Messed Up Plan A? And Plan B? Now What?
If you’re anything like me, your week is already fully planned out. I spend each Sunday mapping out the upcoming week: classes, workouts, even social time and meals. It helps me feel more in control and less anxious if I know exactly how things are going to go. However, and unfortunately, things don’t always happen the way I plan them out in my journal.
Even if you’re not a type A person, we all have hopes and dreams for what our life will look like. We all hope that the weekend will go perfectly, or that this will be the summer of your dreams. Yet, in a split second, life can take our plans and throw them right out the window. What do we do then? Left in complete and utter confusion and disappointment, what’s next?
It’s not in my control.
What helps me most is differentiating what is in my control and what isn’t. Control the controllable, I always tell myself. Other people’s actions and thoughts are not in our control. The weather and traffic are not in our control. Even our own thoughts can be out of our control. What I mean by this is that there is no need to stress about things you cannot change. Things will happen the way they will, you’ll adjust and work it out. There is no other choice.
When things don’t go as planned, it can be easy to self-blame or self-doubt. This is normal, but here’s your reminder that our thoughts are not facts. If your mind thinks you’ve failed it doesn’t really mean you did. Anxiety lies to us. Maybe not getting that internship is a good thing. Maybe this way you’ll have more time to focus on school. Look at the good side of things, and remember that there will always be another chance.
Something else that can really help is learning gratitude. It’s often easy to fall into the mindset that “things never go my way,” however think of all the things you have now, and how badly you used to want them. Remember when you wanted what you have now? Be grateful those things worked out and be hopeful more things will work out in the future.
Stop thinking there is a right and wrong choice
Our life is a series of choices and possibilities. Everything is a result of something else and there is no fixed agenda. If you obsess over making the right choice, then you are assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for the other. This is not true. There isn’t a yellow brick road leading to one right outcome. Instead there is a plethora of different colored roads, each a different adventure—and they all lead to success. Once you make a decision, the world shifts the possibilities accordingly. The best part is that you don’t need to set on one road; for you are free to make a turn, in any direction, at any time.