Change in life is unavoidable. At some point, we all find ourselves standing at a crossroads. How do you handle change? We spoke with Pat Smith, host of the show Treasure You and wife of Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, about some of the changes she has experienced in life. Pat shares how she keeps things in perspective when life is unpredictable.
4word: Life is full of change: new job, new home, new relationships, etc. How do you handle the stress that comes with big changes in life?
Pat: I have not always been good with change, but I’ve learned over the years that change is good. It allows you to grow and it has definitely strengthened my faith. I’ve learned to embrace it from the perspective of crying when you have to say goodbye, but then looking forward at the open doors. I recently made a decision to leave my co-host position on the daily TV show, D:The Broadcast. As hard as the decision was to leave, when I looked ahead at the new opportunities I was moving towards, I had such refreshing peace!
I’ll never forget my sister in law once told me to “bloom where you are planted.” I think that God places us in different places in different seasons. I started seeing positives through the moves.
4word: What were some of the biggest changes you had to embrace when you married Emmitt?
Pat: For me, it was the moves. It started with my move to Dallas to from Los Angeles. I had finally gotten my life in focus with my daughter, a church home and acting jobs. Clearly, the Cowboys were not moving to Los Angeles, so in order to marry the love of my life, I was moving! This was a big adjustment for me. I was coming with no family or friends in Texas.
It happened again when Emmitt decided to play for the Arizona Cardinals for 2 years. I had finally built a solid foundation in Texas and then God moved us again. I had the same feelings of sadness again.
Both experiences turned out to be some of the biggest blessings in my life. I have new friends who mean the world to me and spiritually, I grew the most in Arizona. I joined BSF and was able to study God and His Word in a deeper way.
As a family, we grew too. God isolated my family and put us together without the comforts of Dallas. We had to grow in that desert!
4word: How do you guard your relationships during high stress times of change?
Pat: I mentioned earlier making a tough decision to leave the show recently. I found myself shutting down. This allowed me to take a moment to breathe. I am doing lots of catch up with my family and myself. Emmitt and I recently did a date night for the first time in months. I saw doctors that were necessary for my health. I took naps. I went to bed at decent hours so that everyone around me would not feel it. It would have been easy to move to a depression during this transition, but I went to pilates and kept exercising. I limited email, text and cell phone use. I wanted to make sure that I put goodness back into me. I lived my mantra – you must treasure yourself… through life’s changes. Guarding ourselves and making sure ourselves are whole and healthy will help guard other relationships.
4word: What is the most important lesson you have learned through times of change in your own life?
Pat: Change is really good for you. Change allows you to be more resilient. It stretches you to try new things and gets you out of your comfort zone. Change has allowed me to build my faith. I have found joy in change… once you embrace it, it feels really, really good.
4word: How can professional women use the times of change to come out stronger and better, rather than defeated?
Pat: It’s your mindset. Instead of looking at change as a loss or closed door – it should be looked at as a door open for the future. With a mindset that looks at change with expectations of excitement, change can be put into perspective. Ask yourself- God, what is my next assignment? Then embrace his call.
How have your own times of change led to spiritual growth and blessing? Do you need to work on your mindset when it comes to change?