We’re all Living in the Gap

November 18, 2013

We all find ourselves Living in the Gap. It’s that often wide, unsettled space between what currently is and what we would like it to be. In North America, we’ve had the good fortune to exist well beyond basic survival, providing us the luxury to dream—to aspire.  

We are a culture of strivers. Our hearts and minds are set on some future possibility that makes our journeys worth traveling. When our vision finally crystallizes, we have the motivation and foundation for our leadership. Living in the Gap is our life story and our leadership story.

Living in the Gap, we face trials and tribulations, like every good story’s heroines and heroes.  In my lifetime, I’ve only known a handful of people whose lives appeared ‘charmed’ from birth to death. Mostly, there are the rest of us—whose stories continue on through breakthroughs and reversals, are coloured by moments of joy, humbled by godsends, and frustrated by missed opportunities, obstacles and modern day villains.

But the most powerful contributor to our stories’ quality, direction and outcome is none other than that complex and perhaps mysterious friend-stranger, promoter-saboteur, acceptor-resistor, fearless-cowardly, judging-indulgent author and protagonist—Our Self. Whether we believe it or not, we both write and star in (or choose not to star in) our stories every single day.  And we have the power to influence, change and redirect our stories. But to do so does require belief and right behind it a willingness to open ourselves up to doing the work.

I’d like to share with you below the model I use for coaching, as a tool to help you consider:

  1. your current landscape (an honest self-reflective assessment of who you are today)
  2. your aspirations (who you want to become and why it matters) 
  3. what’s happening in the gap (that’s working for and against your striving and aspirations)

If I were limited to only one suggestion I could offer based on my experience as an executive/leadership coach, it would be this:

Set aside a 4+ hour appointment time with yourself, by yourself and for your self to get clear on the answers to these three questions. It will greatly benefit those around you, especially those you lead. If you’ve already done this but it’s been awhile, do it again. Never mind being too busy. It will make Living in the Gap easier and more purposeful.

Happy Monday!

Warmest regards,


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