Inspiration can be found in many corners of our life and in the lives of others. Life is in motion at all times and if we stop and pay attention, that’s when we notice inspiring moments, people, places, and things. Personally, one of the greatest things I love to see is how someone can transform themselves from being in a negative state to becoming their own superhero. It’s not about winning a popularity contest but about being the best version of yourself after struggling with something so difficult for so long and coming out of it beautifully.
When I think about transformation, I think of metaphors because what metaphors can do is open our mind to a new perspective and deeper understanding of the potential transformation. It’s like a window or a doorway we can move through and find ways to relate it to our situation.
‘Meta’ means over and beyond and in transformation, it is over and beyond reality. My favorite metaphor of all is the caterpillar becoming a butterfly through the power of metamorphosis because one step over and beyond the caterpillar, the butterfly emerges. In life when we try to step beyond a belief, behavior, fear or circumstance, a metaphor can transform a person ‘s perspective and trigger their values which allow them to step into joy in their life.
For example, a person who has a fear of public speaking may be struggling inside this cocoon for some time but wants to overcome it through transformation. Just the mere thought of having to get up and speak to a few or many people can start the heart palpitations and make someone freeze right in their tracks because of stage fright. This person’s main goal is to avoid public speaking and social events at all costs, mainly because they are shy. The struggle is within their own mind and trying to silence the negative voice.
I was speaking with a friend recently and he said not only can shyness get in the way but add a language barrier on top of everything and you’ve got yourself a fearful scenario. I can only imagine how hard and uncomfortable that must feel to be around people you can’t connect with. He gave an example where his workplace required them to do impromptu group speeches in front of everyone and his first instinct was to run and hide but since he wanted to transform his fear into something more comfortable, he remembered the first lesson from the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
In this lesson, Covey talks about taking responsibility for your own life and stresses the importance of focusing your time and energy on the things you have control over in life. In a matter of minutes, my friend took this lesson and applied it to his own life right before facing one of the most fearful things; public speaking. He changed his self-talk from negative to positive saying “Don’t freeze, focus on the audience instead of your own awkwardness, think of how you would want to see a speaker, put yourself in the shoes of the audience and see yourself from their perspective so you can transform your fear into something you love. Imagine yourself being courageous even if you think you aren’t. Be yourself, no stress or pressure, you are surrounded by friends. Learn to laugh at yourself, life is too serious, be imperfect so people can connect, enjoy yourself and live outside your comfort zone.”
He stood up and managed to convince himself of everything he said and faced his fear by talking about his imperfections by making jokes with the audience. People were laughing with him, and it gave a soaring boost to his self-confidence which made him continue even more. He felt both shocked and happy with himself that day because it was a life changing moment, a real transformation where he struggled so long with negative self-talk but in the end after all that hard work, he emerged beautifully like a butterfly. What a perfect example of going over and beyond his reality and honoring the value of courage.
More times than not, we struggle in our minds and hearts about who we are and about how we want other people to see us. We wrestle with worthiness and shame all at the same time when really we all belong together and we are more similar than we are different.
When I asked him how he felt about that day he said “It changed my outlook towards socializing, facing fears, being vulnerable, handling pressure situations and making friends in general. And every victory I have had since that day, I attribute to this one act of mine where I overcame myself. And, needless to say, making friends has been not as difficult as I feared since that day. I survived.”
Bravo my friend for daring to live courageously, keep rockin’ the shark fin 😉
Transformation is a beautiful thing.
“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” ~Trina Paulus
Much Love ❤