What Should I Do When My Plans Fall Apart?

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

It’s spectacularly amusing how little we actually know about the world. What’s even more comical is the fact that we often think we have it figured out.

Perhaps you’ve come to a point in your life where you’ve sat yourself down, taken a few deep breaths, and came to terms with the fact that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. You’re just pretending as best you can.

Tell me if you can relate…

This year, I’ve been planning major moves, career and location-wise. Nothing has worked out the way I planned it, though. The teaching course I was hoping to take has been cancelled twice already, and I’ve had to re-booked my trip and accommodation, costing me several hundred dollars.

Sure, life could be worse. But all these wrenches have provoked major anxiety for an already anxious person. The doubt is creeping in, and I’m constantly questioning if I’m making the right choices.

Gifts wrapped in sandpaper

Thankfully, I’ve learned to view these obstacles as blessings, and it took me a long time to get there, trust me. As Lisa Nichols says, they’re my gifts wrapped in sandpaper because they’ve taught me to be persistent.

If like me, you’re frustrated that something you’ve been hoping for fell through, or are anxious about your plans working out, here are 3 extremely helpful questions that will push you through the uncertainty and into action.

1. What’s the worst that could happen?

This is a life changing question for anyone who is anxious in the face of a major decision.

If you’re anything like me, when something you hoped for doesn’t go your way, you start imaging the worst case scenario, and it usually involves being consumed by fear of embarrassment, financial loss, or something worse.

But, have you really thought about what is actually going to happen if your plans don’t work out? Probably not.

Sit down, and start making a list of the tangible consequences of your failure. Be realistic. This will help you make a decision if you’re doubtful, and in the chance that your plans have already fallen through, it will help to reduce your worry and push you to move forward onto the next step.

Trust me, nothing is as bad as you can imagine it.

2. Is my faith really in these plans?

Often, we find ourselves making plans and taking risks to obtain or achieve something that we are not really passionate about.

If you’re unsure whether to go down this or that path, ask yourself why you’re choosing to take each course, what it will bring into your life. Are you actually willing to spend the time and energy that is required of that specific dream?

By asking this question, you might determine that maybe, this was something you didn’t want to pursue anyway. Or maybe, you’ll realize that you’re so passionate about moving forward down this road, that the doubts that plagued you before start to dissipate.

3. What’s the alternative?

Have you actually taken the time to quantify, in your mind, the consequences of you NOT making a particular choice or moving down a specific path? If you decide to remain living in the same city instead of moving, for example, will you be happy? What opportunities will you have there, and what opportunities will you miss by staying there.

When we start to contemplate the life we’re currently living, in contrast to the life we want to build, we’re quickly pushed out of the doubt, and are reminded of the reasons why we even bothered to place ourselves in the position to make the choice anyway.

It’s all a game of pros and cons. Just remember this; remaining in indecision and inaction is a choice in and of itself.

In the end, we can’t really predict our future. As much as we’d like, there is no question we can ask ourselves that will elicit from us the absolute truth of what is the next right step.

Still, by taking the time to answer these three questions, you will afford yourself the clarity to get out of the fog of fear and doubt, and to desist from remaining stuck in indecision.

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Teacher, traveler, and language learner. Writing about productivity, personal finances, life abroad, speaking another language.

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Angela Martinez

Angela Martinez

Teacher, traveler, and language learner. Writing about productivity, personal finances, life abroad, speaking another language.