Personal Development

How To Respond When A Plan Doesn’t Go As Anticipated.

Sometimes plans don’t unfold as we had anticipated and that can leave you in a mood. Others may tell you not to get your hopes up but when it’s something you want, it’s hard not to.

I don’t believe that downplaying how much you want something to happen is the answer. When we get our hopes up, it just shows that we want something and that’s okay. I believe that we can change the way we use planning as a tool rather than suppressing our feelings.

A plan is a call to action, it allows us to organise our time and know what we are intending to do in the future. Having a plan doesn’t guarantee that your future will unfold as you expected. When something doesn’t go to plan, you can either resist the change or embrace it and grow your resilience.

Let’s use relationships as an example. Break up’s can leave you feeling crushed especially if you thought that person was ‘the one.’ What you had planned didn’t work out the way you wanted it to. At the time you probably felt a range of emotions but after a while, you begin to work through the feelings and move on. In hindsight, you may gain clarity about why it ended and you can find lessons in what happened. After time, you meet someone new and they turn out to be the one you want to spend your life with and it’s in that moment that you are glad that what you had previously planned and hoped for didn’t work out.

When a plan doesn’t work out, we can either remain stuck in the situation, hoping it will change or we can move on. In order to move on, we need to feel the feelings. Allow yourself to feel how you feel. If you’re sad, feel sad. If you’re angry, feel angry. Try not to bottle up your feelings or pretend everything is okay. You’re allowed to feel the way you want to.

Once you’ve felt your feelings, you can begin to move through it. Sitting in our feelings for longer than needed won’t help us to move forward. Depending on the situation, you may want to let yourself feel however you’re feeling for a few hours, a day or a week (just as an example). Once you’ve given yourself that time to process your emotions, you can begin to move through it and embrace the new situation.

If something doesn’t work out, you can either play the victim or find the lesson. What has that situation taught you? You may not find the answer straight away but in time, you can find it. As an example, relationships that haven’t worked out have taught me what I do what from a relationship and the type of person I want to be. While the breakups weren’t easy at the time, I was glad that they didn’t work out because it led me to where I was supposed to be – and that’s with my fiance, Jesse. If I didn’t have those other relationships or discover what I didn’t want, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate him or our love as much as I do.

That leads me on to the next part and that is embracing the idea of ‘it’s this or something better.’ I read this in a Gabrielle Bernstein book and it resonated deeply with me. I think it’s a beautiful way to look at a situation, to relinquish control of trying to force an outcome and to retain faith. It gives you the chance to trust that what is meant for you is on its’ way and this wasn’t it.

We can only control our input, not the outcome.

Do you have any tips or strategies that you use when a plan doesn’t go as you had planned – let me know in the comments below.

Main photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash.

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