Lobsters – and what they can teach us


LOBSTERS?! It never occurred to me that they can teach us a lot about stress. I’ve heard this analogy twice today- totally independently. It provides an interesting perspective for us to look at stress.

As we know, a lobster is soft inside with a hard outer shell that can’t expand much at all. As it grows inside, it starts to feel uncomfortable and under pressure, as it takes up all the space within its hard shell. In order to grow, the lobster retreats to a safe place away from predators like under a rock – and the shell will break away leaving a new shell that continues to form to accommodate its new size – and this can happen several times in its life, allowing for the full growth of the lobster. 

So – the SIGNAL for it to GROW is DISCOMFORT and PAIN.

The analogy continues to then ask- WHAT IF a Doctor had intervened at this stage and given a drug to numb the  pain and discomfort?

Well,  firstly it would never grow any further, secondly, it would never come out of its old shell and finally, it would never realise its potential. 

Stressful and uncomfortable times are signals for us to grow and dealt with in the right way can potentially be a positive experience steering us in the right direction. Using external means to alter this may not always allow for the potential within us to be realised and for us to grow into our best selves. Do we really want to stunt our own growth? Or to go through the adversity to build a stronger version of ourselves?

Breakdown = Breakthrough.

Pressure can be a great positive force which can give rise to the most beautiful creations – akin to a diamond created from charcoal over years of sustained pressure and stress.

I recall this from Robin Sharma –

What you resist will persist; what you befriend will transcend”