I’m right in the middle. Always have been.
Between corporate and oh-so-not. Between business consulting and individual coaching. Between hard facts and intuition. Optimism and realism. Between progressive and being “too far out there.” It’s a good place to be, now. It wasn’t always. It is exhausting to find the right balance between the need for risk and security, freedom and contentment, leading and supporting.
But one day I realized that “the middle” is an important part of things. The double stuff stuff. Jan Brady. Peanut butter and jelly. What would the ends be without the middle?
Then I built a business around the middle.
When I stopped worrying about the personal branding BS, stopped forcing myself to use buzzwords (because it’s not how I speak), and evaluated all the f*cks that I mistakenly gave (nod to my favorite, Mark Manson) to people in suits who I feared were judging my message, or how I was or was not using social media, that’s when things changed. I accepted that in the middle is exactly where I am meant to be.
It wasn’t until I stopped paying attention to the ends, the extremes, and trusted my own middling strengths that I experienced growth, both personally and professionally.
Do you know what else is in the middle? A bridge. A bridge between two sides of the abyss. A bridge carries you across one bank of the river to the other. I am grateful and humbled to have mentors and colleagues who stretched like a bridge in 2016 when I was standing on one side of the mountain and couldn’t figure out how to get to the other side. You know who you are. Thank you.
Where would we be without bridges?
Stranded. Struggling. Stagnant. The middle stuff is important stuff. It’s the stuff growth is made of It’s good to be in the middle even if it’s not where you typically spend your time.
As you enter the new year, even if your personal strengths aren’t innately middling strengths, challenge yourself to bridge a gap for someone in 2017. The middle is often just the right place to be.
Happy New Year!
Image courtesy of att3mpt on Flickr