top of page

Why it's worth trying.

A man walked along the beach. Ahead he saw a boy dashing back and forth in the sand. He smiled, thinking the boy was enjoying a game on a fine morning, so he hurried to catch up.
As he got closer he saw the boy picking something up out of the sand and gently tossing it into the sea. The man called out “hello, what are you doing?” The boy paused in throwing, looked up, and replied “throwing starfish into the ocean. The sun is up and the tide is going out, if I don't throw them back in they will die".
“But there are miles and miles of beach, and starfish all along it! You can't possibly make a difference.”
After listening politely, the boy reached down, picked up another starfish, gently tossed it into the sea and said, “it made a difference to that one”.

Adapted from "The Star Thrower" (or "starfish story") part of a 16-page essay of the same name by Loren Eiseley (1907–1977)


How many times have we said to ourselves, “oh does it matter? What is the point anyway? There is no point. Why am I bothering?”. I know I have said it many times over the years. Times when I felt I was shouting into the wind. Times when I thought nobody was listening or indeed interested. Times when I felt I was too small and insignificant to have any impact. Times when I wasn’t sure if I was doing anything important, or that I was doing the right thing. Times when I felt it was all too difficult, and I couldn’t see the results of my efforts. Times when it was easier not to rock the boat, not to attempt something new, not to change.


When we feel like this, it’s understandable that we don’t bother. Understandable that we give up and go back to our familiar behaviours and patterns. We don’t try - because it’s hard. We don’t change - because it’s painful. We stick – because although this is frustrating and irritating and exhausting and grey, it’s easier. We choose stuck.


But let’s think about the next starfish along the beach, if we do indeed choose to stay stuck.


In my mind the next starfish can signify so many things. It can be a person that you didn’t know needed you in that moment. It can be a cause that needs just one more voice to tip the balance. It can be a team that needs leadership. It can be a relationship that could flourish with the person you are becoming. And so vitally, it can be you – choosing to explore and grow.


And what and who loses when we choose to stick? Our companies, our colleagues, our customers, our family, friends… ourselves?



Who gains when we choose to explore what could be? Who we could be.


It’s hard. It’s incredibly intimidating and scary. I get it – I really do. And we never really arrive, which adds to the feeling of enormity. I have said before I am not your teacher, and I’m not. Development and growth, in so many contexts, is a great passion of mine and I have dedicated so much time to my own self-awareness and exploration. But I am, and always will be, a work in progress. That’s what being human is.


But I think about the beach, about the starfish and about how many I may have already thrown back in the sea, completely unbeknown to me, because I am a different person with different behaviours. Someone who continues to attempt new ways, even when it seems I’m not making a difference. And I wonder how many more are still ahead, that perhaps we can all reach – even if it’s just one. It makes a difference to them – to you.


So, this is a twofold message.


For those of us who are currently stuck- you can choose not to be. You can start. It will be tough. You can do it. One step, one day at a time.


For those of us feeling jaded by the journey, where we have started, and we have encountered the inevitable setbacks, where the discomfort of growth is making us doubt this path. Look over your shoulder – how far you have come – at how many starfish you have reached – the most important one being you. You too can do it.


Onwards.


Curious?

I work with individuals, teams and organisations, helping them become more self-aware so that they can appreciate choice and make decisions to change with confidence.


My one-to-one clients have a corporate career which, often, is not currently satisfying them. They often don’t know why, because it used to, or because it looks great on the surface. I help them figure out what’s getting in their way and where they want to go next.


My organisational clients are seeking support via coaching, workshops and webinars with leadership development, confidence in business and wellbeing.


If I’ve piqued your curiosity I offer a free 30-minute call. You can book that directly in my diary here. I don’t do hassle, I can’t bear it when people try it with me, so of course you get to mull it over and a no thanks from you is final, I promise. And for those that like the detail (I’m one of those), have a look at my website, where I aim to provide complete transparency on what to expect – and that includes pricing. www.starttothrive.me


Join the crowd to be first to receive fresh perspectives from the weekly blog, and exclusive access to offers & free resources via the quarterly newsletter. Sign me up.




58 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page