An ‘Aha!’ moment about change

An ‘Aha!’ moment about change

Posted on October 24, 2012 by Pam Truitt

I sometimes allow myself to be frustrated that nonprofits don’t seem to hear the message that they could be smarter/better working together. I see it as a message about ‘what could be’. Certainly, I admit that I don’t always understand -- or appreciate -- their reluctance to explore change, especially in light of the rocky economic road over the past five years and assurances that this is the new norm. I have my theories on why this is the case, but will save that conversation for another day.

So, I just got a taste of my own medicine -- change, that is.

After a couple of abstract conversations with my husband Cliff about selling our home, we decided to go for it. Barring any unforeseen issues, we will ink a listing contract.

Family and friends know the substantial investment of dollars (and the labor of love!) that have gone into our place, and I fully expect all reactions to begin with, “WHAT????” Note to self: initiate external communications before this blog is posted.

When the idea was theoretical, I was fine with selling. But this decision has brought about a flood of emotions: cold feet, a sudden renewed love for our place; and fear the unknown. I find myself thinking --Why did I agree to this change when we are so settled, when we just finished the last project?  Will I ever have another place this perfect? In addition to the ‘letting go’ emotions, I am also feeling some anxiety about the purging process. How will we determine what goes to storage, charity or trash? Will I be able to put up the Christmas tree?

In other words, we are about to embark on a journey based on new realities.

Time to recall one of my all-time favorite quotes:

"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." -  Joseph Campbell

Thank you, Joseph Campbell, and our experienced realtor who will be there for us on this journey. Now it’s time to take a shovel to the garage!

I have no doubt these emotions are similar to what nonprofit leaders go through when they are entertaining new opportunities and new ways of doing things in the name of improving how they serve others. But what separates the ones that make the leap and understand that modern realities call for operating in new ways from those who are happy to "get by" working how they always have for the past 15 years?

Does anyone relate to this space and feelings? Does the notion of change give you the jitters? If change is on your horizon, but you are trapped by cold feet or other emotions, what steps do you think would help?

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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