Letting Go, Shedding Shells, Embracing Growth


Change is a topic that’s been on my mind lately, and there’s a fascinating lesson from the sea that I recently learned—a lesson that strongly resonates with our personal journeys towards growth. Picture this: a small crab shedding its shell, creating space for something new. I find it a fascinating metaphor that aligns with the transformative journey many of us experience. Like the crab, our path to personal growth involves letting go of old habits and beliefs. So, what crabs teach us about life?

Letting Go is What Crabs Teach Us About Life

Crabs shed their shells as a natural part of their growth process. As these resilient crustaceans outgrow their existing armor, they face a crucial choice: to remain confined in the safety of the familiar but restrictive shell or to embark on a daring journey of shedding, exposing themselves to the vulnerability of the open sea. This shedding might be a physical necessity for crabs, but I feel it can also be a beautiful metaphor for many therapeutic journeys. A symbol of the essence of adaptation and renewal. Just as the crab breaks free from its confining shell, we too must embrace change to evolve and live a better life.

The Price of Holding On

Reflecting on personal experiences, it becomes evident that avoiding change poses risks. Holding onto old ways can mean missing out on opportunities for growth and success, akin to saying no to breathing freely and moving forward.

“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

This quote by one of my psychology heroes, Abraham Maslow, beautifully encapsulate the crossroads we often face during moments of change. The metaphor of the crab shedding its shell aligns with Maslow’s idea. At any moment we do have a choice: we can choose to step forward into the unfamiliar, into the unknown, shedding our old ways like the crab discards its shell, or we can retreat to the safety of the familiar, even if it has become an undesirable place, much like the old shell for crabs. So, where do you want to be?

Are You Stuck in Your Old Shell?

The experiences of the past years have taught me that transformation isn’t about fitting into a predetermined mold. Shedding the old isn’t just about letting go; it’s about making space for new opportunities. It’s about creating a life that aligns with your authentic self. I like to view it as a practical process of aligning your actions with your aspirations, and your beliefs with your dreams. And the thing I love about the personalized therapy programs is that they often help us design a life that feels tailor-made for us – a life where we call the shots.

And yes, it isn’t easy. Change involves facing fears and taking risks, but the rewards – freedom, growth, and numerous possibilities – are so worth the effort. I like how the concept of shedding our old shell serves as an invitation to explore new possibilities.

New Year, New You

As we welcome December and approach the close of the year, inspired by the resilience of crabs shedding their shells, it’s a perfect time to reflect on what we want to leave behind. But… the turning of the calendar doesn’t have a monopoly on change; we hold that power every day.

The choice is ours.

So, in wrapping up this year, let’s drop the excess baggage, because, let’s be honest, it’s so last season…

Remember, change isn’t just a New Year’s resolution. It’s a daily decision, a constant evolution. If you’re seeking support in this transformative journey, therapists are here to guide you with compassion.

Shedding Shells, Embracing Growth

How much easier our life would be if we took a cue from our underwater comrades? Shedding the old, embracing the new. Living the life without the unnecessary baggage, without trying to fit into outdated shells.

As we venture into a new year, let’s make it the year of shedding. Shedding self-doubt, shedding old habits, shedding whatever holds us back. The call of personal growth is knocking at the door, and this time, let’s swing it wide open.

About the author

Psychologist, RTT Therapist trained by world-class therapist Marisa Peer, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Coach

Result-oriented therapist, focused on treating the root cause of an issue, resilient mindset shifts, reprogramming subconscious beliefs and building lifelong habits that support your transformation

Here to help if you are motivated to take charge of your life, committed to your transformation, value your time and are looking for fast results that stick after as little as 1 – 3 sessions

Offering powerful therapy online and in person, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, happy to work with non-native speakers and expat communities, in English or Polish

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