Most of us ask for really big things in our lives, not realizing that they also come with these really big and profound shifts. We often think the shift is in deciding to make a change, but there’s so much more to it than that. And the experience of transformation can get pretty intense when it meets your perfectionism, imposter syndrome, unworthiness, and shame head-on. That’s where the Messy Middle comes in.
The Messy Middle is what we all find ourselves in when we’ve set ourselves a big goal, but we perhaps never realized the uncomfortableness of the changes that would have to occur before we can reach that goal. And I know what it’s like to be in the Messy Middle all too well. But I’m here to tell you that if you’re there and experiencing some discomfort around it, nothing has gone wrong.
Join me on the podcast this week to discover how to keep yourself motivated and driven when you’re in the Messy Middle. Although it’s uncomfortable, there is so much wisdom in this stage of your journey of conscious creation, and I’m sharing how to embrace it as a necessary part of the transformation process.
You’re listening to episode 22 of The Wealthy Happy Soul Podcast, The Messy Middle.
Welcome to The Wealthy Happy Soul Podcast, a show for high achievers who are ready to start enjoying the life they’ve worked so hard to create. Join me, your host and certified life coach Dr. Tangie, to learn how to start infusing the dedication you have for your career into living a truly fulfilling life. If you’re ready to finally gain the happiness your soul has been longing for, this podcast is for you.
Hello everybody. I am so happy you are here. I am cracking up because of the topic today. The messy middle is when you say set a big goal, but you don’t realize the shifts that are going to have to occur before you actually reach that goal, become the new person, yada, yada, yada.
Because I am recording my podcast in the middle of nowhere Ohio in this hotel room where no room does not have an echo. So my choices are record it in this super echoey hotel with lots of booms above me apparently or to go outside in the 20-degree weather and record it with a lot of traffic noise. So if this episode is—I have an amazing sound engineer. So it will probably sound fine. But if it doesn’t, I’m just letting you know why.
It occurred to me that—Actually this has been an ongoing theme for me all week. I was in a group of women earlier this week on Monday. The facilitator went around to everybody. Everybody in the group was an entrepreneur whose intention was to become more visible in the world. One of the questions that she had asked me, or the group, was, “Okay, how are you feeling in your body right now?”
What came out of my mouth was I feel really messy. I feel like I’m in the middle of a big mess that I’m just trying to figure out how to organize everything and put everything away and do it right and make it look nice. But it’s really frustrating because I’ve never done it before. I don’t know if I’m going to do it right. I’m don’t know how many times it’s going to take for me to do it right. Yada, yada, yada.
I knew this was a podcast topic when I had two other clients this week who were also going through similar things. As I’m thinking about this place, the messy middle, what I’ve come to realize is that most of us ask for really big things not realizing that they also come with really big shifts. I know we hear a lot of people talking about, “Oh I just made this major shift. I just had this big breakthrough.”
But in my opinion, shifts are not these airy-fairy things. Maybe they feel that way initially when our mind opens up to a new awareness or learns something new, but that’s not where it ends. There’s a lot more work to do after that. You’ve gotta live through an experience the transformation after you’ve had that big aha moment, after you’ve had that superficial shift. To know more about what I mean by that, you can refer back to the episode of When “I Know That” Isn’t Enough.
Essentially, it’s cognitively recognizing that you’ve made a shift, cognitively recognizing something maybe that you didn’t know before or cognitively getting it in your head but not having lived it yet. That’s what I mean by experience the transformation. You can know it in your head, but until you live it, the energy hasn’t really shifted. When the energy really shifts, that’s when life begins to bring up and reflect to you everything that up until now you’ve been trying to stuff down with an excessive amount of wine or tacos or cookies.
When you’re actually living and experiencing the shift, that’s the time when life is actually going to require you to go head-to-head with your imposter syndrome, your unworthiness, your shame. With your undisciplined behavior. All these things like you’re in a cage fight. Most of the time it’s not going to be pretty. A lot of the time you’re going to feel like you’re losing. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to hurt emotionally. It’s just not going to feel good.
What I want you to know is that these problems actually belong in the process. Nothing has gone wrong and everything looks and feels very, very messy when you’re in the middle. I know a lot of us are seeking perfectionism. A lot of us were raised with this idea of perfectionism. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as perfection in transformation. Transformation, by definition, is chaos. Because as we all learned in chemistry class when states of matter change into different states of matter it actually creates chaos. That’s that extropy, that entropy. It’s a beautiful chaos that to us feels like crap sometimes, especially in the middle.
This appearance of perfectionism or wanting to be perfect or wanting other people to think we’re perfect, to have the appearance of being perfect in the way that we usually think about it. What it is is us really wanting to feel safe and really wanting to fly under the radar. Quite honestly, to me, is really kind of boring when you look under the whole of your life.
If you come into the world perfect so to speak, what is it that causes you to grow? What makes you a relatable example to other people when you’re saying, “Hey, I’m perfect. I can help you.” What makes you relatable if you’ve always done everything perfect and you just want people to see those “perfect” tendencies or the ease and grace in which you do everything. That’s not helpful to anybody but your own ego.
Perfectionism anytime you’re talking about change, a significant change, is a lie because the two do not go tother. To me, it’s like why would you even want to be perfect at something you’ve never done before? When I look at people who come to me who are struggling with perfectionism, what it indicates to me is that someone is actually living in fear. Perfectionism is actually blocking your opportunity and mastery because it’s actually the struggle in life that makes you really powerful.
It is the struggle that gives you confidence, that makes you consistent. It is the messy middle that lets you know that you’re learning and growing and right on track. It helps you find the edge of what you’re capable of over and over and over again. What the messiness is not is a sign that you should quit, even if your podcast sounds like you’re in the middle of Mammoth Cave. Hello, hello, hello, hello.
Even though I know you’re tempted to turn back towards what is familiar to you, what feels safe, what all of your friends and family understand, do not do it. Everybody on the journey to the next evolution of themselves experiences the messy middle. Keep going. The reward is much closer than you think. Until next week, have an awesome week.
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