Finding out we really have no control is tough. One day you wake up and wonder, “how in the world did I get here?” “How did things get so out of control?” One of these questions, or maybe both, is soon followed by “now what?” or “where do I go from here?”
I know many people, you do too, who have found themselves in a place of asking these questions. Goodness, for me, I have to choose which situation to share at this point! I’ve asked this question many times in my life. (come on now, I know you are with me on this one!)
One of my favorites (yes, I know that sounds strange when considering “now what?” type situations) has to be during my last position when I was still working in the corporate world.
What was I thinking….
I had eagerly agreed to pick up a very tough project. “Tough” came from many aspects. I had no knowledge of the technology my new team supported, my new team did not want a new boss and the project had the attention of the corporate officers. I knew all of this going in, but “I love a challenge!”
I was so excited to help this team when I was offered the job. I was told they were “in need of help” – they were way understaffed and BIG projects were on the horizon.
I am a person who loves to help others be at their best. I was told more than once in my corporate days that I was “crazy” because I let a very knowledgeable employee leave my team. I would rather do that and get someone to the place where they could grow and do work they could thrive in. Yes, this created challenges for me, but it also gave someone else an opportunity to move up in their career.
Most of the time, the pathway of getting from the current state of things to a better place contains many challenges. Those challenges will make us or break us. The difference between the two will be in the boundaries you adhere to along the way.
Even when problems are not really new, somehow we never expect to reach a point where discouragement gets really close to taking us over and possibly bringing us down. I am generally very optimistic, but I had days where I sat at my desk asking “why?” and “what am I suppose to do?” The pain of it all seemed to go on and on – one tough situation after another. You see, the part about this team not wanting a new boss was huge and a couple of them went out of their way to make my life, and others lives, miserable. At the time, I believe they couldn’t see the bigger picture. I think my style of, “let’s get it done” contributed to this.
There was always light at the end of the tunnel…
I share this as a favorite because it taught me a lot. A whole lot!
Some of those lessons:
- I was reminded that people don’t control people. And, sometimes when people are hurting, they will pursue their desires regardless of all else; regardless of who it hurts along the way.
- I learned that my boundaries were of utmost importance. Such as: keeping my integrity intact, not buying into gossip, keeping my eyes on God and always supporting others no matter what was going on around me.
- The most important lesson came in the days I sat in my office, prayed and waited. Waited for God to calm my fears and waited for Him to work in the situations. Every outcome was blessed and I was always thankful I waited on Him to show His hand.
Adhering to good boundaries got me through this very tough time. Such as:
- Praying – not only for myself in the situations, but for everyone – most definitely for those who where not happy with the changes taking place.
- Communicating – talking with my bosses, my husband and others – not retreating into myself.
- Taking breaks – going for walks when I wanted to blow up, setting a timer and just meditating for a few minutes (with my phone off).
- Dealing with my anger – not just trying to stifle it. I am blessed to lead a recovery meeting every Friday night and that gives me a place to stay focused on what’s important.
- Being intentional – checking my motives before complaining, sending emails or making phone calls
Even though, more than once, I wondered “now what?,” I gained inner strength through all the tough situations that took place. This strength and the relative maturity has served me well to this very day.
What “now what” situation are you dealing with? Or, perhaps you aren’t dealing with it, but you know you should. I would love to help you work through it. The likelihood is that it won’t just go away. Drop me a line and let’s talk: Email Coach Deb