Change in life is unavoidable. At some point on our individual life journeys, we find ourselves standing at a crossroads. How do you handle change? Back in 2013, we spoke with Pat Smith, host of the show Treasure You and wife of former NFL player Emmitt Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, about some of the changes she experienced in life. Pat shared how she kept things in perspective when life was unpredictable.
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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 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.” God places us in different places in different seasons. I started seeing positives through the moves.
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 once 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.
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.
How can Christian women in the workplace 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, “God, what is my next assignment?” Then embrace His call.
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