It’s amazing that something as simple as a change of season can inspire us to change along with it.
It is an unfortunate fact that we will go through hard times and face adversities in one form or another at some point in our lives.
While we are sometimes powerless to stop certain things from happening, for example a global pandemic, we can, however, adjust the ways in which we respond to these situations.
These adjustments can be the difference between an overwhelming feeling of despair, or being positive and seeing the situation as a vehicle for positive change.
With spring in the air, we can use the metaphor of a caterpillar evolving into a butterfly to make changes in our own lives.
By examining the stages of caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly, we can inspire ourselves to emerge from hard times with a growth mindset in beauty and grace.
1: Caterpillar Stage.
When faced with adversity, we begin in the caterpillar phase.
We may be unequipped to handle what is happening around us and we often feel vulnerable and exposed as a result.
In this stage, it can help to take a few moments to yourself to process what is happening around you.
Be honest with yourself during this reflection and look at the situation as a whole, without judgement.
You can’t just walk into a pitch-black room and expect not to fall over or bump into something and the same principle applies here.
Reflection allows us to turn on the light to illuminate our surroundings, so we know where we stand, and where we would like to be.
By doing this reflection and assessment, you are giving yourself space to understand what is happening so you will be better able to make the right moves in the next step.
Now it’s time to make some changes.
When caterpillars are in their chrysalis, they undergo their intense and incredible transformation into butterflies, just as you will make transformations in your own way.
In this step, it helps to look back on our reflection and assess how it makes you feel.
What are your emotions trying to tell you?
Our emotions exist to help us. For example, anger might help you stand up for yourself just as sadness might compel you to help someone in need.
It can be uncomfortable feeling strong emotions, especially if you’ve kept them repressed for any length of time, but acknowledging them can be a powerful tool in helping you decide your next step.
Going back to anger as an example, you may have gone through an unfair demotion at work. You might be feeling angry and perhaps even embarrassed at the news, as well as confused and hurt.
These emotions are serving their purpose and might be telling you that your skills are not being appreciated in your current workplace and will be better suited elsewhere. Your emotions are encouraging you to seek better for yourself.
Listen to your emotions, acknowledge them and ask yourself what they’re trying to teach you.
Now you’ve got your wings, it’s time to fly!
You’ve assessed the situation and acknowledged your emotions, now it’s time to actively make some changes.
In order to do this, it helps to ask what parts of the situation we can take responsibility for. Of course this will not be applicable to all situations, but by taking responsibility for the things you are able to, you can tackle and change them right off the bat.
By taking responsibility for these things, you are better positioned to positively impact yourself and those around you.
Ask what changes can you put in place to improve your situation?
This could mean adopting some new habits, quitting some habits that no longer serve you, picking up a hobby, starting a fitness routine, learning a new skill, going back to school, getting a new job or even removing yourself from toxic situations and people in your life.
Butterflies have to work hard to emerge from their chrysalis, just as you will have to work hard to break free of bad situations and use what you have learned to make positive changes.
It won’t be easy and you may have a few setbacks along the way, but that’s ok!
If you approach these steps with love for yourself and a desire to keep learning, you can make changes for every part of your life that you believe needs to change.
Remember, we all feel a bit exposed and vulnerable, but you can use this vulnerability as a solid place to kick off, evolve and find your wings.
Now go and spread those wings!