The Pike Syndrome: Mental Conditioning

The pike syndrome: mental conditioning

Pike is the main fish of the experiment that gave the name to this syndrome. His behavior in this study was the starting point of what we know today as the “pike syndrome”. However, what does this animal teach us?

In reality, we are more “pike” than we think. Even if we don’t live under water and don’t have gills, you will see that you will identify with our fish when you hear his story. We are also sure that knowing the pike syndrome will make you reflect on your behavior or on the thoughts you adopt in certain situations.

The pike syndrome: the experiment

During this study, our scaly friend provided researchers and psychologists with great teaching. After the experiment, in fact, the behavior of the fish was compared to that of humans and it would seem that the ways of acting of a fish and those of a person are more similar than they seem.

The experiment from which the term “pike syndrome” was born is very simple : the researchers put the pike in a tank full of water, divided in two by a transparent glass. On one side was our pike, while on the other there was his dinner (of small carp). First the pike tried to eat that delicious feast in front of his eyes. However, within inches of his prey, he crashed into the glass.

Besce in the aquarium

The pike kept trying until he gave up, then changed direction and started swimming in his tank space. After that, the researchers removed the dividing glass, but despite this, the pike continued to behave as if the glass was still there and did not try to catch its own food again, remaining on its side of the aquarium. Why such behavior? Because his previous experience had conditioned him and he was now certain that there was no way to get to the carp.

Pike syndrome in people

Similar to the story of the pike is also the famous tale of the elephant born from the pen of the Argentine writer Jorge Bucay. Her elephant is chained as soon as it is born. These are chains from which, at that moment, he cannot break free, but which, once he grows up, are weak in the face of his new strength. Despite this, the elephant still does not try to escape.

Just what happened to the pike and the elephant often happens to us too. When we think there is something we are unable to do, because our experience has taught us that, we stop trying. Even if conditions change, even as we grow and develop new skills, we don’t try again because, in our experience, there is still the memory of the first failure.

If we think we have all the information we need to resolve a situation, but we cannot complete our task, that is when the pike syndrome occurs. This means that we accept that inability that we have seen with our previous experiences. If something has gone wrong in the past, we automatically believe that the same will happen in the present or in the future.

We refuse to seek or consider new options or points of view, we bow our heads and give up, we wave the white flag without even trying again, because we have already done so and we have not achieved the results we hoped for. Whether it is due to family teachings, personal experiences, or misinformation we have gathered, we behave like the pike and the elephant and never try again.

Make another effort

Whenever you say “I’ve tried hard enough” or “there’s nothing else I can do,” think about it again. Perhaps the situation has changed and someone, or yourself, has removed the clear glass that separated you from your lens. Analyze well what you did not do as you should and try again.

Jumping fish

Do not forget that changes and transformations are much more common than the stillness of things: your needs, your skills, your future, your expectations … If you didn’t succeed today, try again tomorrow or next month, but don’t throw away. the sponge. Don’t suffer in the process, it’s best to learn from what happened.

Do not allow anything or anyone to influence you and change your ideas and thoughts. Not even you yourself have the right to do so. The next time you face too difficult a task, think of pike, but don’t act like it. Find a way out with your head held high, even if it will take time, energy and resources. However, the great satisfaction of achieving your goals will be enough to make you try again.

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