Have you ever been at a point in your life where you know that a change is coming, but you are not sure in what direction? Perhaps your job has ended and you are actively applying for new roles. Perhaps you found out that you are pregnant but are not sure whether it will be a girl or boy (or twins!). Perhaps your business has made some key investments and you are waiting to see how the market will respond. Perhaps you are awaiting a promotion.
In between places can often have a lot at stake. Have you ever awaited a medical diagnosis? Have you ever had a car accident and had to wait for medical personnel to arrive? Have you ever endured damage to your reputation or company brand? Perhaps you’ve put it all on the line with a loved one and they have not yet responded. Have you ever waited a long time for someone to deliver something they promised?
Think of those in-between moments. Do you remember what they were like? Perhaps you are in one now.
The word patience comes to mind. There is a reason why it is called a virtue. It is developed in the thick of the nothingness, when all you want are the results. You want to take action and take control. You want to do something. Anything. But often in life we do not have control and sometimes we must wait. When I think of the word patience, the first image that pops into my mind is a valley. A serene place with cool air…in between the mountains. This valley is green and plush, with flowers and perhaps a picnic spread. But as someone who has navigated several “valleys” now, I can attest that they are no picnic. Sometimes they feel like a category 5 hurricane. Destruction of the familiar. Fear of what is coming. Working to create clarity. Navigating the unknown. Starting each day determined to stay hopeful and only finding frustration and disappointment at the end of it.
Do you find yourself in this place?
In-between places are great teachers. They reveal so much – not about the situation – but about you. They reveal your greatest fears. They reveal your priorities. They reveal how you think life SHOULD go. They reveal your expectations for other people. They uncover the process that you use to problem solve. Sometimes they reveal where your breaking point lies.
Whether the situation turns out as you’d hoped or not, the process of navigating in-between places is ripe with information and much to be gained. The process informs you. It stresses you. It pushes you.
Patience and longsuffering are developed in in-between places. Like water that splashes upon a rock, slowly but surely they smooth your formation. And I’m here to tell you that you can benefit and find a net gain in these places, irrespective of how they turn out. There is immense strength that can be found in the capacity to tolerate the in between place. The capacity to suffer. The ability to walk in uncertainty with your head held high and without complaint. The ability to keep your constitution about you when you are waiting for something to happen at any moment. A submission to the reality of what is.
So if you are in an in-between place, you might be negotiating, pushing, helping, persuading, emailing, calling, researching, consulting and helping to bring the future state about. But I want to encourage you to take a moment to listen to what is going on inside of you. Put down all of the actions that you’re taking for a moment. Stop. Listen to what this in-between place is saying. What it is teaching you. What is it saying, and what it teaching you – about you?
You are not alone. You can make it through and find yourself stronger on the other side. If you want a buddy along the way, I am here to help.
This is why my company is named Transition Designs. The art of navigating change.