Hello Reader. Everyone one of us is in the middle of something today. What in the world are we to do when we are in the middle? The middle of a transition, the middle of a decision, the middle of growth, the middle of where we are and where we want to be—that kind of “middle”.
Well, this week I bring some thoughts from my own journey as I reflect on this question in the middle of a job transition. I hope this will help you too, if you are also feeling in the middle.
The biggest problem with any middle is the gap.
The gap between where we are where we want to be and the gap between where we are and where we used to be. To help ourselves get out of the middle, we try to focus on the gap of where we are and where we want to be—but this is not the most helpful focus.
To help your brain shift to creatively thinking outside of the middle, first think about where you used to be and are not anymore. When you remember what has happened before this point, you let yourself think about how things worked out before. You remember who was there, how it changed, where you were when the answer or the rescue came and what you did. This gap (the where we are and where we used to be) brings that memory back to the forefront when you feel the resolution, the rescue or the remedy all over again. *this is where the internal pep-rally starts, and you hear strains of We are the Champions*
Before you sign off, that’s not the best part.
The best part comes next when you forget all of how that happened. Yes. Next forget how the rescue came, how the resolution came about, how the remedy was delivered.
Why forget all that stuff?
When we forget how it all happened in that gap, then we free ourselves to think creatively about the next gap: where we are and where we want to be. The pressure has been relieved from trying to figure out what you are going to do to make it happen. Your brain has been convinced that it WILL happen so it’s not so freaked out about IF it will happen.
The key is forgetting the “how”. You and I both know we are creatures of habit. If we see something happen one way then we probably will expect it to happen the same way again. Typically it doesn’t happen the same way so when we look at the gap ahead of us and expect it to happen the way it happened in the gap behind us, we cut ourselves short.
If we focus ONLY on how things happened before we only get the pep-rally excitement but none of the practical application. So think about the times you saw the resolution, the rescue and the remedy but leave room for this time to come in a new way. Your confidence isn’t being confined by how the rescue/remedy/resolution came before. Your confidence is opened up to realize it will happen and how isn’t that critical when you know it will happen because it’s happened before.
Now you can begin to think more practically because the brain isn’t consumed with the anxiety or figuring out the how. Our brains will only shift out of anxious problem solving when it feels there is confidence of a solution. The brain doesn’t have to see action to be convinced but it does have to be reminded so it feels confident.
If you are in a relationship with God, this next part will also apply–
Don’t put your confidence in the how, put your confidence in the who.
That’s the part of the gap that brings it all together—the “who”. Things are not resolved, remedied and rescued in a vacuum. You can remember who was there, who helped before, who was with you, who had your back. People were and are involved, either one who or many who’s. You also remember where, when, how God came through.
For all you’ve been through for all you’re going through, the God who made a way before is making a way now. He is faithful, trustworthy, good and powerful to complete what he started. Your middle is only a middle, the next steps are coming. Connect to the “who” through praise, prayer, study, worship, and let him show you the next steps to close the gap.
Thanks for joining me for this blog on getting out of the monotony of the middle.
Next week I’ll be starting a new series: confessions of a counselor—things we tell you and need help with too. I think you might find it interesting!
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and with husband David Lawrence co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
Photo from Pexels.com, Graphic on Canva