The elephant analogy holds true in many ways. Our subconscious mind, like the elephant, doesn’t communicate in words and doesn’t use thoughts and reason. Our subconscious mind observes everything that goes on in our lives. It stores memories, experiences and emotions. These memories form the basis of our beliefs. Just like the elephant wants to protect the young man, our subconscious mind wants to protect us from getting hurt. Our subconscious mind is trained to help us avoid unpleasant experiences.
When the young man tries to do something that the elephant believes will cause pain, the elephant stops the man. The elephant is playing his role as protector. However, the man knows that he cannot avoid all unpleasant experiences if he is going to succeed in the world. This causes conflict between the man and the elephant. Similarly, when your conscious mind wants to do something that your subconscious mind believes will cause harm, you have an internal conflict. This is called cognitive dissonance.
Our brains don’t like conflict or dissonance. Our brains want alignment and coherence. When conflict occurs, our brain always seeks a resolution towards coherence. Therefore, we have two choices. We either do what the elephant wants, or we can train the elephant to do what we want it to do. We can either let our subconscious mind continue to make decisions based on past beliefs, or we can use our conscious mind to train our subconscious mind to develop empowering, successful beliefs.