I see so often people who are afraid to change. The reasons are numerous. I’ve been afraid to change at times as well. Staying the same is always easy, but it’s not what we are destined to do. We’re designed to grow and evolve just like the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. The fear of change can be paralyzing to a lot of people. I’d argue the idea of staying the same is scarier.
A caterpillar spends its entire life preparing to be a butterfly. She eats all the time to ensure she can make it through the cocoon stage. The caterpillar instinctively knows she is capable of so much more than crawling among the dirt and she prepares for it. She knows her future is not her past. If God placed a caterpillar on this earth with the intention of becoming a butterfly I know He has a more beautiful transformation in store for us if we’d only appreciate our growth opportunities.
If the butterfly was born a butterfly I’m sure she would be just as beautiful, but the significance would disappear. Butterflies are one of the top designs for home decor, garden decor, clothing and accessories, tattoos, and jewelry. I believe to some extent this is because of what they represent – growth and transformation. A butterfly sends the message, “You don’t have to be the same person you were in the past. You can transform into a new person.”
If you’re Christian you can take a cue from the bible. It says in Romans 12:2, “Be ye transformed…” Again, I tell you, you’re not supposed to stay the same. You are meant to transform.
The seasons and the trees and the sky all know they must change. They don’t hesitate or resist. They just do. If spring didn’t transform into summer which then transforms into fall there would be nothing special about the trees or the sky or the seasons. In fact, there would be no seasons. There’s beauty in transformation. Instinctively we know that and we embrace it. We wait for the foliage of fall and the smell of Christmas. We anticipate the start of a new year or the transition from singleness to married life.
Transformation is natural. Deep inside we know this to be true, but mentally and emotionally we fight change and therefore growth relentlessly. We dig our heels into the ground and proclaim to stay right where we are. The unfortunate thing is that that’s not who we are created to be. We’re so against growth we at times avoid it at all cost. We’ll end a relationship or get a divorce because we didn’t want to grow. We’ll lose an opportunity or a job because we were afraid to change. We’ll miss out on amazing life experiences because we decided to stay the same.
Of course nobody says, “I got divorced or lost my job because I didn’t want to grow,” but for a lot of people that’s the case. We don’t want to grow past our past hurts and let downs. We don’t want to overcome pridefulness or insecurity. We don’t want to forgive. We don’t want to transform our thoughts, beliefs, or behaviors. I’ve heard people say, “I was like this when they meet me/hired me/chose me, and I’m going to stay like this.” I think that is absolutely crazy!
Myths keeping us from transforming
We tend to have a lot of misconceptions and faulty beliefs about what it means to transform. These beliefs are holding us back from the growth that will usher us into the life we’ve always wanted to live. Here are some of the common myths dispelled by the truth about growth and transformation.
Myth: “I’ve gone so far down the wrong path it would take too long to come back and would not be possible or worth it.”
Truth: A lot of times people are afraid to move forward because of where they’ve been. The truth is, “It’s never too late to correct a mistake.” Who cares how long you lived the “wrong” life? It’s always possible to transform your life. Whenever you are truly ready, life is ready to support you through your transformation. If you lived 88 years down the wrong path and on your last day of life you lived your dream life wouldn’t that be worth it? Isn’t any amount of time living as your authentic self, loving the person you are and feeling comfortable in your own skin worth it?
Myth: “I don’t deserve better and no one is going to believe in me after the life I’ve lived.”
Truth: You always deserve better. You’re always worth it. It’s true some people may count you out, but don’t ever count yourself out. There will also be some people that life will place in your path just so they can believe in you and support you. If you haven’t found those people don’t fret. They will come. Until then, you believe in you.
Myth: “If I admit I have room to grow I’m admitting something is wrong with the current me. I can’t let people know I’m flawed.”
Truth: First off, there’s nothing wrong with you. Think about it. Is there anything wrong with being a caterpillar? Of course not. There’s nothing wrong with being a caterpillar. Caterpillars have a distinct purpose and role to play. There’s purpose in being a caterpillar. However, the destiny of a caterpillar is to become a butterfly. Similarly, there’s purpose in the life you’ve experienced thus far. It’s made you who you are. You’ve learned lessons and developed in ways that will serve you going forward. Acknowledging that you have areas to transform in your life doesn’t negate you or your worth. It only opens you up to so much more possibility. Secondly, everyone already knows you’re not perfect. No one is perfect. You can’t hide the fact that you have flaws or pretend them away. You can, however, own up to your flaws, accept them all and transform the ones you can.
Myth: “I have to know how things will end up before I commit to change.”
Truth: You will not know. You are not psychic. I get it. I have to tell myself that all the time. (Still to this day).
- “I would get started if I knew how it would end.”
- “I would invest in this program if I knew it would be worth it.”
- “I would commit to this guy if I knew he was the one.”
Then I remind myself I do not know the future because I am not a psychic. Ultimately, I give myself permission to take a chance. If I wait until I know for sure I’ll be waiting forever.
The caterpillar doesn’t even know what’s in store for her. No one tells her to build a cocoon so she can become a butterfly. She just knows and she feels drawn to do something new. Her instincts tell her to build a cocoon. She could resist and fight it, kicking and screaming all the way in the opposite direction. She could say, “I’m too afraid. I don’t know what to expect. It’s too dark in there.” She could decide that the risk of the unknown is too high for her and that she’d rather just stay with what she knows. She could decide she prefers to crawl for the rest of her life. Thank God that’s not what she decides, because she shows us that we are meant to transform.
If a caterpillar never transformed into a butterfly we would think it unfortunate of that caterpillar. We would probably say she threw her life away and didn’t fulfill her potential or purpose. Could you imagine that? A caterpillar who decided not to become a butterfly. Think about what she would be forgoing! That’s how we tend to live our lives; missing out on our greatest potential. I believe the thing that holds us back in addition to the myths above is that we don’t know what we’re missing out on. We can look at the caterpillar and know that if she doesn’t embrace her transformation she would be missing out on flying. She would never be the adored butterfly we love so much. But you and I, we have no tangible idea of the person we’re keeping inside ourselves. We have no idea the life we’re holding hostage by our fear of change. Maybe if we had a glimpse of the new woman and life waiting in the wings for us we wouldn’t be so afraid. Or maybe we just have to embrace the unknown, build that cocoon, and be surprised when it’s opened!
IT Statement (Inspiring & Transformational)
My growth is beautiful. I was designed to transform into my best self and I will.