Even if you are familiar with this story it serves as a good reminder and encouragement each time you come across it.
A boy stumbled across a butterfly cocoon and sat watching it for a while. He noticed the butterfly struggling to get out. Even though the butterfly managed to create a small hole in the cocoon it was not big enough to push through it. As a result, it grew tired and became still.
The boy worried that the butterfly was stuck, or worse still, it was dying. So, in an effort to help the butterfly, the boy cut a small hole in the cocoon with a pair of scissors to be of assistance and help the butterfly get out.
The boy was excited in his anticipation to see the butterfly burst through and soar. However all that happened was the butterfly limped out, too crumpled and worn out to fly, let alone soar.
The butterfly had not had the time to go through the process of struggling and resting in order to fully develop. The act of struggle and rest for the butterfly was critical for it to emerge with strength. It never got to fulfill its potential because those phases had been cut short.
There are so many wonderful lessons in this story that can be of encouragement to us individually in our personal or professional lives, here’s our summary:
The butterfly needed time. Sometimes, we just need time. No hustle, no rushing, just our own pace of doing something or being with something or someone.
The butterfly needed the struggle in order to develop and grow in strength. We too need our own struggles, they help build and grow us in new and unexpected ways. Whatever your struggle today, try to see if there is a small way you can be grateful for it, it’s bringing with it things you may not yet realize.
The butterfly needed to find its own way through. There are many occasions when we want to help and support others, or others want to help us. Yet, sometimes the best help is to do nothing. The act of finding your own way through is your journey and no one else’s. Getting lost once in a while doesn’t hurt, it helps you explore, uncover, and find new ways and understand new rhythms in life. Yes, there are times in life that are tremendously painful and emotional - sometimes too painful to even feel them, but the journey you are on is yours and there is power in knowing that the steps you take are yours.
The butterfly went through seasons. Trust that everything in life has a season, nothing stays the same forever. There is the potential to emerge and become the most beautiful butterfly that you have ever been. Don’t worry about what has happened, what will happen, or be in a rush. Just steer your course by trusting what feels right for you.
The butterfly focused on its own journey. Do you think butterflies in their cocoons are wondering about how many other cocoons are hanging around near it? Or whether the other cocoons are growing and emerging at the same rate? Or once they push through do butterflies sit on their flowers comparing themselves to the other butterflies? Do they wonder if the other butterflies will have the same colors as them, or will the other butterflies like their colors? We highly doubt it. Take comfort in that and be focused on your own journey, and on your own business. Release the need to compare yourself to anyone, or your business to another business. Just be focused on your cocoon and emerging at your own rate. You will emerge as the most magnificent, vibrant, and colorful being when your time is right.