I was intrigued recently by a headline that read “how do lobsters grow?” It was something that I could have easily skipped over, thinking, as an executive coach rather than a lobster trawler, I had no interest in how lobsters grew. But then found myself being curious to read a bit further.
Lobsters are soft, squidgy animals that live in a hard shell. The shell does not expand and so when a lobster gets to a certain growth point it becomes under pressure. The soft lobster growing whilst the shell remains rigid.
So, the lobster, under great pressure takes it self off under a rock and casts off the shell. At this point, it is unprotected and vulnerable. However, a new shell forms round it and off it goes again. Until the next time that is, as this process occurs about 25 times in the first 5–7 years of life.
Now here’s the interesting bit, the stimulus for growth is that the lobster feels uncomfortable. Its feels under pressure, it feels the stress.
So, the level of discomfort it feels is the signal for growth.
If we take time to think about our own development and growth I am sure we can all relate to the discomfort we might have felt and perhaps even the stress it brought, but here’s the thing if we are alert to our times of adversity and are prepared to enter these times wisely with patience, non judgement and compassion we will and do ultimately grow.
Judith Underhill, Learning Director, Coaching & Personal Development, Minerva Engagement
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