Blue Elephants & Being Pain Free

Blue Elephant - Do Not Think About Me!


Take a moment to think about the things you’d like or the changes you want to experience in 2017.

  • If you imagined you had the life you wanted - how would you know?
  • What are the things you might see, feel or experience that would be different?

It’s always key to start with the end in mind – to focus your mind on what it is you really want. Ultimately, focus attention on those specifics and it can direct your mind and bring you closer to realising it.

Of course, let’s be sensible here. I don’t mean imagine you’ll be running a marathon every day for the rest of your life with ease. Make it realistic and perhaps a little bit of a stretch too. Take a moment now to note down what you want either as bullet points or an over-arching theme.

Then come back and read on. So what have you come up with I wonder?


If I were to ask you not to think of a blue elephant what happens? Even if you can see a blue elephant on the screen, just close your eyes and try not to think of it or any other type of blue elephant. So what happened? I imagine that wasn’t easy – that however you tried to avoid that blue elephant its blue trunk or body just got in the way!

Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute

This predicament is called the White Bear Problem or Ironic Process Theory. The very act of trying to suppress something makes the likelihood of it popping up even greater.


So if you look now at what you noted down – the things you want this year – are there any blue elephants or white bears? If you’ve been experiencing chronic pain, then I wonder if you’ve jotted down things like “I want to be pain-free” or “I don’t want to be in pain”..?

From now, you might also start becoming more aware of blue elephants in your day – whether it’s things you hear yourself saying or thoughts you might be having (or messages from outside too). We can be so socially conditioned to voice what we don’t want that it can tend to crop up, even when we’re trying to voice what we DO want. And becoming aware of unhelpful blue elephants can be a good thing – that awareness is a key step of making lasting changes. I’m not saying it’ll be easy but you could start now..

So let’s tune your mind and focus attention in a better way. If you do have some blue elephants in what you wrote down, just go ahead and start changing the wording to what you DO want.

If there are no blue elephants or once they’ve been shooed away, then go onto the next bit and focus attention even better: continue building, creating or imagining this compelling vision of how you want to experience life – the things you’ll be doing and enjoying, that will let you know things are better for you. Jot down as many of the sensory details – what you’ll see, hear, feel and experience – as well as what you might be thinking or believing that will let you know you are living that better quality of life.

If you have any questions about this or anything else chronic pain related, feel free to get in touch and ask me hereI’m been interviewed live online next Tuesday 10th January – so do send your questions in and I’ll see if I can answer them for you live on the free webinar!

Or, if you’d like to speak with me one-to-one and see if the Break Through Pain Programme might be right for you, you can book a free consultation ???here.