(Sent on 02/13/11 as Weekly Dispatch, my email to the rural west crisis team at Youth Villages)
We choose to change many times in order to benefit our lives in some way. However, change sometimes comes about due to negative circumstances.
I took a job I wasn’t ready for one time, as a director for a local child abuse prevention agency. Circumstances became very negative and I felt like I could no longer do any good for the organization. Day by day, the feeling of being there became unbearable.
We had a very well-respected minister come for our church’s homecoming service at Beech Bluff, and I had the great opportunity to drive him back to the airport in Nashville for his departure following the service. He gave me some very sage advice: stick with it, until you find something better.
This job obviously represented my income and provision for my family. Emotionally, I was at the point that I could not see anything else but the unpleasantness. But those words, as common-sense as they were, were a wake-up call. So from that point, I can identify the following points about problem- or crisis-induced change that helped me out:
- In emotional situations, rely on common sense and facts to make decisions, not emotions.
- Allow significant others to help you frame the situation and focus on reality.
- Don’t compromise your faith, values, or relationships for the sake of getting out of an unpleasant situation.
- As in the first post on this subject, don’t let go of one branch until you have a hold on the next one.
- Don’t let the negative aspects of a situation be the driver for the change. Find the good, beneficial, positive reasons for change. Find a real opportunity, the next step, the thing you really want to dive into and make plans to direct your energy there (see Change, Part 1.)
- Make your departure a positive experience. Don’t burn bridges.
These are just a few considerations from my experience. I’m sure you could add others, but I hope this helps when you find yourself facing change.