What is an interlude? In life, in your career, right now, at this moment? You may want to think of an interlude as the space and time “in-between” – between your confidence and your doubts, between your present moment and your next moment.
At times when you are surrounded by a community that supports you, who shares your interests, values and aspirations, you feel inspired, you share ideas and are open to have your perspectives tested within that community of trust. You feel empowered, unstoppable, invincible. You know you can achieve whatever you put your mind into.
But when you are by yourself, you may start running out of mental gas. You may run into others who start taking chips away from your confidence, the conviction that you can achieve your dreams, and that you are, indeed, unstoppable… invincible.
What happens when these INTERLUDES become longer? When a few moments become CYCLES between confident and doubt. These interludes can last months, or even years…. But only if you let them.
I want to tell you about the interlude I experienced a few years ago. This was the time and space between more than 20 years of career growth and acceleration, and what was supposed to be next. I was not sure what it woud look like. In this space, at this time, I started sensing that something was changing. My focus was changing. I was changing. I knew the space I was coming from, but not sure what space I was going into. I was no longer feeling the urge, the conviction or the desire to keep escalating the career ladder the way I was for over two decades. I knew I still loved dedicating time and thoughts to understand how human beings interact with each other, learn from each other, value each other. But I was a running out of mental gas. The thoughts about what to do next were not clear, I was experiencing a LONGER interlude, and was not sure what to do with it, or how long it would last. And the more I rushed myself into trying to end it, the longer it took to figure out what was next for me. I was even more confused….
So, if (and when) you experience these longer interludes between your confidence and your doubts, the present YOU and the future YOU, take a breather. Don’t rush it. Take a break from all you thought you had to LEARN, to figure out what you can CREATE.
It was during this longer interlude that I wrote my first book, my business memoir: From INTENT to IMPACT – The 5 Dualities of Diversity and Inclusion.
These 5 dualities were not something I knew about while working on diversity and inclusion. It as not a model or language that was used in professional forums or leadership meetings. For over eight years, I had been taking notes of the “AHA moments” I experienced while working with leaders and colleagues around the world. The notes were just supposed to be some pearls of wisdom, “gotitas del saber”. They seemed quite random at first, until I literally laid them all out like pieces of a puzzle and started positioning, organizing them, figuring out what it could all mean. Slowly but surely, a new combination of elements started to reveal itself to me, as a new landscape, a new order of things – these five dualities we need to be aware of, to generate positive change, to move from INTENT to IMPACT in working with human differences.
My longer INTERLUDE took me from being an ACTING LEADER to being a THOUGHT LEADER, who can then further EMPOWER many others to DRIVE POSITIVE and LASTING IMPACT in our work environments.
So if (and when) you are experiencing an interlude, a short or a long one, a time in between your confidence and your doubts: Quiet your mind. Set old thoughts aside. Take a fresh and deeper look at the pieces of what you have learned so far. Study them. Combine them in different ways.
Let your INTERLUDE be the space and time when you CREATE your next level of confidence and impact.