House assemblies this week have been on the theme of growth and our Principal Jacqueline Hughes-Williams explores how change can be good for us.
The assemblies began with an amusing short video called How do Lobsters Grow? which explains that the soft-bodied creature inside the shell becomes uncomfortable as it literally becomes too big for its shell. This stress causes the lobster to split its external shell and cast it aside.
“Linking growth with being uncomfortable is very interesting,” said Miss Hughes-Williams. “The lobster uses these feelings to make changes.” She points out that not only is the lobster under stress but that there is also a period of vulnerability whilst the new lobster shell becomes hard to protect the soft animal from harm.
We often talk about people ‘coming out of their shell’ and it means that we are leaving somewhere we find comfortable. Miss Hughes-Williams said: “Sometimes we are wary of change and being overly aware of risks can mean we want to remain in our comfort-zone.” Our personal comfort zone might be something really small like always having the same favourite meal. “If you try something different, it becomes less difficult next time,” she said “we’re moving out of our comfort zone.”
Miss Hughes-Williams showed a video extract from a talk by Tori James, the youngest British woman to reach the summit of Everest. The climber relates a story about how she asked her grandmother to open a jar of jam for her, who took the jar and then gave it straight back to Tori saying, ‘Go on, you can do it!’ On the mountain, Tori used this moment to keep going, saying to herself, ‘I can, I can, I can.’
In summarising her presentation the Principal asked students to remember two things: the lobster and to have an attitude of ‘I can.’ “Whether you say, ‘I can’t’ or ‘I can’ you are likely to make that outcome come true.”
“I’m calling on you all now to think about your own comfort zones. Think about shells, the lobster and being uncomfortable. What would you do differently?” she said.