When does helping someone hinder one’s growth, and when do we need to reach out and offer a hand?
I was taking a walk the other day with my grandson Ollie who was about to turn 3. He noticed a caterpillar on the ground and was fascinated by it. I began explaining to him the evolution of the butterfly. He seemed a bit confused, but was able to grasp it better when we saw a cocoon on a leaf of a plant.
Ollie wanted to help the butterfly emerge from the cocoon so he could see its beauty and watch it soar. I explained to him that in life for us to grow and become strong (physically, emotionally, and mentally) we sometimes need a helping hand to assist us. Other times we may only need the support and guidance, and at other times—no matter how challenging the task may be—we just need the encouragement from the sidelines so we can figure it out ourselves. Ollie then asked me, “How do you know what kind of help someone needs?”
That reminded me of this story of the butterfly…
There was a man watching a butterfly trying to emerge from its cocoon. The process is long and laborious as the butterfly tires easily. It first uses its tiny legs to cut a hole in the silk of the cocoon. The butterfly then spreads its wings to begin ripping open the silk even more. The butterfly then stops for a while so it can rest and regain its strength before starting again. This is repeated several times.
Wanting to help the tired butterfly, the man placed the cocoon on a table and gingerly opened the silk to assist in the process. The butterfly finally emerged. Since the progression was quite arduous, it needed to rest for a while before it could fly.
To the man’s dismay when the butterfly finally got up to fly, he noticed that its wings were weak and weren’t able to spread out to their full expression. What the man didn’t realize was that by trying to help in the evolution of the emergence, the butterfly wasn’t able to spread its wings to strengthen them; therefore, he actually stunted the growth and strength to the wings of the butterfly.
What I was helping Ollie realize is that sometimes through personal struggles we grow stronger when we have to persevere; to figure out things ourselves and make it work. Of course, there are times we need assistance and other times we just need the encouragement.
We have all the resources within us… be persistent and never give up.
May 2017 bless you with the abundance of wonderful things!
To Your Success,
Peak Performance Coach