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Show Notes:

Welcome to Hello Rebecca Ray, our collective home for courage, growth, and human to human connection. I’m your host, Dr. Rebecca Ray, human, clinical psychologist, author, and educator. I know only too well how fear comparison, and self-doubt can stifle your potential. This podcast is all about brave and meaningful living, and how you can make your authentic contribution to the world today, and everyday.

Hi lovely ones, welcome to episode number 78 of Hello, Rebecca Ray. I’m excited about this one, because it’s a really, really, really important topic, which is us talking about the middley bit. Now, I admit middley is not a word. But we’re going with it right now okay, because once you leave the shore, and you’re too far away from where you’ve come from, from the start line to be able to see how far you’ve come. But you’re also too far away from the finish line to see where you’re going. And it gets tough. This is the bit that I refer to as the middley bit. And I want to talk about how to navigate it, and perhaps give you some reminders that you can come back to, to help you work through this part.

Now, the middley bit occurs in everything. It occurs in long-term goal achievement, it occurs in business, it occurs in your career, it occurs in any kind of healing journey you’re on. And it’s really important that we address it, because this is the part where you can very easily convince yourself that you’re never going to get where you’re going that you actually haven’t come very far, because you can no longer see where the start line was. So you actually forget how much effort has gone into getting to where you are. And I believe that it takes an incredible amount of courage to get from a beginning to a middle. And then it takes even more courage to stay in the middle to do the work. Now, the middle is where you’ve passed the initial high of momentum, and inspiration. And reality sets in about what’s ahead of you. Because initially, you might get a burst of motivation, you’ve actually started, your brain loves that it releases a neurotransmitter that we call dopamine, which makes you feel good and rewards your actions with a sense of motivation to continue.

But then you get so far down the track, that you can no longer actually see what you’ve done to get where you are. But you also can’t see where you’re going either, because the finish line is too far away. If you’re wondering if you’re in the middle right now, then you probably are if you can relate to these things. It feels harder than it did in the beginning. Some things are working and other things are actually not working. It’s taking more energy than you expected. It’s costing more money than you expected, especially if you’ve started a business. Something big, for example, a step on a goal that you’re working on, or a product that you’ve developed as part of your business has failed. Something you were sure you wanted to do now feels misaligned. Who you want to serve with your work has changed. You feel disheartened. It seems like everyone else has it sorted out except you and it all feels more uncertain than ever before.

Now, if you can relate to these things, then I’m betting that you’re in the middle. And I want to perhaps step into a place where we can celebrate the middle as somewhere that we all have to get to in order to be able to see the vision come to life that we are working on. But if you’re sitting there and thinking oh my goodness Beck, I can’t see the vision anymore. It’s just too much. And this actually feels so hard that I want to give up. Then I want to remind you about the skill of what we call psychological acceptance. Now psychological acceptance means that we reserve our energy for action rather than waste it on struggling with uncomfortable feelings, uncomfortable thoughts, uncomfortable body sensations. Now, that doesn’t mean you need to like the thoughts or the feelings or the body sensations. It doesn’t mean you need to like or want or approve of the difficult feelings that you have in the middle. But what it does mean is that when you accept that the middle is hard for all of us, then it frees you up to actually do the work, rather than to fight, spending your energy on the struggle of being in the middle.

The middle is a practice of staying with yourself and what matters. Now, when you’re in the middle, I like to think about being middle brave, or using middle courage. And middle brave and courage looks like patience, consistency, and grit to keep coming back to the path. Now, I’m not saying that you’ve got to keep going, hustle and grind 24/7. For those of you that have followed me for a while, you know, I loathe, I absolutely loathe that mentality. Oh, my goodness, no, no, no, no, no, that’s not how we do it, you can absolutely rest and replenish. In fact, that’s essential for continuing to move through the middle. But I just don’t want you to quit, I don’t want you to quit on yourself.

So when the middle gets to middley, I want you to come back to this episode, give yourself a hug, I’m sending you a hug too and remind yourself to keep going with these thoughts. So if you’re just listening to this episode, and you’re at the gym, or you’re taking your baby for a walk, or you’re doing housework, then it’s fine to listen through these thoughts and these reminders that I’m about to share with you. But you might like to come back to this episode when you’ve got a pen and paper handy. If you’ve got a pen and paper handy now grab it, because you might like to write these things down to put them somewhere where you can see them on a daily basis to make the middle bit just that little bit easier.

First of all, mind your expectations. Are your expectations helping or hindering you right now? Go gently on yourself. This doesn’t mean that you cop out and give up. It doesn’t mean that you give yourself a leave pass from life. It simply means that you have compassion for how much effort you’re putting in, but you still keep going. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Remind yourself that there was a time when you dreamed of being where you are now. Remind yourself that it often gets 1000 times harder just before you’re about to round the corner to seeing your success arrive.

If your feelings could talk right now, what would they say to you? What messages are they sending you? What do you need right now? And what’s one thing that you could do for yourself to meet that need? If you gave up at this point, if you walked away right now, and you didn’t keep going, what would your 80-year-old-self have to say about that? Does your 80-year-old-self have any advice to give to present day you?

If the middle is very, very, very middley, consider talking to someone you trust for an outside perspective. Take a break. Breaks are really, really, really underrated. Now, let me be clear, I mean a proper break where you take your mind completely away from this task for a significant period of time. So you might walk away from it for an entire week, you know, maybe even a month. That doesn’t mean that you’re giving up it just means that you’re giving yourself the brain space to be able to reconnect with what it is that you’re trying to achieve, from the position of believing in why you started it in the first place.  Ask for help. Do you really have to do this bit by yourself I’m betting that you don’t and I’m betting that there are people around you who would support you if only they knew that you needed help.

And another really powerful thing is to talk to someone who has been through this before. Now, I want to share with you some reminders that you can say to yourself to help you shift, shift I was gonna say shift through the middle, maybe move through the middle is more appropriate. As you’re moving through this space, no matter how long it takes. You might like to write these reminders down so that you can say these to yourself right when you need them.

My power starts with being radically honest with myself.

I give myself permission to try and try again.

Good enough is enough.

I embrace every aspect of my humaneness with self-compassion.

There is strength in asking for help.

No one knows how to live my life better than I do.

I am deserving and valuable and filling my own cup restores me, so that I can then give to others.

I take responsibility for my feelings and actions, and I give myself permission to go step by step in my own time.

I can choose how I respond to my thoughts.

I am deserving of the effort to schedule my time according to my values.

My power lies in taking action.

I can have discomfort and take action.

I may not be able to control what I feel, but I can control what I do.

I can start where I am with what I have.

I see you if you’re in the middle lovely one. I see you and I’m here to remind you that the discomfort is worth it. I want you to take a moment to relentlessly believe in your own potential. I’ll hold the belief while you’re developing it for yourself. And if you’d like to dive into more little resources that might be able to help you through the middle, jump on over to rebeccaray.com.au/free that’s F R E E for a stack of resources. I’ll catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray.

Lovely ones. Thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you’ve got something meaningful from this episode, then the most meaningful thing you can do is jump on over to wherever you listen to your podcast episodes and leave a review. Because it’s those reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe, and if you’re generous enough to share this episode, thank you so much. I love seeing your shares on social media. So please tag me, catch you next time.