No matter how Type-A or spontaneous of a person you are, you’ve probably had a plan at one point in your life that fell-through. Depending on how much prep work you’ve put into this said plan, you may have been pretty devastated when it derailed from your perfectly placed track. Just like you I’ve been there as well (many times). I think one of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn on my own is that things often don’t go according to plan. Even though we live in a plan-oriented society when it comes to getting through college, getting a promotion at work, or even just saving up to buy a home, life doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with you. You may have done literally EVERYTHING right or as according to your plan as possible, but somehow things still didn’t work out. Even though this is a terrible pain to bare, you’ll eventually be able to move on and alternate your timeline and goals. Below are my tips for getting through this painful process.
#1. Feel Sad For a Little Bit
This is probably the part that all of us are good at. It’s okay to dwell in your own pity pool at first. There have been times where I’ve tried to appear as resilient as possible, and all it did was prolong my period of sadness to a later time. Even if it looks a little pitiful to be upset over something you can’t control, you’re a human being with human emotions. Instead of trying to bottle everything in, try to get it out of your system as soon as possible. I’d suggest dedicating a whole weekend to Netflix binging and consuming your favorite junk food. You’ll feel so unproductive after a few days, that it will lead to you involving yourself in productive activities.
#2. Start Coming up With a Plan B and C
Once you’ve grieved whatever unfavored outcome you’ve experienced, it’s now time to get back to the drawing board! This is where you develop your plan B, C, and maybe even D. Take whatever you learned from plan A, and apply it to your sub-plans. Even though this seems counterintuitive, don’t be too jaded from your original failed plan. It’s still good to have hopes and goals to lead you to ambitious behavior. Instead of becoming too negative, just let these experiences teach you to not let your losses drag you down completely.
#3. Adopt the Mentality of “Meant to Be”
I’m not here to play God or to tell you what you should believe, but I’ve personally found that taking the “it’s out of my hands” approach has helped me considerably. Who actually knows if the universe works in mysterious ways, even NASA can’t tell you that with 100% certainty, but there are certain things that you have ZERO control over. Instead of torturing yourself about what you could have done differently, tell yourself that you couldn’t change it even if you wanted to and that it all happened for one reason or another.
#4. Force Yourself out of Your Comfort Zone
I can easily become a creature of habit due to my dislike for stepping out of my comfort zone. One of the first times I majorly stepped out of my comfort zone was when I joined my college newspaper, the Mesa Press. All of a sudden I had to legitimately interview public figures and ask uncomfortable questions to people who obviously did not want to answer them. Even though the first couple of events I covered gave me cringe-worthy feelings on the inside, it made me a better listener and communicator in the long-run. Not only is it good to force yourself out of your comfort zone in your daily life, but it’s also good to apply this for when you reassemble your plan. Maybe being too comfortable is what was holding you back this entire time.
#5. Think About Where You’d Like to Be in Five Years
“So, where do you see yourself in five years?” I know many of you have heard this question in several job interviews before. If you’re anything like me, the first couple of times you were asked this you replied with, “Uhhhhhhh… good question…” Instead of answering this with what you think everyone wants to hear, I want you to really think about where you want your life to be five years from now! Do you want to have a family of your own? Do you want to move to another city? Do you want to further your education in a new subject matter? Whatever it is, start incorporating it into your plan now by making initial baby steps. If you don’t make your longterm goals an aspect of your plans now, they’ll most likely never happen.
#6. Take Time to Appreciate Your Progress
Believe it or not, we’ve all made some kind of progress on our goals within the last few months or even years! Since we live our lives everyday and not all our achievements come with shiny medals or framed certificates, we tend to lose sight on how far we’ve come. I want you to take a deep breath and remember where you were in life about a year ago. Okay, now imagine five years ago. If you’re feeling really adventurous, imagine 10 years ago. Chances are, you’ve improved in at least one aspect of your life since all of these timeframes. Take time to appreciate just how awesome and resilient you truly are! You wouldn’t be able to survive as well as you have by being a wimp or a moron. Once you do achieve your goals, no matter how far off they are from your original plan, make sure you take a look back and congratulate yourself for the awesome person you are!
Just like many on you, I’ve struggled with fallen plans several times in my life. Even though there was quite the learning curve for me to get a grasp on this, I’m finally starting to put my goals and plans into perspective. I hope this week’s blog post helps and I’ll see you next week!
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What plan did you have at one point that you’re glad didn’t ever work out?