Exit Through an Open Door

I took a train from NYC to Albany last week. When we stopped in Yonkers the conductor announced, “Please exit through an open door.”

When I heard this, my first instinct was to laugh. What other kind of door could you walk through?

But then I got to thinking about the closed doors so many of us stand in front of….. The hours, days, weeks, months or years we spend waiting for something or someone beyond our control to shift, rather than shifting ourselves.

Now, not all waiting time is wasted time.  If you have made a choice to wait because the time for action is not correct, that’s a different matter.

What I’m talking about are situations where we wait around for someone else to change their attitude, circumstances, or plans to include us….and they have no intention of doing so.

Or those times we set ourselves up in front of a door we are fairly certain is not going to open because it’s easier (read: less frightening) to stay and complain rather than be accountable for our futures.

Neither scenario is going to get you where you want to go.

For example, perhaps you are feeling unfulfilled at your job but every time you bring it up your boss says, “That’s great…let’s talk about it when this project is done/next quarter…” If this is something you’ve heard more than twice you need to amp up your ‘ask’ or begin looking for an open door.

Or perhaps you have a potential client who consistently puts off making a decision about your product or service; telling you instead to “Check back with me in three months/next season…” If this is something you’ve been told more than twice you need to either find someone within the company who has decision-making ability or target another client.

Don’t keep standing in front of that closed door.

Instead, plot a strategic, effective exit via the closest open door; it’s the only way you’re going to arrive at the destination of your choice.

Frances Jones Cole signature