What does it take for a caterpillar to become a butterfly? From the time we are kids we are taught the life cycle of a butterfly – first it is a tiny egg, then a creepy caterpillar, third a hard pupa or chrysalis, and finally a beautiful butterfly.
Some of us are also taught that a caterpillar sheds its outer skin, like a snake does, as it grows.
I remember hearing the word metamorphosis in the past as what happens during the pupa stage. It was only recently that I learned what that actually means. During metamorphosis every part of the caterpillar is changing. Most of the organs and other body parts actually dissolve and re-form into the butterfly. Now the caterpillar can fly!
As you review your business has it gone through a metamorphosis this past year?
Have you shed a skin or two along the way? Or perhaps dissolved on the inside and re-formed into a new person or a different business?
More than one person over the past few years has told me that starting and growing a business is like going through a self-development program on steroids.
This has been true for me this past year.
Personally I have been encouraged (forced) to look at my relationship with my mother. Now, she has been dead over thirty years, yet my memories of her life and relationships with other people when I was a child continue to influence the choices I make in my business and in my personal life.
And frequently not in a positive way. I have been afraid to become a butterfly.
My child’s image of who my mother was and how she presented herself to the world has kept me from trying things that would have grown my business tremendously this past year.
Fearing that I would become her I found ways to avoid doing things that might make me appear to be like her. Her ability to share all aspects of her life with others, frequently people she had just met, embarrassed me as a child.
Thus I kept finding myself hesitant to share parts of my life that would help people grow, as well as know, like and trust me more quickly because I feared that it would embarrass others. I’m not sure who it would embarrass, just that it might do so.
My growth this year has come from learning how to do this without going too far in the other direction.
Along the way I am helping my clients become clearer about the message they want to share with the world while chasing away the shadows from the past that form handy barriers to progress.