What To Do When You’re In Between

Boy age 13 Wishlist: gift cards to buy clothing for Foot Locker, Nike, and Old Navy, football, basketball, body wash, electric razor, remote control car

That’s the wishlist of one of the boys in a family that my own family is supporting for Christmas this year. His list made me smile because he sounds like he’s in between, no longer a boy and on the cusp of being a young man.

It reminded me how often we live between worlds, in the gap between life as we know it and the life we see ourselves living into in our vision. Sometimes that’s uncomfortable. Sometimes it can downright suck.

You may feel like you’re taking action, making changes, like you’re doing everything right. But you also feel like you’re not making any progress at all. Because the things that you’ve asked for, whether it’s a gigantic project, or a licensing deal or a new home are slow to arrive.

Why haven’t they arrived yet? You complain to yourself. Why are they still out of reach?

Then instead of focusing on said vision—aka what you want—you end up focusing on what you call reality. Remember though at some point long ago, your current reality—aka what you no longer want—was also a vision, one that you’ve now achieved. This reality of yours likely slipped into being slowly, subtlety and without fanfare.

But the more you examine it, defend it, criticize it and all the other things you’ve learned to do as you’ve practiced it, the more you are creating the circumstances that will perpetuate it. It’s as bad as ripping a seed up out of the ground to make sure it’s growing. Not helpful.

A delay is not a denial and this in-between-meantime-space-where-it-seems-like-nothing-is-happening or when it feels like a mess  is in fact, the time for you to pay close attention, to look for evidence of the new reality you’ve been growing. It’s time for you to practice who you are going to be. It’s time for faith.

If you can’t summon faith and all that is outside of a religious context is positive expectation, then you need accountability. You need a plan. But you need a plan that is specific to you, not somebody else’s formula that may or may not work. Creativity isn’t formulaic and neither is strategy. You can’t copy genius. The way you design your business needs to be as individual as the way you design a room.

I know because I’ve helped many, many designers become visible in ways that are as unique as their aesthetic. Even though I’m proud of the external results my clients get, whether it’s the press, increased income, the way their lives look to everyone else on the outside. I’m even more proud of the results they get on the inside: alignment, confidence and joy.

Inside out for the win every time.

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