Lessons From the Butterfly for the New Work World



Butterflies are masters of change. Their life cycle—egg to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to winged adult—is inspiring, reminding us of nature’s promise that while change isn’t always easy, the end result can be more beautiful and astounding than what we started with. For the butterfly, such magnificent transformations require shedding old forms. For humans, this can be equated to shedding old patterns that no longer serve us. When we do, we become better versions of ourselves and enjoy newfound growth and more meaningful experiences.
The restrictions the pandemic has placed on our personal and professional lives these last two years have forced many of us to undergo changes we may not have felt prepared to handle. Yet like the butterfly, we can take advantage of the resources available to us in our current stages of life as we seek the right tools to help us through the essential transformations we need to progress to our next steps.
1. Change is the only constant.
With its four-stage life cycle, the butterfly only knows change. It goes through multiple transformations, never knowing what each will bring, before eventually becoming something magnificent and beautiful. Similarly, no stage of a human life is ever permanent. When things occur that are out of our control, we must weather the storm by maintaining positive mindsets, reflecting on our own capabilities and desires, contributing to the good of others as well as ourselves, and trusting that things will get better and we will have grown.
2. Break down to break through.
During the chrysalis stage of a butterfly’s life cycle, the caterpillar’s body breaks down at the cellular level. The old form no longer serves it, and it must let go and become a new version of itself. In the New Work World, we must step out of our comfort zones to move on to uncharted territory. We can achieve expansive growth in our careers only by stretching ourselves to learn new skills and building up our career platforms.
3. Perseverance is the key to flight.
Once the caterpillar has done all its work inside the cocoon, it is ready to reenter the world. The process of unfolding, stretching, and flapping its wings is an entirely new process for the caterpillar, and it might not be able to fly right away.
However, after falling a few times and bumping into a few walls, the butterfly finds its balance and learns how to fly. Similarly, if we have lost our jobs, encountered several rejection letters, or had our resumes passed over, we must persevere so we can learn to fly successfully with our own new wings of growth.
The next time you see a butterfly and admire its beauty, reflect on the changes it had to undergo to become such a beautiful version of itself. Keep in mind that while change is a constant, it does not come easily, and perseverance is often necessary to see things through. But most of all, remember that nature has given us all the ability to transform and fly on wings of change.

Mary Ann Faremouth 

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business.  Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

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