It’s Fall in upstate NY and I took advantage of an unseasonably warm day today to take a long walk. I noticed that everything seemed to be going to sleep and hibernating for the winter. It’s getting colder and we’ve even had some snow flurries. Yuk!
I came across a few Woolly Bear caterpillars today. (If you’re not familiar with them, I’d suggest you Google them. Their life cycle is fascinating, as they actually freeze their bodies to survive the winter! Yikes!). While walking today, I realized that some days I actually feel like that fuzzy caterpillar, lost and just wiggling my way along. Trying to find my way and understand where I should be headed next. Should I just hibernate and block it all out? Other days I may feel like the moth the Woolly Bear becomes in the Spring. That woman who suddenly spreads her wings and flies. It’s almost like she knows exactly what to do and has life figured out. Ever feel that way?
The transformation that occurs during this hibernation period for the winter is truly amazing. That transformation doesn’t happen overnight though, does it? There’s a whole period of time between the beginning, of when she’s a caterpillar, and when the moth flaps its wings and flies free. No matter how much she thinks about it, she has to wait until that time passes and let growth happen. She can’t skip from the beginning to the end, without the changes and growth in between.
Why do humans think everything should happen overnight? Why do we believe that others have success overnight? Isn’t it time we stopped worrying about how far we’ve made it? Shouldn’t we worry more about the journey and becoming who we need to be, during that span of time?
It would be pretty easy right now to pull back. With all the noise from the pandemic and politics, the change in seasons, it would be easy to pull back and just wait it out. However, the reality is, nothing gets better by just waiting.
If you feel you’re lost and wondering where to go next, ask yourself why you haven’t moved forward. Ask yourself what you need to be doing differently, so that 12 months from now you’ll feel like you’ve grown to where you want to be.
Sometimes, you might just need to ask for help. I know as entrepreneurs we hate to admit we need help. We tend to be an independent and stubborn bunch. But the reality is, sometimes we need an outsider to help us see what’s missing. When you ask for someone to view things from the outside, they can sometimes see where you need to make a tweak or change. Sometimes those perspectives will be hard to hear, but the truth is what will help move you forward.
It may be hard to admit, it may be hard to change, it may be uncomfortable, but it will be worth it. The person you will grow into in the next 12 months will amaze you. You’ll be so glad you worked through those growing pains. (Think about how uncomfortable that poor Woolly Bear is frozen all winter long!)
No matter the goal – to be a great mom, wife, friend, business owner, employee – look at what you really need to do to grow forward. Step out in this season of growth, and just make it happen. Sometimes, when you ask for help, you can move forward a little faster with some extra clarity. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of self-discovery. When you know enough to ask for help, you know that you can become stronger.
Help can be found in many different places. Pick up a book and learn more about the skill you need to hone. Listen to a podcast of someone you admire for what they’ve done. Talk to a counselor, if you think you have past trauma that’s keeping you from believing in yourself. Find a mentor or coach that can help guide you over time. Jump into a mastermind group where you can brainstorm and get support from other like-minded entrepreneurs who have been where you are today. Pick what works for you and then make that investment in yourself.
I challenge you to take a step back and ask yourself today, “what do I need help with?” Then, find the help you need.