Is Fear of the Messy Middle keeping you from Starting your Hero’s Journey?

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It always seems to happen during a journey or on our way towards a particular goal: the beginning is always so exciting.

We feel powerful, full of life, and full of energy. We can eat that vegetable salad and enjoy it. We get up early for that run and come back feeling refreshed and alive.

But then somewhere along the way, maybe an hour in, a few days, a week, or a month in; it starts to get hard.

The way becomes difficult.

We somehow get tired of the drive. The effort becomes too great. And what happens? We want to turn back.

No one told us it was going to be this hard. No one said we would get so hungry on this diet.

The donuts at work start looking extra delicious. We look at our friends still going out and eating foods we vowed to stay away from. We see them going to the bar and ordering beverages from which we willingly chose to abstain. 

And before long, we start to question our resolve.

For those of you Bible scholars, remember how the children of Israel were so happy to be free of the harsh treatment they received when they were in the land of Egypt, only to find themselves wanting to return after only a short time in the desert.

In fact, in the end, only two of the adults from the original tribe that left Egypt actually entered into the Promised Land.

So let us take that as a sign and not become weary in doing good.

For we know that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Find a verse, a quote, a saying, a mantra to repeat over an over or use as a meditation to keep you going through the hard times of your own messy middle.

Some people call the messy middle “the river of misery.”

It is that “gap” between where you are now and where you want to be. Some have likened it to a space shuttle during liftoff. There is so much energy expended in the beginning just to get the shuttle off the ground. All the engines fire at once just to life that monstrous metal spacecraft a few feet off the ground. The resistance of flight is greatest at the beginning of the journey.

So too with your journey.

It may require ten times your efforts in the beginning to see one evidence of success. But oh, is it so worth it. Do not to give up! Your clients, your family, your tribe, your people, they need you.

They need your light, your strength, your spirit, and your encouragement not to give up on their own dreams. As a forensic pathologist, I see people give up every day. Maybe it is one rash decision that changes everything or multiple small quits practiced over a lifetime.

But that is not us. That is not who we are. We are strong, we are fighters, we are believers, we are people of faith who believe in ourselves, our mission, and our tribe!

We know that in due time we shall reap if we faint not. To faint means to give up, to lose courage, to grow weak, to lose spirit. That is the exact opposite of who we are and what we want to accomplish.

Who is with me?

I elaborate on the “messy middle” concept in the following video:

Next week I will give you 5 action steps to help you get through your “messy middle.”

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