Hell in the Hallway–Are You Forcing the Right Choices?

Learn the alchemy

true human beings know.

The moment you accept

what troubles you’ve been given,

the door will open.

— Rumi

“When one door closes, another door opens.” How many of us have heard that statement when facing a particularly difficult obstacle? If you are in the midst of dealing with a difficult member of your team, confronting a challenge with your boss or moving through an acquisition, that goodwill statement probably does not help much to quell anxiety. After all, the real issue is not about whether the door is opening or closing, but how you deal with the place in between. You may know this place as “closing off” or “going underground”— I have even heard it called “the room of a thousand demons.” It is as if the door is locked from the inside. I speak of this stuck or trapped state of inertia as “hell in the hallway.”

Some doors close in a necessary and positive way, such as when you transfer your skills to a new company or complete a certificate that enhances your resume. More commonly in our minds, the closed door represents a negative event such as relocating from a wonderful organization or an inability to come to an agreement with a complicated, tough project issue. During these times, we often find ourselves trying to heave the next door open by force. Determined to do whatever it takes to overcome this barrier, you might be vaguely aware that you are forcing the issue. If you are alert, your use of force (sense of discomfort) will tell you that this opportunity is probably not the right choice for you.

Hell in the hallway, despite the frustration and sense of loss, provides a chance for introspection. This will shed light on your true heart and spirit intentions.

If you are the type of talent that holds yourself to a higher standard, then you most likely put yourself under undue pressure. This pressure to achieve and succeed insists that you push wholeheartedly to open a door. The paradox is that by tapping into the reservoir of courage that already exists in each one of us we can open and close all doors with greater ease.

Consider slowing down to examine your spiritual and professional path by asking a difficult question: What is the courageous conversation I am not having? Will you discover that you are stuck in apathy, self-doubt, blame or full-blown denial that is holding you in the hallway without even noticing the doors? Once you have declared your willingness to confront your personal obstacles you have moved into courageous intention and the path ahead is immediately clear. Fear is nothing more than being stuck and being stuck is inertia. So, will you stay in the hallway or make a choice to open the door? “Choices determine consequences,” Dr. Hawkins writes in Truth vs Falsehood: How to Tell the Difference, “which is a mechanism that is really impersonal and operates automatically…. One then realizes that there is no hand on the tiller but one’s own and that ‘I myself am heaven and hell.’” What positive lifestyle choices have you made to align your life with your heart? You must act to begin the courage process.

Recall and list some of the times you found yourself in the hallway wondering if and where the next door would open. What patterns do you see? What are your feelings?

Courage opens doors. You have the answers that brought you to the hallway; they have always been accessible. Perhaps you are where you are because, in reality, most growth in consciousness comes in the lonely hallway. Pacing in the hallway, reassessing your goals, delving deeper into your values — this may be the place where you discover where you are stuck in your thinking.

Grant yourself perspective, the ability to see, be in and use the hallway as a positive growth opportunity. It is never the place to stay, but rest and reflect. Time in this hallway acts as a foil to the animated energy we need to claim the courage to act on what we know must be done.

Awaken from the poppy field of inertia, find your essence — your core — by applying courage! Giving yourself permission to claim and apply your courage empowers you and invites new challenges. It is a perfect starting place if you want to multiply your talents and effectiveness, find your life’s meaning and escalate your success at work. The door is open. What are you waiting for?

How long will you keep pounding on an open door, begging someone to answer? — Rabia

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