Though lobsters have natural predators — mostly certain kinds of fish when they are young, and primarily we humans, once they’ve reached adulthood — they live well protected inside a chitinous shell. And any of you that have enjoyed lobster as cuisine know all too well how hard and rigid that shell is.
But remember, lobsters start small and then they grow. So as they get bigger, what happens with that hard shell?
It turns out that as lobsters develop over the five to eight years it takes to become an adult, they molt up to twenty five times. Molting is the process in which they struggle out of their old shells while simultaneously absorbing water which expands their body size.
So picture this, the lobster seeks out and hides under a rock formation, where it won’t be found and harmed by predatory fish. It struggles out of it’s hard protective shell and is now vulnerable but safe.
It then develops a new and larger shell and then comes out from the rocks.
When that new shell eventually becomes confining once again, it repeats the same steps.
There are two key lessons to be learned from this crustacean and it’s process.
First of all, the lobster’s inclination to molt and grow, is that it feels uncomfortable… restricted… it senses that something isn’t right. There’s a kind of stress going on inside. Rather than pretend it’s fine or attempt to escape from that discomfort, it utilizes it as a signal to take action and grow.
Consider that we here at Elevate are all evolving inside our businesses. And that we face challenges of all different kinds as we develop through our process.
Times of stress and adversity, if utilized properly, can be times of significant growth.
Secondly, the lobster doesn’t get something for nothing. Yes it wants to get out of that experience of pressure inside the shell, but up until it became restrictive, it was it’s protection… it’s literal comfort zone. To leave it is super dangerous. It’s ultimate upgrade requires vulnerability.
However, it doesn’t let it go irresponsibly. It finds that rock formation.
Consider that Elevate can be that rock formation for us… a place where we can let go of our comfort zone, and get a little vulnerable, in service of expanding our potential and stepping into a higher level of leadership and success.
Oh, and by the way, once they reach adulthood, lobsters keep growing. They just slow down a bit. Males molt about once per year and females about once every two years. But they never stop growing.
And each of those growth cycles leads to an increase of about 15% in length and 40% in weight.
As far as gains go, not too bad.
So if we can handle a little discomfort and some calculated risk, keep in mind what’s available.
Sometimes the waves get high and the water gets rough. But I for one am glad to be amongst these powerful rocks.
And from where I sit I see a lot of growth on the way.