|What is the Space Between Your Stories?
We live a story. A story of being a vice-president, a programmer, a teacher, a doctor, a husband, a wife, a parent.
These stories consume our identities. Yet they are finite stories.
What happens when that story ends?
We rush to fill the gap. We lose our job and are panicked to find another one. Our kids leave home and we fill the gap with the list of things we've put off now that we are unencumbered with soccer schedules and recitals.
Working on an ERP transition years ago, one of our major change tasks was to "manage the white space." The space where things fell apart and failure would soon follow.
As a society, we don’t sit well with white spaces…unknowns…unanswered questions. Unknowns are answered with action. White spaces are filled in with contingency plans.
Have you ever just sat with the space?
For a long while...sat with it...put aside the urge to fill the void with an immediate plan of action. To see what eventually arises from the space of not knowing?
I did this once. I retired from the Army after a long career and took six months off. My "down time" I told everyone. I had no decisive plans or actions.
I’d like to say I was purposeful about the choice of ‘leaving space.’ But in fact the ‘space between stories’ for me was not so much a conscious choice. It was driven because I didn’t know who I was now that my story—at least that story—was over.
I was still consumed with the mental mindset of should-dos, success (or at least my old model of what success meant), striving, perfection, analysis, weighting, pros and cons—knowing. The idea of cosmic resonance was nowhere in my lexicon.
It was very uncomfortable and overwhelming. I felt inadequate answering questions from friends and colleagues--"So what are you doing now?"--expecting that I'd turn my previous CIO job into something lucrative with a big tech company.
It took me a long while to give acceptance and trust to that space, that time of not knowing.
In retrospect, that space was not a 'down time' -- it was a growth time. I would not have shifted to the calling I am living now –working with leaders and their teams to create amazing organizations--if I had not sat with the space to let this new story emerge.
What is the space between your story? What are you going to do with that space? Can you be comfortable with not knowing for just a while?
To your best potential,
Contact us to find out more about individual and group coaching programs and leader/ team development.
You might enjoy these recent posts from the VAULT blog:
How filters affect our interactions with people: What's Clouding Your Vision?
How "lazy speak" leaves people confused: Are You Leaving Them Clued-in or Clue-less?
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