Middle Mindset

Whether you are the middle child, or you are sitting in the middle seat on an airplane, being in the middle gets a bad rap.  But, in this post I’m going to explain why Middle Mindset is often the very best place to be.

Making Sense of the World

I have seen this a lot lately in the way my brain is trying to make sense of the world, especially during this COVID-19 time.  It wants to believe that everything is just fine and no one is in real danger.  But, my brain also likes to go to “worse case scenarios.” It worries that everyone is going to die and this is the end of the world.

Worst Case Scenarios

I like believing that I’m making a huge difference in the world.  But, my brain secretly wonders if my impact is non existent.

My brain loves to believe that missionaries in quarantine all over the world are doing fantastically well, but it also kind of worries that ALL of them are struggling, hard.

I want to believe, for my kids’ sake, that returning to college is going to be an amazing experience with a hybrid, online/in person approach, but it also sort of worries that college during COVID-19 is going to be an epic failure.

For all the students heading back to campus this fall, I want to believe that wearing a mask on campus is gonna be no big deal.  But, my brain kind of worries that it will be really hard.

I have found that Middle Mindset has been one of the very best remedies for uncertain times.  

Our Brains Want to Know the Future

You see, our brains want to figure out what the future is going to be.  But, with everything up in the air right now, there is no real way to know.  And actually, (unless we had some kind of time travel machine)… there’s no way to know the future, even in a typical scenario. 

So, our brains will just create futures, as a way to subconsciously prepare ourselves for the worst possible outcome. When my brain tries to go to worst case scenarios… I like to entertain those scenarios.  Just for a minute.  What would that “worse case scenario” actually look like, or more importantly, FEEL like?  Our brains like when we do this because we’ve explored all of the options.  Our lower brain feels “heard and considered.”

Redirect to Middle Mindset

But, once I wrap my brain around that possible outcome and explore it just a little bit.  I like to redirect my brain like this:  “Yep.  That might happen and if it does, I’ll for sure know what to do.  But, the MOST likely scenario is that the outcome will land somewhere in the middle.”

Isn’t that true for most things?  Most things end up being not quite as bad as we imagined them to be.

  • The impact I’m making in the world is somewhere in the middle of huge and nonexistent.
  • The number of COVID cases will likely land somewhere in the middle.
  • The number of missionaries struggling is somewhere in the middle.
  • And actually… the amount of time that the quarantined missionaries are struggling is ALSO probably somewhere in the middle.  They are likely not struggling every hour of every day.  Am I right?
  • The experience of going to college will likely be somewhere in the middle of amazing and epic failure.
  • Wearing a mask will probably land somewhere in the middle of no big deal and really hard.
Our Brains Can Calm Down

When we adopt Middle Mindset, it allows our brains to calm down just a little.  It takes away the apathy of believing, “Everything is going to be just fine.” It takes away the anxiety of believing, “Everything is going to be terrible.”

Our brains actually LOVE the status quo and keeping things even and manageable.  That is why a little exploration and reassurance, allows us to take our best and most consistent action forward.  

So, if your future is uncertain, and remember, our futures are actually ALWAYS uncertain, explore all of the possibilities, but then reassure your brain by gently redirecting it to Middle Mindset.

You’ll be so glad you did.

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Hey! I'm Jennie - The LDS Mission Coach.

Preparing for, serving and coming home from an LDS Mission can present countless changes and transitions. I’ve seen these changes put missionaries at the mercy of their emotions and questioning their abilities. With the tools I teach, young adults empower themselves to navigate every moment of the mission experience with epic, unwavering confidence.

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