Monkey and the Banana

There is this story that talks about this country where they trade in live monkeys. To trap these monkeys, they put out cages that are closed all the way around and they put a banana in the middle of the cage. Now the slats on the cage are big enough for the monkey to put his flat hand through to reach for the banana, but just small enough that the monkey can’t pull his hand back out of the cage with the banana in it. Normally this is how the trappers find the monkeys, trying to pull their hand out of the cage full of banana but not willing to let it go, even when they see the trappers coming.

This story is very interesting to me because I think many of us can relate the scenario to our own lives in many ways.

One of the ways that is most prevalent in my life is my weight. I’m like that little trapped monkey with its hand stuck in the cage not willing to let go of certain foods, certain habits, certain excuses and certain distractions. My hand is stuck, and like the monkey who was probably making a bunch of racket, I’m bitching and moaning and making tons of noise about it. But why won’t I just let go?

I know I’m not alone is this journey of going back and forth, one minute on fire for a change of life and the next defeated and ashamed to be failing again! I know that life throws one curve ball after another and just when we think we are on top of our game BAM!!!! We get knocked down.

Have you ever felt like that trapped Monkey?

Wanting with all that is in you to run when you see that trapper coming towards you, but unwilling to let go of whatever it is you are holding onto.

What are you holding onto that is holding you back from being free of the trap?

Is it excuses? money? a bad relationship? What?

For me, It’s fear! Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of not finding what I’m looking for when I get there, fear of change, fear of my own success, my own happiness, fear of what’s next and fear of life in general. Fear is my banana; it’s what I hold onto with all my might no matter what is coming at me. I just can’t seem to let go of it!

I struggle to release the fear, open my hand and break free of the cage.

I’m kicking and screaming to get away from the trap, but my voice isn’t heard because my hand won’t let go of the banana.


I must admit though, fear is only one of many of my banana’s, but I am working at them one at a time.

We have got to let go of what we are gripping so hard in our hands that its keeping us trapped in the same place year after year. We don’t have to do it all at once, just one finger at a time until our hand lays flat again and we can pull it back through that slat in the cage and reclaim our lives.

I want my life back! Do you?


11 thoughts on “Monkey and the Banana

  1. Fear is my biggest excuse also, one step at a time. I tell myself Tiny Tim steps because as Long as I’m moving forward I’m headed in the right direction!! Keep going we all have set backs. I can tell u this, starting at 226lbs I felt I would never ever reach my goal and I’m still not at my goal, but somehow I’ve got here and it’s because I kept going even when I was falling off. Baby steps tiny Tim just keep going. Even of its small keep going!!

  2. The Monkey and The Banana is such an apt way to describe how we hold on to those things that are the very stumbling blocks that keep us from moving forward. One of mine is also fear (in a big way), as well as “too high expectations”. I’m one of those people that seem to have only two speeds … not moving at all, or charging at full throttle. Letting go of the banana that says that forty percent effort is useless if I’m not putting forth one hundred percent effort all the time is a huge one for me. If the only thing that counts is one hundred percent effort, then anything less than that isn’t even worth attempting. What a dumb rule, and yet it is my favorite flavor of banana.

    • Too high expectations is a hard one, we are always so much harder on ourselves then others. If we could only look at ourselves as our own friend maybe we could encourage ourselves and not have such high expectations of ourselves and then we could accept ourselves for the beautiful people we are.

  3. AWESOME POST! The honesty is inspiring and so very real. I also believe that fear is the underlying reason so many people become paralyzed when faced with their own desire for change: fear of success, fear of failure, fear of pain, the list is endless. We become so comfortable in the prisons we build for ourselves that the though of freedom can be frightening. The catalyst for me was an overwhelming fear that I was going to die without actually ever having dared to live. It sounds simple but it’s true. I became terrified of the thought of dying afraid. We only get one chance here. There are no do-overs or take-backs. I decided that no matter the cost, no matter the pain, even it it cost me the very thing I was trying to save, my own life, I was going to change. The key word is “decided.” You can choose the same. The key is making that choice every day you get out of bed. I can so relate and I’m glad to help in any way I can…

    • Thank you for your comment Trey. It is crazy how powerful fear is, but you are right once we make up our minds, once we decide this is what I am doing, or what I want, then we do it. I think I am finally to that point this is the longest I have gone staying on track and I have no desire to go back. It’s interesting how fear works in our lives though because if I look at men and women in jail often times the reason the land back in jail is the fear of having control of their lives again. One of my ex’s basically proved that to me. When times got tough he no longer knew how to cope, he verbally said I need to be back in jail where I know what to expect. It’s sad that we allow our fears to control us, to rob us of everything good and I’m done doing that. I just turned 37 years old this month and I don’t know when the day will come that I don’t wake up, I want to live at least the last part of my life the way I should have lived the first 37. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

      • Another key is to is to stay flexible. So many people desiring change have impossibly high expectations. You will have setbacks. You will fail. But you are not a failure if you pick back up and keep going. Set small attainable goals that will challenge you but not set you up to lose before you even get started. For example, when I started, I made sure to build in 1-2 meals a week where I went out to eat and ordered whatever I wanted and dessert too! As long as I knew that was coming, I could get through. There are all kinds of little things you can do and if you build it into a plan, then it’s not cheating or failing, it’s part of THE PLAN. It works! It works! It works! 100+ lbs lost in 6 months… I know what I’m talking about. I’ll stop now… great post and keep it up! There is still plenty of time left!!

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