By Jon Michail
Adapt like a lobster!
The process of growth and change is intrinsic to every living thing on this planet. Humans have an ongoing cell renewal process which lasts 28 days or so. During this time, our cells are dying and being replaced by new ones. Just think – at any given moment we are an entirely new person!
Such change for us is a gradual process. Our experience tells us, perhaps we should be more like the lobster and approach change at full throttle.
When it’s time for the lobster to grow, it sheds its hard exo-skeleton all at once in order to grow a larger shell. In the time between shells, the lobster is soft and vulnerable. Still, it knows that it must grow and change, and that the only way to do it, is to just do it.
So perhaps we should apply ‘lobster thinking’ to our own lives. After all, what is the most common thing we do when we are toying with the idea of trying something new? We over-analyse it. We draw up pros and cons lists. We take on board the doubts and criticism of friends and family. We essentially talk ourselves out of whatever it is we want to do. We let our fear of being vulnerable prevent ourselves from getting rid of our old shell and growing a new one.
Approaching change full throttle is what we should all try to do. It is the only way we will grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. It means we need to face our fears head on and realise that it is just fear holding us back.
‘Just Do It’ isn’t just a Nike slogan. It’s also a habit shared by many successful entrepreneurs, business people, and leader. Instead of wasting time gathering opinions and over-analysing every move before they even start a project, they just jump right in. It’s so much easier to fine tune an idea while you’re actually doing it, as opposed to second guessing every possible outcome without actually doing anything.
Those who can overcome their fears and leap into the unknown without letting amorphous doubts prevent them, are those who will achieve unimaginable success. They are applying lobster thinking to their lives, overcoming their fear of losing their old shell for the reward of getting a new one.
‘But what happens if…’ is the usual question our minds start asking when we think about change. What if we fail? What if we can’t do it? What if we look like fools? What will other people say?
The answer is easy. If we don’t attempt new things, nothing will change. And going against the process of change, attempting to keep everything as static as possible, staying inert in our comfort zone, is going against the process of Nature. Remember, at any given moment we are an entirely new person.
And every now and then, when we really have to be, we can be a lobster too.
Jon Michail is Group CEO of Image Group International, an award winning author and recognised as Australasia’s No 1 image coach. Image Group International supports executives, entrepreneurs and their organisations to become iconic and monetised leadership brands.
He is a regular commentator in international media organsations ABC, CNN, NBC, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Success, The Financial Review and Vogue.