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The Middleground

Nobody tells you how hard it is to live in limbo. Being in between states of growing is difficult––it’s a fuzzy, gray area with no timeline and a plan of its own. You’re not quite comfortable in your new skin, but you can’t return to the way things were before. You’re walking a fine line between clinging onto what feels comfortable and growing into the future you want. 

Destruction begets regrowth

It’s tricky. I’m experiencing it first hand. I’ve broken down everything about myself over the last 10 months from personal relationships to understanding how my pain got in the way of truly understanding who I am.

On my walk tonight, I thought about how deconstruction and reconstruction work in tandem to create transformation. 

Some of my most vivid and tangible examples of transformation are sports related. When I played basketball, I had to completely relearn how to shoot. I used to kick my back right foot up like a ballerina. Over 5+ years, I developed a better shot though practicing thousands of times. Finally, I had one of the best shots in the league––beautiful form, follow through, and footwork. 

When it came to transformation in sports, I followed a consistent plan to improve: I put in the time and effort, determined the ideal end result, imagined it, gained control of it, and saw the fruits of my labor.

This recipe doesn’t work the same way when you’re doing internal work. The roadmap isn’t always clear, and the deconstruction only happens when you lean into the pain. You don’t know what you’re aiming to look like on the other side of the transformation.  

Each person has their unique personal story, history, and perspective that impacts their full self. 

When there’s no exact process to follow for personal transformation, we end up spending a lot of time in the middle ground. In this limbo, it’s more difficult to see the results of growth.

What I will say, though, is that the middleground is a powerful place when channeled the right way. Being in the middle means that you have taken the time to deconstruct the past. 

It shows that you’ve made progress. But it’s also a very vulnerable and exposed place, because it’s easy to get pulled back as you try to push forward. It requires patience and a “one day at a time mentality”.

You cannot step into your future without going through the middle. And you cannot get to the middle without going through the past.

As I’m living in this middle ground myself, I’m seizing the opportunity to think about who I want to become. 

I know who I want to be: 

  • Whole on my own (without needing someone else to complete me)
  • Present to others needs and the pain of the world 
  • Unattached to outcomes
  • Living in congruence 
  • Understanding and living out my Values 

I may not know the exact road map of my transformation, but I know I’m on the right road with the right compass – because I feel the shifts internally. Being in this limbo has given me clues and signals that I’m making the right changes.

For instance, doing yoga and meditation forces me to surrender. It’s allowing me to be unattached to outcomes, because I’m learning to be extremely present given my learnings. 

Walks, writing, and listening to acoustic music in the evening are a similar force. They help me get into my heart and become very aware and enables me to more easily listen to my heart. 

Simply, I am using my bodily awareness to take intentional actions, which aligns in congruence with who I am and the spirit I want to embody.

From my own experience, without defining a playbook, it’s extremely evident that getting to the root of the past creates an opportunity to live in the middle. And while in the middle, I’m defining the future person I want to embody. 

And I can’t wait to fully step into that person ahead and eventually repeat this profound cycle.

For Young Professionals
Bryan Wish

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