What elevators teach me everyday

The next time you get on an elevator, take a good hard look at the buttons. If you look closely enough, you will notice two things.

Source: Gratisography
  1. Elevator buttons are horrendously filthy and it’s astonishing that we touch them everyday.
  2. The Door Close button tends to be more used and worn than the Door Open button.

It’s not a great mystery why this would be true.

We’ve all been there. You’re rushing to a work meeting, a chiropractor appointment, or just home after a long day. You hurry onto the elevator, push the button for your floor and quickly punch the door close button.

Suddenly, you hear footsteps approaching.

Plunged into your own action movie, you start desperately jabbing that Door Close button as if the fate of the planet depended on it. Will the doors close in time? Will our hero(ine) succeed?Will humanity survive?

What’s going in your head as you mindlessly jab the door close button? Is it The Fear? Perhaps The Fear is hovering over your shoulder harshly whispering, “Don’t let them on! If you do, you’ll be late! All because of these people who you won’t even like and who won’t like you!”

It sounds silly and dramatic, right? It’s only an elevator ride.

But even if we step outside the elevator, this is the panicked conversation we can have with the fear when a new opportunity comes our way.

When I became a Certified Professional Resume Writer, I was visited by the idea of starting a freelance resume writing business.

Every time the idea would make its tempting appearance. Every time, The Fear would rise up, blocking my view, wagging its finger, and chiding me.

“Freelance?” The Fear gasped incredulously, “You don’t have the time, you won’t like it and you won’t be good at it anyway.” Every time, I would nod in agreement and hit the Door Close button.

One morning, I received a phone call from a man asking if I could write his resume. Immediately, I heard the familiar footsteps of an opportunity. Just as quickly, The Fear materialized before me with its familiar warnings, urging me to say no.

But this time a second voice quietly spoke up beside me. Hope. Hope leaned towards me and asked “What if you make the time? What if you do like it? What if you succeed?”

I turned to The Fear and we considered each other for a few seconds. Finally, The Fear threw up its hands in annoyance and vanished, revealing the opportunity, watching me expectantly.

I took a deep breath, hit the Door Open button and said “Come on in. What floor?” I haven’t looked back since.

Think about a personal or professional opportunity that has recently appeared before you.

Is The Fear with you? What is it whispering in your ear right now? What would this conversation sound like if you gave Hope a chance to interject?

What might you gain from having lunch with that coworker you don’t know well? Taking that Zumba class where you expect to feel like a jiggly hippo? Starting your own freelance business even though you might fail?

Only one way to find out.

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