A man once came across an emperor moth cocoon and decided to take it back to his house to see what it would look like when it emerged. One day a small hole appeared at the base of the cocoon and the moth began to emerge. Some hours later only the head and a part of the body was visible. It seemed as though it was stuck and remained that way for so long that the man decided to help the moth by making the hole wider. It worked and the moth emerged. Unfortunately, it was misshapen, its wings were crumpled, and as a result, it didn’t survive long. Difficult as it was, the size of the hole it had to squeeze through was critical to what it was becoming.
This emperor moth coming out of his cocoon describes a process leading to a new beginning. In a way the last few months have been a bit like being in a cocoon, things have changed significantly over the months in which this pandemic has been going on. Technology has experienced a greater take up as people move to get online and endeavour to stay connected. Different ways of doing business, of working, of interacting with each other have evolved at a greater pace than anyone thought possible. It has without a doubt been a challenging process, one that has left its mark on us in different ways depending on how we have reacted to it. As the restrictions start to be lifted, you can see that it has been much like the small hole the moth had to crawl through and although challenging and difficult this too can be an experience that leads to new beginnings.
It all depends on how you choose to look at it.
The way we look at things and react to them will decide whether the experience is something that causes us to grow or causes us to retreat. How can you position yourself for growth?
Adopting a growth mindset is not something that happens by accident it is done by being intentional. It is not easy, but it is critical to what you are becoming.
Characteristics of a Growth Mindset
In my new book, I See You, I talk about how critical having a growth mindset is to the actions you take and how you react to challenging and difficult circumstances. In short it is a key component of being resilient. The great news is that you can develop it.
How can you cultivate a growth mindset?
- Keep asking questions – to ask questions is to be inquisitive, children are always asking questions, we need to keep that level of curiosity going throughout life.
- Identity is key – in order to grow you need to know yourself. When you understand how you are wired then you can manage your onboard tendencies so that you minimise unhelpful behaviour and therefore maximise your influence.
- Adopt a can-do attitude – no matter what your capability is, you can turn things on their head by focusing on what you can do in the situation instead of focusing on what cannot be done.
- Decide to learn – we cannot prevent our instant reaction to events, but we can think into what we will do next. When you ask, ‘what can I learn from this?’, it changes your perspective. In his book, Black Box Thinking, Matthew Syed asks why we don’t look at failures in the same way as the airline industry, who must report any failures so the whole industry can learn from them instead of looking for someone to blame.
The key is to be intentional. This is a habit to develop, which over time will become second nature.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl
Whatever has gone before it is possible to start again. It is possible to create new beginnings.
Here’s to your new beginning.
PS Don’t forget you can check out a preview of my new book here.
Photo by Miriam Fischer from Pexels