The Nautilus Shell – A symbol of growth

A couple of weeks ago I managed to get a week away with my husband and kids for school holidays. It was a great week technology free, no routine and general relaxation. One day we were beach-combing a little visited and very exposed beach when I discovered a full, large Nautilus shell. The kids were delighted with my find and we brought it home with us. I put it on my desk to remind me of happy memories. The more I looked at it, the more I started thinking – why? Why did I find this shell? A nautilus this large is rare to find washed up on a beach, especially in full tact. So I thought there must be a meaning to my find.

Nautilus Shell

I googled Symbolic Meaning of Nautilus shell and then it all became clear! The Nautilus has in fact been around since the time of the dinosaurs. It starts as a very small shell to protect the animal inside. As the animal grows, it outgrows it’s safe chamber and the Nautilus shell grows a new chamber to accommodate it (slightly larger). This continues until the animal dies. If you have ever seen a cross section of a Nautilus shell you will notice all the small chambers that spiral around and around. These are all the ‘homes’ the shell has created. From a symbolic viewpoint, it is interpreted that the Nautilus is therefore about growth and evolution.

So what does this mean for me? and you? Well growth is inevitable. If we stay in the same chamber, and don’t move on we will eventually die as we become to large for that area. By the same token, once the animal grows and moves to a new chamber it can never go back, it is too big. It must continue to move on to bigger spaces all it’s life and leave the past behind. I absolutely love this analogy for business. It is the same. You must move outside your comfort zone to grow. And when you do, you can never go back. Once you invest in yourself and your business, you grow and change and the old ways will no longer fit you. The amazing thing that happens, is a new shell will grow around you and protect you. You new confidence and skills will protect you. Is there a period of risk there? Hell yes! But is it necessary to grow and expand? Yes.

So next time your faced with a business challenge, think of the Nautilus. Remember all the chambers the animal moves through over it’s lifetime. And remember this is just another chamber in your life. Dare to move to the next chamber, and allow yourself the room to grow.

For now the Nautilus sits on my desk as a constant reminder to growth and evolution. What have you done recently to grow yourself and your business? Are you ready for the next chamber?

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