“It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.” — Anne Lamott
Why do we feel the need for Plan B in the first place?
Well, It’s good to have options right? A backup plan gives you something to fall back on if things don’t go as planned. But, what happens when it’s time to face hard challenges and you’re struggling to find the courage to push forward? Often, we settle for second best and embrace the ugly cousin of success — Plan B.
By giving ourselves a fallback plan, and not going “all in,” we lose momentum and end up falling back in the wrong direction. It’s the easy way out which allows you to play it safe rather than taking large risks in pursuit of the real goal. If you want to achieve Plan A, you have to face the challenges ahead; and the best way to do this is by leaving yourself with no other choice.
A personal example taken from my life story, took place six years ago.
After being laid-off from a very promising career; one which I fought extremely hard to get, and thought was everything I ever wanted — turned out to be a brief eight month stint in a sinking company.
I became hopelessly depressed. After months of trying to repair my wounds, I made a radical decision. I decided to book a flight 5000 km’s away to Canada’s west coast and take up residency in beautiful Kelowna, BC — sounds great right? It was. But, it wouldn’t have happened if I worried about Plan B.
Rather than saving up thousands of dollars; waiting for the perfect time; or stressing about having a job lined up when I got there; I took a deep breath, booked the flight and committed to my future self. After selling everything I could, and giving away the rest of my possessions, I hopped on the plane with little more than a thousand dollars to my name. I was all in.
Now, things could have went disastrously wrong in quick fashion — but you know what? they didn’t. Due to the lack of a back up plan, I had the strong motivation and focus I needed to succeed. Why? Because I had too. I landed a job and found an amazing place to live within the first week. Moreover, I still had money leftover by the time I received my first paycheque.
This is just one example of how forgetting Plan B paid off. It’s not the first or the last time either. Because of my success in this method of thinking, I now repeat the mantra “forget Plan B” every time I’m feeling a little discouraged or unsure of the decision I’ve made. It works for me and it can work for you. Repeating this mantra on a daily basis focuses you in way which leaves little room for failure. Sure, things might not turn exactly as expected, but the result is well worth it.
Plan B is fear in disguise. Plan B is the safety net. But, often, the safety net only increases the odds of failure. By giving yourself a way out–when the going gets tough–you will fail to give your full attention to Plan A — the real goal.
The truth is : you don’t need a Plan B — forget about it.
Focus your attention on the real goal and adjust when necessary. Becoming flexible is the best Plan B — and you don’t have to plan for it. Instead, become comfortable with embracing change and adjust as needed. Becoming flexible allows you to handle any curve-ball life throws you, and gives you the tools necessary to navigate the path to your goal.
Security is an illusion. If you hope to achieve your dreams, forget comfort, It won’t be there to tuck you in at night. And you know what? You don’t need it — nor do you want it.
If you’re comfortable, than you’re not dreaming big enough. You should always be chasing uncomfortable situations because that’s where you’re going to grow as a person; that’s your internal compass pointing you towards greatness.
Whatever your hopes for life contain, there will be moments which leave you feeling extremely uncomfortable and unsure of whether you’re moving forward or backwards. But, by committing to your goal and pushing on — you will find your way. Leave Plan B where he belongs: sitting on his hands, in an illusion of safety, waiting for greatness to find him.