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Plan B isn't failure

Life at its most comfortable is when everything goes according to plan.  Family and friends play supportive roles in your life, plans are made and carried out, therapy is scheduled and your relationship with your therapist is one of trust and admiration, medication is on point, all issues and illnesses are handled and life is going well.  As lovely as that sounds, anyone outside a movie or a well written book doesn’t actually have any of those things in apple-pie order.

apple-pie order
noun
perfect order or neatness.
"everything was in apple-pie order"
 

Real life is messy and falls victim to the best laid of plans, so for every Plan A, there needs to be a Plan B, an alternate course of events that is satisfactory.  In the future, Plan B may turn out to have been ideal beyond your wildest imagination or maybe it too failed and necessitated a Plan C or Plan D....  

Have a Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C. Because unexpected changes are most difficult to handle when we don't have a backup. -Germany Kent

When you read through posts and comments on our site, there is a theme of “best laid plans.” Marriages that didn’t work out, parents that are a disappointment, medication not working, therapists which you failed to connect with, or therapists that were amazing that moved away or retired, jobs that are awful or ended before you were ready to leave.  You made a plan, carried it out, but the end result just isn’t what you had wished for.  

When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal. -Napoleon Hill

It can often feel like you have failed at life when your first plan isn't a success. While your goal looked amazing on paper, your vision board was Instagram worthy and you worked really hard to accomplish your goal, the end result was failure!  It was supposed to work out!  Questions swirl around in your brain:

  • Why did it fail?
  • Why am I such a failure?
  • Why does failure seem to be my default setting?

The answer is that the best laid plans often fail.  The Wright brothers didn’t build and fly a plane the first time around, they studied and planned, failed and replanned from 1899-1905 before they successfully flew their flying machine.  

Not one of the athletes you saw perform in the 2020 Olympics or are currently watching in the Paralympic Games would be able to dazzle the world with their athletic prowess if not for years of training, failures, fighting through injury, different coaches, tweaks to their diet, training, attitude and expectation.  Plans were made, some worked out, others did not, but the goal remained the same.  So when your plan fails, which along the path of life is bound to happen from time to time, remember the goal can remain in place, but how you reach it may require you to change course.  

And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed! -Dr. Suess

Here are some tips on how to pivot from the mindset of failure when plans have to change, to seeing it as an opportunity to achieve something even better.

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
-Thomas A. Edison
 
  • Failure is a part of life, learn from it, don’t let it bulldoze you.
  • When things aren’t good in our relationships, instead of trying to see why the other person is at fault, look within and see what changes you need to make.
    • In a toxic or narcissistic relationship it is important to note, that when you look within, try to see that by staying you enable them to continue to treat you badly-the failure here is trying to be the one who fixes everything.
  • Failure is an amazing teacher, when something comes easy we don’t treasure it, the things we have to work hardest for are what our memories are made of.  
  • Sometimes failure is awful and just guts you.  You are allowed to mourn plans that epically fail and take your time coming up with a Plan B.  
  • Don’t wallow in failure, sadness is for a season, then you have to get up and try again.  

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. -Maya Angelou

Remember, everyone fails, history books are filled with stories of failure.   So are business journals and science journals.  We all tend to fixate on the end result and for everything and everyone that isn’t us, happily gloss over all the mistakes that lead to the end goal.  Remember to be kind to yourself, acknowledge that you are trying and it is okay to fail along the way.  Just as long as you dust yourself off, get back up and try again.  Plan B, C, D... or Z are going to be brilliant!

Wishing you all nothing but the very best,

Team SG

 

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