Don’t you hate it when everything in your life seems to be going swimmingly and then suddenly, out of nowhere, life punches you in the face. You get made redundant out of the blue, your flight is cancelled, a storm ruins your outdoor wedding, or you don’t reach your goal of being able to run a half marathon.
Life loves to throw us curveballs and derail our plans, but it’s often about how we react to certain situations that can make feel as if world is out to get us or allow us to grow as individuals. Are you disappointed and upset, dejected and cheated? Or you do get a twinge of excitement of alternative plans and the new opportunities they may present? When plans go awry, not only can you survive, but with these tools, you can thrive!
If your plans go haywire, take a moment to breathe and calm yourself. Avoid getting upset as this can make the situation more difficult. Try distancing yourself from the scenario by taking a walk, catching up with a friend or doing something fun. If you are feeling anxious try meditation, yoga, journaling or reading a good book and then reassess the situation when you are in a better frame of mind.
Recognise your Disappointment
Acknowledge that you are upset by talking about it or writing it down. Getting your feelings out in the open and discussing your issues with others may help you to figure out ways in which to move forward from your disappointment.
No matter how many hours we spend planning and organising, sometimes there are forces out of our control that can shape an influence the outcomes of a situation. Try to avoid dwelling on the things that you cannot change and work on adopting a positive outlook when considering alternative plans.
The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to move on quickly from disappointment when plans don’t come to fruition. Learning to go with the flow can also help you to quash anxiety and stress and can help you to be more receptive to alternative ideas.
Reassess your options
Just because your plans didn’t work out, doesn’t mean you should give up. Come up with a plan B, plan C and even a plan D if you need to. There are always many different routes and alternative strategies to arrive at the same destination. Try brainstorming with family, friends and other interested parties or enlist opinions from an objective third party. Quite often, others can give you a perspective on an issue that you may not have considered.
Come up with many alternative plans. While they may not seem to be as good as the originals, often they may turn out to be as good, if not better than the original.
Once you have developed alternative plans, act quickly to make them a reality. Approach these new plans with positivity and confidence, try not to feel defeated about the failure of your original plans and work hard to make the new ones a success.
It is important to learn from your experiences
Sometimes, with a little perspective, the worst day can become the best day, especially if the situation pushes your boundaries, challenges you and forces you to think outside the box. Learning to cope when things don’t go your way allows you to grow and be better prepared for similar situations in the future.
Whatever your initial reaction, however, the challenge is to turn a negative experience into a productive one that is, to counter adversity with resilience.