3 Secrets to Unexpected Change

How to move beyond the brick walls of the unexpected.

  1. Move beyond first impressions.
  2. Lean into the good, bad, and ugly emotions.
  3. Surround yourself with cheerleaders.

If you’re like me, you could pinpoint a single incident that triggered a storm of unexpected change. You have thoughts of:

If only I’d done this or that.

If I were more attuned, then I would’ve . . .

It can’t be just me. . . and what’s really going on? Why didn’t I see this coming?

Whether it’s unresolved conflict with a boss or lasting negative impressions you knew nothing about, the decision for change wasn’t yours.

You felt left out of the equation. Attempts at resolve were like brick walls.

I needed at least a full eight months for my own mental shifts and emotional preparations. Time crunch. Holidays. Stress. Obligations. Family visits. Pressure. Overwhelming emotions. Fear. Worry. Risk. Eight weeks later.

Here are three things I’m learning (or re-learning):

Move beyond first impressions.

From finishing old business to meeting with new colleagues, I’m learning to be curious rather than judgemental. Isn’t it so natural to judge? Yes, there is a Judge who bears my name.

As my husband scouted out several office spaces, he saw a particular office that could be a right fit. He described the character of the historic building; the beautiful wood floors and tall ceiling. It’s just the right space to facilitate your small groups.

It would be the perfect space for me if it weren’t for the close-up brick wall view out the window.

I wasn’t open when he told me about the brick wall.

The massive window reached nearly to the top of the 15 foot ceiling. It’s width took up the entire wall of the room. The brick view was another building just a few feet away. No trees, no grass, no flowers, no feeling of the outdoors.

My husband said, You can see the sky when you look up.

I didn’t consider it. I didn’t even look.

Now, several weeks later, I’m settled into my new office at the Clearstory building. The brick wall view out my window now has new meaning.

Here’s what others have said after being in this space.

  • It’s perfect for a counselor’s office. . . No need for curtains on that window. The brick wall gives privacy, yet lets in the light.
  • It’s a metaphor. Our problems are like brick walls. You can’t see what’s on the other side, yet the blue sky is indication there IS another side.  
  • Awesome that you have a brick wall to look at through your window. You can enjoy the outdoors without the distractions of cars or people.

Lean into the good, bad, and ugly emotions.

Emotions are meant to be temporary guests in the home of our lives. Click To Tweet I’ve been a guest at a few airbnb‘s (an economical alternative to staying in a hotel). Most have been pleasant and others not so much. But all were temporary.

Treat all emotions as temporary guests rather than permanent residents. Both “unpleasant” and “pleasant” guests (good, bad, ugly emotions) are teachers. Anxiety, fear, and worry all have purpose. God designed us all to feel.

Pay attention to feelings and messages you may otherwise ignore.

Our experiences, decisions, and emotions in life reveal purposeful patterns. Pay attention to you how you’ve handled past changes. What have you learned about yourself? What have you learned from unexpected changes? 

The more I pay attention, the more clear I become.

Dignity in Relationships, a Life by Design has emerged through recent and past growth experiences in my life.  

Surround yourself with cheerleaders.

My virtual mentors, Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goins have been invaluable to me. Folks like Matt Wolf and Bradly Will helped get me started with online presence. Marvin Varghese and other therapist podcasters remind me of cheerleading mantras of my high school days.

Where there’s a will there’s a way, hey. 

I’ve grown since moving my practice and rebranding my services.

I’ve come to appreciate the entrepreneurial support in our city.

I’m thriving on the weekly group support and mentoring of Co-Lab and the Co-Starter program. Tennessee Small Business Development Center has provided me help through mentoring, counseling, and seminars.

Embrace the Brick Walls of Change

Now every time I walk into my office and see the brick wall window view, I’m reminded of three things.

Move beyond first impressions. Lean into the temporary guests of emotions. Surround yourself with cheerleaders.

Questions to Ponder

What unexpected change are you facing now?

What emotional guests have stayed too long?

Who are your cheerleaders?