Navigating Limbo, In the Midst of Change

Have you ever played Capture the Flag?  It was one of my favorite summer camp games because it was filled with adventure and intrigue as we plotted how we would get to the other side of a field, to capture the other team’s flag and bring it back to our side of the world!

The downside of the game was that if you were captured in enemy territory, you were frozen in place, unable to move forward to help your team or to retreat back to safety!  Being frozen was really a state of limbo.  It was watching the game unfold, not as a spectator, and not as a full participant.

As we prepare for our expat journey I’ve been reminded that I’m not good at limbo.  I would rather:

  • Be creating the change.
  • Play a supportive role:  If I know why we are doing something, when it’s happening, what I need to do and when I need to do it.  
  • Be a real spectator:  If I’m watching something amazing unfold, getting to share that experience with others and if I have some idea when the event ends!

I prefer to be participating, adding value, moving towards a goal, and quite simply just being in motion!

So while I wait on normal government and company paperwork to process and unclear timelines I feel frozen, out of control and indecisive.

  • I struggle with knowing what commitments I can make to family, friends and professionally that I will be able to keep.
  • I struggle with feeling like I’m not contributing the way that I would like to.
  • I struggle with not having all of the answers.
  • I struggle with being still and just waiting.
  • And I am very aware that while part of me is trying to let go, and the other part of me is clinging tightly to what I know…

Please share:  How does limbo affect you?  

  • Are you comfortable with it?
  • What makes it hard for you?
  • Is there anything you enjoy about limbo?
  • What fuels you when you are in a state of limbo?
  • What have you learned from being in limbo?

President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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4 thoughts on “Navigating Limbo, In the Midst of Change

  1. Chery,

    I agree – “limbo” is such a difficult place for humans to be. It’s ambiguous and uncomfortable. Maybe we can look at “limbo” the same way we do for waiting at the doctor’s office – bring along a good book and prepare to WAIT. Look around, see what interesting things happen while we wait.

    • Jennifer, Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I love the idea of mixing good books with looking around to see what interesting things happen! (Looking for a few good books now… Then headed for the patience making labratory!)

  2. Limbo is a scary place because it’s got no forward or backward momentum. If you’re on a balance beam or tightrope, you have to keep moving – not too fast, not too slow. You have to do something to make a difference – not just stand there.

    Limbo can also sow seeds of doubt – was this the right decision? Was it really the best move (when of course you know it is).

    Limbo is frustrating – waiting is good up to point. It allows for further planning and reflection and improvements …. but let’s face it. Waiting runs its course and it’s time to move on. (see statement #1 above)

    I am in limbo right now. I need to get off the balance beam – and forward is the only direction to go. It’s still frustrating, scary, and questionable.

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Jane,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I love your balance beam/tight rope analogy! You are so right limbo can sow seeds of doubt! It can web us in place and convince us that we are completely alone. Sometimes we need enouragement or a nudge to keep taking steps forward and to take the focus off of ourselves. Your blog indicates that you are looking for that inspiration in the best place possible. I love the song that you posted! You inspired me and reminded me that even warriors know where their strength comes from!

      Consider yourself hugged!