What can the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly teach us about personal development, emotional boundaries, change and creating new possibilities?
Consider the following.
Every caterpillar has a specific destiny - to become a butterfly.
Though it has no choice in the matter – it will always be a butterfly! – It must nonetheless eat to gain strength and size to reach its potential as a beautiful winged creature.
That you have a free will and so many choices, of course, only heightens your responsibility to find your true vocation in life.
Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist who survived the horror of the Nazi death camps during World War II, wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, that life charges each of us to carry out a specific mission. This particular task is ours alone, for our lives can neither be replaced, nor repeated.
"There are two great days in a person's life -
the day we are born and the day we discover why." (W. Barcley)
You cannot become a butterfly by remaining a caterpillar.
At first, a caterpillar protects itself from the outside world, wrapped inside a chrysalis. It then grows and strengthens itself until the day it is ready to emerge as a whole new being.
Just like a caterpillar, you want to give yourself permission to seek a safe space at times to cherish, rejuvenate, reflect, strengthen - and sometimes heal - yourself for your continued journey toward freedom, success, happiness and fulfillment.
Yet, you cannot become what you want by remaining what you are. Whatever you choose to become, you must be prepared to break out of the cocoon of self-limiting beliefs, past hurts, regrets and fears that hold you back, and do the work required – whatever the risks.
Because for things to change in your life, you have to change!
"You must take personal responsibility.
You cannot change the circumstances,
the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.
That is something you have charge of." (Jim Rohn)
Once a butterfly, you can never go back to being a caterpillar.
Once you break out of your limiting and self-imposed cocoon, you will create new insights, new possibilities for growth – and even more change.
Welcome change as an opportunity to grow and to become more of who you really are.
About Dieter Pauwels:
Dieter Pauwels is a professional personal life coach, business and career coach, speaker and author, facilitating personal and organizational transformation. He works with both individuals and teams to create new possibilities, manage change and maximize their productivity and personal effectiveness.
You can visit his life coaching and business coaching website at or read his comments and thoughts on the impact of coaching on life and business coaching blog.