When Things Don’t Go as Planned

3 min read
Photo by Simran Sood on Unsplash

Photo by Simran Sood on Unsplash

You’ve worked your butt off to get everything done in the timeframe needed. You’ve stuck to your plan and you’ve got it done. Then, you release it to the next phase of your plan, which involves technology, and it all goes wrong. You talk to the tech team and, as usual, they say they’re working on the issue but have no idea when it will be fixed. You freeze. Everything you’ve done has led to this moment, and without the tech working nothing works. The plan that was going so well has disappeared into thin air. Now what?

1. Take deep breaths

Breathing can help you manage your stress and calm your nervous system down. As a result, it will help you to remain focused and relatively content. This in turn will help you keep going with other responsibilities you have, or even come up with a new solution on how to overcome this problem. When things aren’t going the way they’re supposed to, start by taking a few deep breaths.

2. Remind yourself that you’ve done what you can

You’ve played your role in getting things done, and now it’s up to someone else to complete the next steps. Reminding yourself that you’ve done everything in your power to get things running smoothly will help you to realize that you’ve done your best. At the end of the day, that is all you can do. Your best.

3. Practice acceptance

The only certainty in life is uncertainty. The only constant is constant change. Whether you like it or not, the unexpected will show up. Take this as an opportunity to practice acceptance of it. Surrender to what is and you’ll feel a huge weight fly off your shoulders. Then, you’ll find yourself feeling more energized and focused on coming up with a solution.

4. Put your creativity hat on

Just because something didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean it didn’t go well. There are many ways to do things and sometimes delays or changes in plans can help highlight this. There are more options than you think and a hiccup in the plan can be an opportunity for you to think creatively.

5. Trust that it will get resolved

At some point in the future, this will get resolved, one way or another. It might not be in the way or timeframe that was originally planned, but it will happen. Especially if you trust it will.

6. Brainstorm how to deal with something like this in the future

Preparation is the best antidote for the unexpected. Think about how to deal with this kind of challenge in the future if it appears again. Think about 10 other problems that might come your way and how you would handle them. The unexpected will often arrive, but if you’re well prepared, you’ll be better equipped to handle it.

If in doubt, just remember these wise words from Winnie the Pooh (written by A. A. Milne):

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

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