Even the best-laid plans hit snags from time to time. What do you do when you feel like you’ve lost control of your plans?
While I’m exploring this idea on Episode 102 of Productivity Paradox this week, I wanted to take just a bit of time today and offer some helpful advice that I have learned on letting go when we encounter an obstacle that throws a wrench in the plans that we have made for ourselves.
These plans could be big or small… but no matter what, letting go can be a huge challenge, because it brings a lot of unsettling feelings—like the fear of failure. And we all know how that tends to go, right?
We have talked about the fear of failure many times before… how it can cause us to retreat into ourselves and doubt every single step that we consider taking, and how debilitating it can be in terms of our productivity, our success, and even our sanity.
So, with all of that said… Let’s jump in and talk about some of the ways that we can all learn to be more comfortable with letting go in the face of the unexpected.
This can be so tough, because when we get an idea in our head about something that we want to do, or about a particular goal that we want to accomplish one day… whenever we get side-tracked by the unexpected, we tend to view ourselves in a negative light when that plan, goal, or dream falls apart, right?
We blame ourselves for not being stronger, or for not finding a way to follow through somehow. And when we try to think of an alternative approach to reach that particular goal, or to see that particular plan through to fruition… we let our fear of the unknown or of the unexpected control us and tell us that we just can’t do it.
The key to overcoming the unexpected though is to be gentle with yourself and to remain flexible about those big plans that you want to set into motion… because guess what, we’re all constantly growing and evolving! And it’s important that we allow our plans to grow and to evolve right along with us.
So… whenever you’re faced with the unexpected? Allow some wiggle room in your plan. Remind yourself that you can only dream as far as you can, as you are right now. And the more that you grow, learn, change, and adapt… the broader your dream can be!
Shift your focus whenever you’re faced with a big challenge and give yourself the grace to take a step back and to pivot so that you can rise up to meet that challenge… and then adjust your sails accordingly.
Sometimes when we set a goal for ourselves, we tend to look at it with such rigidity that we fail to notice what lies at the heart of that particular goal.
We think of the approach that we want to take to meet that goal, and we wind up limiting ourselves because we get so stuck on that one particular ideal… and as a result, we tend to create these outrageous expectations for ourselves.
And then when we’re struck with something unexpected, or when we’re met with a particular lofty obstacle… once again, we let our fear of failure creep in and tell us that we can’t go any further.
When it comes to setting goals and carving out a path toward our big dreams, an important thing to keep in mind is what lies at the heart of those dreams.
In order to recover whenever something does not go exactly as planned, it’s important to ask yourself: What is my passion? What is my dream, and what lies at the core of that dream? What do I want to do with my dream and why?
Instead of allowing yourself to get hung up on everything that hasn’t gone right… instead of chasing your expectation of how your journey toward a particular goal or dream should go… Find the passion inside of you that is driving you toward a dream, and chase that instead.
Just remember: Your expectations about how you’re going to achieve something are always going to be limited… But your passion isn’t. Tap into why you want to pursue the goal you have created and keep that close to you at all times.
I am going to be super honest with you for a second here… Failure is destined to happen!
The more that you keep failure as an option in the back of your mind, the more likely you’ll be able to find a way around it when it presents itself. After all, failure is a natural part of life… and we all have experienced a crash-and-burn episode at least once along the way, right?
Hardly anyone ever gets it right on the first try. (At least, no one that I know has!)
A good thing to keep in mind is that if you never try anything, then you’ve already failed. So, own your decisions, your journey, your goals and all of your dreams… and if you happen to meet a snag somewhere along the way, then own that too. Because it’s yours!
The more comfortable that you are with the journey—the entire journey; the potential failures and the successes—the better prepared you will be to rise up to meet every challenge, and to push through the discomfort until you come out on the other side.
What are some ways that you have overcome obstacles in your life? Share your experiences and any tips you may have in the comments below… And be sure to tune in to Episode 102 this week to join me in a conversation with Mandy Harvey where we’re talking all about the importance of letting go in the face of fear.