Posted by: Cathy | October 13, 2014

Making an Exit Strategy

Coach Blog 101314 I’ve seen plenty of movies, and one thing movies have taught me about robbing banks is that the most important piece is your exit strategy. Successful bank robberies have successful exits. There is an art to it.

Today, I’d like you to think about something in your life where you could use an exit. Maybe this is an old project that’s still hanging around in your drawer or closet. Maybe this is a partnership you’ve outgrown. Think of one thing you’d like to exit and play along with me.

You know you’re ready for an exit when you feel exhaustion about something. Dissatisfaction means it’s time for a change, but there’s still energy to do what you need to do; exhaustion means the energy is gone and you just need to get out. But there is an art to getting out.

First, be clear on what you’re exiting. For a project example, maybe you don’t want to exit the whole project but you need to scale back and exit a task or responsibility within the project. Write down what you want to drop.

Second, visualize your situation after the drop. Does it feel good, or is there another issue or aspect you need to drop instead or in addition to the item you identified? Make sure you’re dumping the bathwater and not the baby.

Third, when your visualization feels right, go back a few steps and see what alternatives you have for exiting the item(s) you chose. There is always more than one way to drop something – you can open your hand and let something blow away in a breeze or you can throw something across the room into a brick wall. What feels like the right analogy for your situation? If you’re releasing a partnership that went sour, perhaps a smudging or burning ritual is in order. Or perhaps it’s a writing project you’re dropping and it’s as simple as moving a computer file into an archive. Choose your exit and schedule it in your calendar if that helps you feel complete.

Fourth, give yourself permission to not feel guilty for making this exit. Learn what you can from the situation or project and release what no longer serves you. You’re dropping dead weight so you can move into your future with more ease and grace.

Plan an exit today, and make it a regular part of your monthly/quarterly review to check in and notice what is calling for an exit.

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