Persisting through the “messy middle.”
Part of what makes it hard to give things time and to be patient when results are slow is that we keep raising the stakes on ourselves.
We start something new; maybe we start doing more consistent outreach. In the first week, we see 1 – 2 leads, and the second week the same. Now it feels like we’re stuck and not making progress – when, in fact, we’ve got three more leads than we would have if we didn’t start prospecting!
This process has a name, the hedonic treadmill or hedonic adaptation, and it’s a significant source of burnout for successful people.
The Messy Middle
When the enthusiasm that comes from starting something new or initiating change starts to wane, what’s left is the hard work of staying with the new way of being or doing things.
All the second-order effects, the things that make staying with it more complicated and difficult appear, and your confidence that this new direction is going to lead to something great starts to erode.
This is the messy middle.
When you are going through hell, don’t stop! ~ My Dad.
The only thing to do when you are in the messy middle is to keep going.
Worrying about, “Did I make the right decision?” or “Is this ever going to work?” are just taking you away from the hard work of staying in the now and doing the next right thing.
Where in your life and business are you in the messy middle right now? Where do you need to acknowledge the little wins that will build-up to the result you want.