Getting Stuck in the Middle Seat™ on a long flight is the worst possible place. You have no room to stretch, can’t read your book without being mercilessly bumped and you can just forget about opening up a newspaper. It’s easy to get frustrated in this type of situation: You have no control over where the airline placed you and you didn’t get to choose your seatmates.
There are striking similarities between being stuck in an undesirable seat on an airplane and how many people address the challenges of real life – very few options, with nowhere to go and no control − or so it seems.
This victim mentality (“woe is me, look what they did to me”) allows us to conveniently blame others, without taking responsibility or positive action to improve our situation. It doesn’t have to be this way. Your life will move in amazing directions when you welcome change and take control. Unfortunately, the flip side, being afraid to change and losing control is the default state of mind for far too many. From top-level executives to front-line employees, fear of change and fear of failure leads to any number of negative results, including: failed businesses, dysfunctional teams and even splintered families.
Instead of becoming paralyzed and doing nothing but complaining, address the following four questions.
1) What does being Stuck in the Middle Seat™ mean in your life?
2) Where are you stuck in your personal growth?
3) Where are you stuck in your professional growth?
4) What small steps could you take, as soon as this afternoon, that might make a difference?
Consider the options. When metaphorically Stuck in the Middle Seat™ we can gripe about where the airline (boss, parent, competitor or coach) placed us, or we can choose to make the best of the situation. We can strike up a conversation with our seatmates. Certainly, time will fly by. Better yet, we might learn how best to avoid getting stuck in that lousy seat in the future.