I admit it. I am one that “needs” a plan in my life. I like having as much information as possible so I know what to expect to ensure I create the best possible outcome for myself (whatever that might be). One could argue that perhaps this need is really just about gaining control and having a false sense of security whereas others might think it’s simply good practice. Perhaps it’s a little bit of both but that’s a discussion for another day. :)
Whether you’re a planner or a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person, we all only have so much control over the events that occur in our lives….and then we rely on a little word called “hope.” Hope can be a powerful force yet so many choose to dismiss it in fear that if we hold onto it, we set ourselves up for possible pain and disappointment. For many (myself included), it’s easier at times to put our faith in the worst case scenario in order to be better prepared if/when things don’t work out as expected. Unfortunately, this does more damage than good. Let me tell you why:
1-It kills joy and impacts our mood. Have you ever tried to experience both positive and negative emotions simultaneously? Go ahead….try it. Happiness and sadness. Hope and despair. Gratitude and dissatisfaction. It’s nearly impossible. When you choose to focus on one emotion it automatically eliminates the other.
I understand our need to try and soften the blow by telling ourselves “it” may not work out, but it actually kills the joy and excitement of what’s happening in the moment. We have all have faced disappointment before and managed to work through it. Is setting ourselves up for that possibility really necessary? Trust that you have the capability and the means to overcome those setbacks without preparing yourself for the worst outcome. Where will you choose your focus and what will set you up for the best success?
2-It interferes with motivation and places limits on possibilities. When what we hoped for doesn’t work out and we started with the mindset that it wouldn’t, it closes the gap on what we deem possible and can set us up for failure. Our brain will begin to play tricks on us and the inner critic will show up in full force telling us all kinds of false beliefs. Rather than asking questions, finding new solutions or adapting to a new reality, it becomes easy to lose motivation and quit while we’re ahead.
Thomas Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” You are limitless but in order for you to achieve what you set out to do, you must have hope in yourself and in the process. Shift your focus from “challenge” to “opportunity” and allow yourself to learn and grow from those experiences that don’t work out as planned. After all, this is what life is all about. :)
Regardless of what is happening in your life, I encourage you to exercise hope for the best possible outcome. Of course, this certainly does not mean that things will always go our way (oh how I wish they would) but it will allow you to see the good in your future, maintain a positive frame of mind and give you the determination to achieve your goals. If today is looking a bit gloomy and uncertain, just remember that “the sun will come out tomorrow.”
Until next time,