Decisions sign in the sky

Day 82:Warning: Is Your Plan B Holding You Back?

In most cases, having a Plan B is a good thing. It’s the fallback option for when your plans fall apart. They are life’s little safety nets and can be great to have.

It’s one thing to have a Plan B for an outdoor party when it might rain. But a lot of people have their eyes on a Plan B for their lives and careers.

They tell themselves that if the thing they planned to do doesn’t work out, it’s okay, they have another option. But how often does that safety net do more harm than good? How often does Plan B mean you’re not committing fully to your Plan A?

Planning to fail?

Some people see having a Plan B as planning for your Plan A to fail.

And there very well could be some truth to this – for some people. They thrive under pressure and do a much better job knowing that everything is on the line, that THIS is the only option – to move forward. Plan B’s aren’t necessary because they are gonna make Plan A work!

But, for others, Plan B can be a distraction. Like the awesome guy or girl you rejected but sometimes find yourself wondering what would have happened if you’d chosen them to be with.

That kind of distraction can ruin the best laid plans. So how do you know if your Plan B is holding you back? Here’s some things to consider:

Re-evaluate your Plan A
If you’re struggling with Plan A, maybe your Plan A isn’t a great plan. Is your Plan A something you really want or is it something you fell into because it was the path of least resistance or you’re fulfilling someone else’s expectations of what you should do? Examine your Plan A and ask yourself these tough questions.

Don’t ditch Plan A just yet
Some people question their Plan A when the going gets tough or the work is a bit harder than they had imagined. Don’t let a little bit of hard work now prevent you from sticking with your Plan A.

Just ask anyone who dropped out of college a few credits short of graduating if they made the right choice. There’s a reason everyone isn’t successful – because success usually takes hard work and dedication. So if you evaluated your Plan A above and it’s still a great plan, stick it out!

Make your Plan B your Plan A
Sometimes we don’t pursue our Plan B because we don’t think we’re ready, capable, or worthy. Those are some serious considerations. Nobody wants to chase down the dream of being a rock star when in reality, they can’t hold a note.

However, if your Plan B is something you’re passionate about and you feel you can do it better than most and make a living at it, why not give it all you’ve got? Nobody got successful sitting on the sidelines or wishing on stars. At some point, you have to believe in yourself.

Make your Plan B an option, not a distraction
Plan B’s should really be for emergencies, not something we’re constantly longing for. A good example of an effective Plan B would be to consider your talents and your network, and use these to plan your options. Having an idea of what else you can do and a plan to do it, is a great safety net to have when you lose a job or your company fails.

Feed your Plan B
Always network, keep up-to-date on your skills, and keep an eye on the horizon for potential opportunities.

Consider your obligations
Are you the breadwinner of your family? Are other people relying on you? It’s a lot easier to switch your plans if you’re flying solo with no responsibilities other than to yourself. However, if you’ve got a family counting on you to continue with Plan A, you may have to sacrifice your own happiness for a while – or find happiness in your current situation. But consider the setback a temporary one and look for ways to make your move.

Is your Plan B holding you back? Should you make your Plan B your Plan A? Leave a comment below and share your story with us.


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David Wright is a ghostwriter who is chronicling his year in self improvement at Project 30 Days starting in January.