Been there. Done that.
We have all gone through times when our best laid plans do not work out for one reason or another. Sometimes we have major plans for our lives that don’t only affect us, but others around us. Sometimes it can be as simple as trying to get the kids to a class in the morning on time. The question is, what do you do when plans get changed and you have to readjust?
I can’t say I am always great at readjusting. Especially with plans that I have put all of my heart, soul, and energy into. When plans like that change, I’m more likely to get irritable, angry, and not at all understanding.
We all get that way from time to time. We sometimes become like a toddler who isn’t getting what she wants and we throw a temper tantrum. Albeit, an adult-sized tantrum, but a tantrum all the same. But why do we do that?
I’ve learned recently that it has to do with control and a need for certainty. Even if we say we like spontaneity, which is great to a certain extent, most of us have a need for certainty. A need to feel like everything is under our control. How many times do you hear, “I’ve got this.”? We like knowing that when we set a plan in motion and put all of our energy into it, we will see the fruits of our labor.
But sometimes that doesn’t happen and when it doesn’t happen and plans change, we need to be able to stand our ground and not stomp our feet because we didn’t get our way.
Take for instance a big plan my family had to move from South Carolina to California. My husband and I had made the decision to move and everything was in place. I had done all the research, created our vision board, found out everything I needed to know. I even joined a homeschool group out there in preparation for the move.
Then things started to change…and I was not happy. At all.
Our hunt for a rental turned up nothing, even with the help of an amazing local realtor. A job my husband was promised, fell through. Lots of things started happening that made our plans now need to change. Cue adult temper tantrum and stomping feet. We attempted to redirect ourselves thinking we were supposed to move to Florida instead. Another dead end. But this time, I realized there were 5 simple things to do that were necessary in order to redirect and re-frame my thinking.
- Breathe. Seems simple, but it’s often overlooked when you are in the midst of a change. Whether it be big or small, we need to breathe. Allowing ourselves a moment to breathe, gives not only our souls time to readjust, but allows our physiology to change. It brings oxygen into our system and enables us to change course on a moment’s notice.
- Pray. It seems simple, but often, it is the most overlooked of all ways to redirect ourselves. Even if I believe God has a plan for your life, which I believe He does, I have a plan for my life as well. When the two don’t meet, I tend to get anxious. I question everything and nothing seems right. When I make prayer an integral part of my day, I will be better able to handle the changes life sometimes brings. I will hear that still, small voice that is often drowned out by my tantrums.
- Find the Meaning. Everything we do, say, or hear is because of meaning. Ask yourself when plans change, “What meaning am I deriving from this?” In my case, not being able to move to California meant I was giving up on my dreams, that I was settling. When I look at the truth, my dreams are not a place. They are the feeling that I would get living in that place. It’s quite possible to achieve that somewhere else… even if I stay right where I am. In lesser situations, like being held up in traffic on the way to take our kids to karate class, what is the meaning with that? If we are late, do I think “they” will think I am a bad mom who can’t get anywhere on time? Do I think that just because my daughter could not find her shoe and we had to leave 2 minutes later, that the whole day is shot? Or is the meaning I take from it that maybe God was watching over us and we had that delay so that we would not be in an accident that happened down the road, 2 minutes earlier? It’s all in the meaning.
- Find Your Core: Plans change. Things happen. We think that life throws us curveballs just because. But what if there was a reason for it? What if those curveballs are intended to make us grow? We need to find our core. What are our basic needs at the bottom of it all. What needs are you attempted to satisfy? Once you become clear on that, curveballs don’t seem so daunting anymore and you become the Derek Jeter of your life.
- Be Thankful. At any moment in time, we can stop and be thankful. When our plans change, it creates fear. Fear of the unknown, that “thing” that we thought was so certain. One thing I have learned is that being fearful and being grateful cannot be occur at the same time. It is impossible. Try it. Think of what you are most afraid of. Feel it. Deep in your bones, at your core. Now think about what you are most grateful for. At the same time. Can you do it? You can’t. Our brains are not wired that way. In our physiology, we are incapable of feeling fear and gratitude at the same time. So when your plans get turned upside down, immediately think of something you are grateful for. Deep down. Something that moves you. Maybe it moves you to tears. Suddenly the fear of uncertainty goes away and you can think with a clear mind.
After awhile of doing these 5 simple things, they will become more natural to you. You will have trained your brain on how to react when plans change. Does it work every single time? Not always> If you look at the reasons why it doesn’t, it will become clear that one of these 5 simple things is missing in the equation. We only have so much time in our lives and we want to use our time wisely. Having a temper tantrum when things don’t go as planned, steals precious time that you could using to enjoy your life. I think Ferris Bueller said it best:
[clickToTweet tweet=”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.-Ferris Bueller” quote=”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.-Ferris Bueller”]
Don’t miss it. This life is a blessing, even with the curveballs.
What curveballs have been thrown your way and how did you react? What great things happened as a result? Hop on over to my Facebook page and share with me! I would love to connect with you!