Being In Between

When I am coaching business owners - at any level- there comes a place and time when they are in the midst of letting something go and creating something new. They are often "in between" where they were and where they are going. Let me tell you - I have been there - and it is not an easy place to be. In fact it can be quite uncomfortable.

Leaving behind the known - even though it may not be the best place for you - is not easy - especially when you have not yet experienced where you want to be. But being "in-between" has incredible value. Let me explain.

Yesterday while out cross country skiing - I was thinking of all the great things about being "in between" in my life. First of all - I realized that if I skied 'in between' the tracks - I could focus on what lay ahead. (the scenery was beautiful) Skiing in between the tracks made the progress faster and easier than breaking new trail - and although the skiing still required effort - there was an ease about it.

I also began to think about the holiday and how we were in between Christmas and the New Year. In that "in between" time - I had some spare time that allowed me to do some things (like skiing) that I enjoyed.

In between Christmas and the New Year there were also lots of great left overs to serve - without all the work of the original preparation! I was still glad to eat turkey and cranberries - they still tasted great - and only required me to warm them up instead of spending hours cooking them. Hmm, this place "in between" was looking better all the time!

In fact I am in between being "old" and "young". There are lots of places in my life where I have not yet arrived - and yet I have left behind the familiar.

André Paul Guillaume Gide said, "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time" This also reminds me of the expression "Ships are safe at harbour - but that's not what ships are for!"

When we are in between where we are going and where we were, we have time to reflect on what was - bring the best forward - and discard that which was not working for us. This can be uncomfortable in that we don't know what the destination feels or looks like - and leaving behind what we knew and what was comfortable can be disconcerting to say the least. Pushing off from the shore can bring uncertainty.

Right now, for example, we are "in between" websites. The old website will soon be closed down and the new one (this one) will launch. The old one worked 'ok' but with new advances in social media,it no longer serves our community well. And technology has finally caught up to the vision I have of an online community - so it is time to leave the old to create the new.

The uncomfortable part is that I am leaving what is familiar. The first site may not have worked like I wanted it to - but I had learned to work with the 'quirks' and navigate the issues that held us back. Moving forward to the unknown, encountering new issues and problems, I began to wonder if the new site would work and was feeling very uncomfortable to say the least. At times, it became more and more inviting to turn around and just go back to the old website that I know.

But then I remembered my own advice and training. I could bring forward all the things that were working - and incorporate them into the great new things I was creating in the new website. And when I let go of the comfortable-ness of the past - the future became much more inviting. The 'in between' became an exciting place to be.

Moving forward in our businesses often requires us to let go of what was in order to move forward. And when we do let go - and focus on the future - the journey becomes one of anticipation and excitement.

Yes there will be bumps. Yes there will be new situations to encounter. Yes we may have to be resourceful in new ways - and we may even have to ask for help.

Leaving behind the old to create the new can be much easier than we expect - when we focus on where we are going - and not how we are going to get there.

As you move into the New Year - consider where you are on journey. Are you feeling pretty comfortable but perhaps complaining about where you are? (Complaining is really all about "knowing there is something better out there for you but being unwilling to go get it." )

If so - consider stepping out of your comfort zone and asking yourself the tough questions. And if you need help - just ask! Get some coaching - or business advice. Being in the "in between" means you are moving forward! It can be easier than you think!


Mandie Crawford is a marketing expert, business coach, trainer and motivational speaker who was recently awarded Calgary Business Woman of the Year for her contributions to the business community.

Mandie also has skills and expertise in providing high quality guidance in time management and system implementation for small a medium sized businesses. Her passion as a business and professional development coach is to helps women recognize their value and self worth.

She is the Preside...

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