Are You a Rhinoceros or an Oyster?

Are You a Rhinoceros or an Oyster?

In the classic book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Maxwell Maltz uses the oyster vs. thick-skinned analogy to describe when a person either has healthy boundaries or has built up a wall from past hurts that prevents us from achieving our full potential.

Oysters are born free. They start their lives swimming in plankton, but as they grow up, in order to survive they find mud, coral or debris to attach themselves and grow shells of protection. Once they grow their shells, they can’t move around anymore.

Do you want freedom or security?

When we try to protect ourselves from past hurts or perceived failures by putting up a wall we, like the oyster, might feel protected safe and secure but the price can be isolation and stagnation.

security comes at the price of stifled creativity and freedom.

To live creatively you must be willing to be vulnerable.

Willing to be vulnerability means taking down the wall, taking risks whether in relationships or business. It means getting out of your comfort zone to try something new.

It means being willing to put yourself out there and possibly get hurt or suffer temporary failure.

Instead of a wall develop the tough skin of the rhinoceros.

Thick But Sensitive… Rhinos of any breed have thick skin. This thickness helps prevent serious injuries or complications.

Without thick skin we may be swayed by every comment and criticism that comes our way. We will not hold up under the pressures of work when there are no signs of progress – even for things that are really worth striving for your future.

We must have a tough skin like a rhinoceros so that every blip in life’s radar is not affecting us, but not so tough that we have built up a shell like the oyster that keeps us from being sensitive and intuitive.

Here are a few tips to going from being an oyster to being a rhinoceros

• Take small steps .It can be a scary process to be vulnerable
• Ask for help when needed
• Let go of worrying about what others think of you.

You don’t have to be perfect just good enough for now and tweak from there.

P.S. – If you like this post, feel free comment down below and/or share on Facebook.


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1. How to Start a Business Online – How to Persevere
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3. Making Mistakes Is the Key to Life

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Author: Mike Marko
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Article:  Are You a Rhinoceros or an Oyster?

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