant later grows up into a massive Elephant which is capable of ripping several trees and chains at once. Even when the Elephant grows into a giant, the master still ties it with the same old chain. The Elephant will not break free from the chains to which it has been tied to since birth!

The reason is that the Elephant has subconsciously accepted defeat. It has accepted that it is not strong enough and there is not point of even trying to break free. Again it is not that the Elephant is not smart enough, they are considered amongst the smartest creatures alive. It is just that somewhere they have learned to live with Helplessness.

Why Learned Helplessness ruins lives?

Since our birth we are shaped by our environment. We learn from our parents, siblings, friends, relatives, co-workers and from life itself.

Somewhere along the way we get conditioned to believe that things are just a certain way and that nothing you do is going to make a difference. That our destiny is already written and you can do very little to change it.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

All these are all examples of Learned Helplessness. By forgetting that you have the ability to choose your circumstances and work towards a better one, you’ll feel stuck for the rest of your life. The ability to choose is the single most powerful ability available to human beings.

You’ll often see that people will forget their ability to choose and will give their right to choose to their employer, parents or friends. This is a recipe for Disaster.

If you want to change your career to a different field, live in a different country or lead a certain kind of lifestyle — there is no point talking to people whose opinions don’t matter. The thing is whatever be the scenario you always have a choice and most importantly that you get to choose!!

You can change your life for better

Photo by Fahrul Azmi on Unsplash

It is important to break away from the dogma and opinions of other people. By learning to rely on yourself and making the most out of your abilities, you utilize the gifts given by God to you.

The people who do well in life are the ones who took a bet on themselves and somewhere along the way one of their fired shots hit the target & made them a success. The thing that people miss is that they kept firing shots and took chances even when they faced failures or even when people said they couldn’t do it.

It is easy to criticize luck and your environment, but trust me you control much more than you can imagine.

A single failure doesn’t define anyone. Luck can only take you so far. What you do after you find success is important but even better what you do after you fail is the most important!

So choose a better life! Cheers!