Change You Don't Ask For

Change is constant. This is not new information, of course. But it seems there are two feelings when it comes to change: love it or hate it.

Sure, when it’s the change you’ve been hoping for, it’s easy to love. The promotion came your way. Your offer was accepted on the house. You can finally get a puppy! When it’s change you’ve asked for, being excited and bought in makes any hiccups or headaches worth it.

But what happens when change happens and you didn’t ask for it? What if it’s change that has the potential to fragment your life? What do you do?

This is, for sure, the hardest change to deal with because we have to fight for it—whether that’s to accept it or challenge it. And we’re probably not even sure if it’s worth the effort. Where do you go from here?

Well, in reality you have 2 main choices: you leave or stay. Those are ultimately what you have to pick between. Now, there’s several options within both of those choices, but that’s really what it boils down to. But even when you’ve established that there’s only two options, how do you decide?

Count the cost

Whether that’s through pros and cons lists, SWOT analysis, or verbal processing with a trusted friend, you have to know what each option will cost you. Because, frankly, whether you stay or leave, you’re going to face a loss of some kind. Stay, and you have to clean up the mess. Leave, and people may think you’re not cut out for tough work. The fact is, there’s no perfect scenario when you face a change you aren’t asking for.

Anticipate the wake

This is counting the cost from another vantage point. Not from yourself, but from others. Anytime someone decides to be in or out with change, there’s a ripple effect. Hopefully, it’s small in heartache and big in positive change. Sadly, many people make decisions hoping for the best but then face the worst. In some situations I’ve observed, the wake wasn’t viewed from a high enough level. It was still too close and they couldn’t see how it could really impact people further out. Be sure to think about how your actions and decisions will impact those around you.


In the end, the change is coming whether you like it or not. So instead of being upset that it’s happening, think of how hope can be best displayed and shine through the change. Be prepared though, because you may realize that hope has a great chance in either outcome. Which can give you the peace to move forward with your decision.

Once you’ve taken some time to think through these hard scenarios, it’s decision time. Determine which situation is the best for you and for others. And when you know, fight your hardest make that your new reality. One where hope gleams, there’s as little negative wake as possible for others, and where you can rest confident in what you sacrifice as the change moves in.

I’m totally picturing a Black Panther movie scene, right before they go to battle, knowing it’s going to be a brutal battle but that Wakanda is worth fighting for. I hope you’re filled with that kind of courage as you face the change you didn’t ask for.

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