In-between is really middle of nowhere

Column by Michael Norton


Some of you may remember the Gerry Rafferty song, “Stuck in the Middle,” and then again, since it was written and first performed in 1972 by Stealers Wheel, maybe there are more of you who don't have a clue about what I am referring to.

That's OK. The point is this: Are you stuck in the middle?

Are you in the middle of a project, the middle of a decision, the middle of a quarrel, or just stuck in the middle of anything?

You see, it's the middle that gets us. It's not the “yeses” or the “noes” that derail us, it is the “maybes” that bring us the greatest frustration. It's when we get paralyzed by indecision or suffer paralysis by analysis as we overthink each and every single thing we do.

You know what I mean, right? It's that in-between stuff that really muddles the middle. Those “tweener” situations where we do not know if we are in or out, or on which side, or whose side we will fall. The real questions are why and how we find ourselves in this position.

Is it because we are over-accommodating and work so hard at pleasing everyone that we find ourselves in the middle so that we do not offend anyone? And you know what happens when we are in a relationship, friendship, or partnership and both people strive to accommodate the other person, it's like ending up in a reverse arm wrestling match. Instead of strenuously trying to “push” our opponent's hand to the table, both sides try and let the other person win and end up in an extreme game of tug of war as we “pull” our own hands toward our side of the table.

What are we afraid of? Are we fearful that we may make the wrong decision? Here's the deal, we can make and will make a million wrong decisions in our life. But there is nothing we can ever do, within reason, that will torpedo our lives or our relationships or any business venture that we are pursuing that cannot be overcome as long as our decisions are in alignment with our values. And as Roy Disney said, “It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

It's when we don't put our stake in the ground and waffle about everything we need to do that places us in a perpetual state of limbo and unable to move forward. And we usually choose not to take a stand or make a decision because we are operating out of a mode of fear or scarcity rather than a mode of growth or abundance.

What are you waiting for? What's the big or even little decision that is holding you back? I would love to hear all about it at and when we resolve to leave the “tweener” in us behind, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of


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