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Re-Arranging My DNA


Martha Beck is a genius. Well – I realized that is stating the obvious, but I have a point to make. You see, five years ago I was lucky enough to be personally trained by her in the skills of Life Coaching.  At the time, you didn’t meet a life coach every two feet – in fact I didn’t even know what it was when she offered it to me.

But I digress.

Martha taught and trained me using one of my favorite tools – metaphors. She and I are both natural story tellers, so metaphors come easily and naturally.  As you can probably tell if you’ve read anything I’ve written here. 🙂

As I am working on this journey to Escape Mediocrity, many of her metaphors roll around in my head. And yesterday I remembered one in particular that seems quite fitting as I finish up my time Walking The Grid and consider moving out into The Great Big World.


cocoonI clearly missed some important points in science class. Somehow, I thought that when a caterpillar climbed up into its cocoon, it just sort of shrank, sprouted antennae and grew some wings before emerging as a butterfly.


Caterpillars spin their cocoon, climb into it and seal it. Then they COMPLETELY BREAK DOWN THEIR DNA. That’s right – they disintegrate into goo. In fact if you break open a cocoon mid-way through the metamorphosis cycle, that is all you will find inside – goo.

So, they break down their DNA as a caterpillar and then re-arrange it into the DNA of a butterfly. HOW exactly that happens is simply beyond my comprehension. But this is the part I like to remember: to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to be Goo first.

I think the same kind of thing happens when we start to escape mediocrity. We have to go through the Goo Phase so that we can re-arrange our DNA into that of whatever it is we are becoming.

This metaphor makes me happy because it applies anyone who is trying to break out and become something more. It applies to budding entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs who want to shake up the way they do things, individuals who feel pulled to a bigger game in life, anyone really who is taking BIG risks to be more of who they are in this world.

Notes From The Field

Having been in the Goo Phase more than once, here are some things I can tell you about it:

1) To Escape Mediocrity and become something and someone more, you (and probably your business) are going to butterflyhave to re-arrange your DNA. I don’t know any other way to do that other than passing through the Goo phase.

2) You can’t rush it. Rearranging DNA takes however long it takes.

3) It does not feel very good. Face it, being goo feels like, well, being goo. Stop fighting it.

4) Don’t let anyone crack you open mid-metamorphosis. a) all they will see is goo and b) you’ll probably have to start all over again. Neither of these are very encouraging.

5) It helps IMMENSELY to have people around you who are either going through it or have been through it to encourage you when you just can’t take being Goo one more day.

I’m betting some of you have been through the Goo Phase a time or two as well. What are some notes you have on getting though it and emerging from your cocoon as a butterfly?

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