Millipedes; centipedes; spiders; scorpions.
All of these carry their skeleton on the outside of their body (exoskeleton).
In order to grow, they must shed this outer framework, releasing their new body.
However, during this process they are very vulnerable. They may:
- become trapped & die
- only partially shed putting their life at risk
- be eaten as they are unable to move or escape from predators
- lose limbs or appendages in the process
BUT they may also re-grow lost appendages & limbs through the same process.
Whenever they shed their old skin they are left with a soft, unprotected body until the new skin or exoskeleton hardens. They may retreat & hide whenever possible, but that is not always possible .
As we grow in character, experience, confidence or other trait, we too shed an old skin, often becoming highly vulnerable in our new experience or position. What we often shed is the stuff that is no longer useful to us, but may have been our main framework in life for a long time. When it is first gone we may feel bereft or ill-equipped or incapable.
However, as time passes & we gain experience, understanding etc & our new shell starts to harden. We move from being highly vulnerable to baby steps to strides in our new-found position (personal, business, whatever).
The danger can be that our new shell then becomes so rigid & protective that we fail to prepare to shed it again in order to move forward, remaining trapped; failing to grow; becoming comfortable to the extent that we run the risk of metaphorically dying in some way.
Change can be a real challenge.
Moving forward can be a real challenge.
Stepping out of our comfort zone can be a real challenge.
Being prepared to let-go of past securities can be a real challenge.
Being prepared to say, “I’m sorry” can be a real challenge.
Growing in confidence can be a real challenge.
Being different can be a real challenge.
We can be a real challenge!
We can only really begin to make any of these moves when we are prepared to face-our-fears, either alone or with help.
BUT perhaps taking the risk to shed our old skin, as uncomfortable or threatening as it may seem, is just the step we need to grow in many more ways than we realised possible.
So I’m left asking myself, is there anything I need to shed?
Take care until next time …