Life is a rollercoaster
And what happens with rollercoasters?
Their course changes quickly and unexpectedly.
…They creep slowly up a terrifyingly high ramp.
…And then pick up speed as they plunge back down.
…A rollercoaster twists and turns.
…It goes upside down and twists around before coming right side up.
If you think about it, that really does sound like life. Ups & downs. And unexpected twists & turns.
Unfortunately, as humans, we crave control. We love knowing exactly what’s going to happen and how things are going to work out. We want to plan the heck out of life.
…I’m guilty of that too!!
And when things don’t go according to our plans, we get upset, frustrated, and even angry.
For all my planners out there, here’s my latest confession…
We have plans (lots of them). And if you’re like me (an obsessive planner), it’s no fun when things don’t go as we think they “should”… as we’ve mapped them out.
During the past few months, I’ve reprimanded myself quite a few times (perhaps more than a few) for not posting constantly on social media and for not sending out my typical monthly emails.
“Why aren’t you keeping up?!”
What’s taking you so long?”
I kept saying, “I should have done this…”
“I should have done that…”
But life had other plans for me… doesn’t it always?
In the midst of the multiple disruptions I had, I found myself craving quiet time, connection with my hubby, and simply being in the present moment.
I needed time to recharge.
Side note: It also seems that everyone in our family decided that this was THE summer to visit us, so as much as I had planned my workdays, it was all a bit chaotic.
I was frustrated and disappointed with my lack of follow through on my own plan(even though I knew there were circumstances beyond my control).
And something that I’ve noticed is that when we feel disappointed, it’s easy for us to slow down… and it becomes instinctual to say, “Why bother?” and to allow ourselves to get knocked off our trajectory.
Earlier, I mentioned I’m an obsessive planner, but I forgot to mention that I’m in recovery mode. I have been for years. I’m WAY more flexible than I used to be in terms of life unfolding differently than I’d like it to.
And now, when things don’t go according to plan, I have tools to help me manage the frustration that comes along.
They’re not magic pills. They’re not one-stop shops.
They are, however, conscious choices that I make over & over & over again. And the more I make them, the more they become like second nature.
Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite tools that can help you make the shift from giving up on your plan or getting stuck to jumping back into action. So here they go!
+ Acknowledge your emotions
Allow yourself to feel your emotions instead of pushing them away. Suppressed feelings have a way of coming back with a vengeance.
+ Forgive yourself
Acknowledge what went ‘wrong’ or different from your plan and make peace with yourself. Journal, write your self a letter or go on a walk to process your feelings. Commit to self-forgiveness. Give yourself the empathy you would give someone else.
+ Embrace self-acceptance
You may have a hard time coming to terms with your past choices or mistakes. I get it. But since we really can’t change the past, our option is to accept what we can’t change. It doesn’t mean we have to like it.
>>> Remind yourself that your past doesn’t have to define who you are. But getting stuck there makes it impossible to move forward towards a future you can be proud of.
+ Adopt a new way of thinking about the mistake
If you’re currently experiencing self-blame, choose a compassionate mindset instead. Learn from the experience by providing yourself with both empathy and kindness. We must practice compassion with ourselves. It’s not just something we extend to others.
+ Allow life to unfold
It’s normal to be discouraged when things don’t work out, but don’t let that defeat you. Life has a way of teaching us lessons in ways that are unexpected, and extraordinary moments are often unplanned.
+ Shift your focus
You can either think about change as a loss OR you can start focusing on the opportunity you can create from the unknown.
Perhaps you got fired from what you thought was your dream job. You may feel like a failure and might’ve already committed to the mindset that “life won’t get better from here.”
>>> That’s the fear of the unknown talking to you. Instead of succumbing to its negativity, this is where you need to start focusing on the opportunity that this change presents you with. You probably have more options than you think. 😉
Flexibility in life is crucial.
…And it doesn’t mean that we stop making goals & plans.
…It means that the path to getting to where we want to be can bend and flex.
…It’s not rigid.
…There isn’t just ONE way of accomplishing our goals.
…There are MANY.
And it’s up to you what you make of life’s unexpected moves.
You got this!
With much love,
P.S. Thank you for still being here after I took a much-needed break. That being said, you’ve been on my mind as I’ve been re-strategizing and coming up with amazing things for all of you… so stay tuned!