That’s it. I QUIT!
How many times have you said these words to yourself, under your breath, when no one has been around to hear?
How many times have you wanted to march into your manager’s office, your volunteer committee meeting, even your very own home and felt like the best alternative would be for you to just tender your resignation?
But we never do it. We shouldn’t. We can’t.
The solution is not to quit; the solution is to make a choice.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with my grandmother during spring break from college. My friend and I were taking a driving tour from Arkansas to Florida and back and my grandmother’s house was on the way. At that time, Mammaw was still getting out and around, though she was well into her battle with Parkinsons Disease. As the disease progressed, other symptoms started to show and began to affect her decision-making and her ability to get around independently. But on this day of the visit, she was energetic and spry and we decided to go out to lunch.
Having lived in her town for more than thirty years, Mammaw knew the town well – even with all of the growth and new building that continued to change the landscape. She decided on the restaurant she wanted to go to and, though she couldn’t remember the name of it, the three of us, my friend, my grandmother and I, got in the car and started driving. She was certain she would know the place when we came upon it and that it was easy to find – it would be right on the main boulevard through town, she said. She had been there many times before.
As we drove further down the road, we were all looking for this restaurant, though none of us knew the name of it. “Is it this one?” we would ask every now and then.
“No,” Mammaw would say, “not yet.”
Continuing to drive, we all began to get a little more concerned that perhaps we would not find this place. Maybe, I thought, we were actually lost. Then my friend asked her if she knew which side of the street the restaurant might be on. Without missing a beat, Mammaw put both hands up like a flight attendant demonstrating where the exits are on the left and right sides of a plane and said, “It’s either on this side of the road or that one.”
Sometimes we overcomplicate things. We feel lost because we can’t remember or articulate exactly where it is we are going. When you are heading down the wide boulevard but your destination is not clear it can be pretty stressful. You might feel like continuing to drive is the best option though you may end up in an unfamiliar place or at a dead end.
Having a friend in the car with you as you navigate toward a destination that seems unclear can be exceedingly helpful.
A professional coach can be that someone who sits with you during the search for what’s next to ask the right questions, challenge your paradigm, or hold you accountable to outline and follow steps that will help you get where you need to be. Wherever you are on the boulevard, you know you can’t just stop in the middle and pull out a map. Waiting until you are so fed up you want to quit isn’t the best way to go either – been there; done that. I don’t recommend it.
No, you’ve got to keep moving. To make any kind of progress, you’ve got to keep making choices that take you further down the road. You can pull over or turn to a new destination before you hit the dead end. Your answer – your destination – can be found on the boulevard.
Remember: it’s either on this side of the road or that one.
Tara Lynn is a speaker, and coach who works with companies and individuals to clarify what makes them great and build the confidence they need to achieve success as they define it. You can follow her at taralynnfoster.com, on linkedin, twitter or Facebook.
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