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The Messy Middle

Do you have this experience?


Whenever you start something new there’s the excitement of getting started, but somewhere along the way you realize that things have fallen apart and you’re lost on what to do next. Figuring out how to get to the finish line seems overwhelming and it's not clear even what you need to do next.


For example, you have decided to make a career change. You have talked to your friends and realized that your company is sucking the life out of you. Your partner agrees and you've started to put the pieces in place to leave your job. But while searching for a new role, you realize that the type of job you used to do is no longer of interest to you. You've been looking through job listings and your suddenly frantic that you don't know what you should apply for.


I have both good news and bad news for you. The bad news is that the only way to get through it is just keep going. Step by step until you get there.


The good news is that as you become comfortable with the fact that the middle of every project is going to be a little messy, you know to expect it and can be ready to for the effort it takes to continue forward to the other side.


I’m an oil painter on the side and the first few times I created an oil painting I got to this stage where the painting was miserably ugly, and I just couldn’t see how I could possibly make it any better. I was upset with myself for starting it and was feeling defeated. But, I kept coming back to the painting and kept working on it bit by bit. One day I looked at my painting and something magical had happened. It had turned from this flat and dimensionless piece of canvas to a work of art that I was excited to share with friends and family.


Over time, I realized that every single painting I made had this same stage. I would get to this point where I couldn’t see how to go forward. I also realized that if I just kept putting paint on the canvas eventually it would turn the corner and it would surprise me by coming to life just when I thought it was a lost cause. Now when I get to the messy middle, I know that it’s only a matter of time before it’s going to be beautiful, and I just keep going.


So, if you are stuck in the middle, remember that the “messy middle” is a stage along the pathway to accomplishing something great. If you just keep going, you will find the solution that just makes sense to you.


If you are the one making a career change, it might take a bit of exploration until the magic starts to happen.


Do you need help getting through the messy middle? I can help! Schedule a "New Client Chat" to get started.

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