Plan, but Know That Plans Change; Release the Stress

“Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.” ~John C. Maxwell


These last two weeks have been a complete mess for me.

I am at a point in my life where I am ready to start exploring the world, doing things I want to be doing, and how I want to be doing them.

My background is pretty common. If getting it out of the mud is common.  I grew up during the crack epidemic, in poverty, and in a single parent home at a young age. Thankfully, great values were instilled in me by my parents (despite their differences and struggles), grandparents, aunties, uncles and not to mention I'm the BEST sign. Capricorn! Determination is pretty much in my blood.

After graduating high school I started studying nursing but later changed that to Surgical Technology. Recently, like 5 years ago recent, I developed a passion for helping others (mainly women) become confident with themselves again with the help of fashion. 

Currently I'm at a quite fragile point in my life. The children are now grown enough to fend for themselves and I'm deciding what path to take to live abroad. Of course, there is the question as to where will that be?

It is a decision made harder by having lots of options and a mind that tends to look for the perfect decision. PHEW! However, I've found that it results in overanalyzing and overthinking, and honestly leads me right to the big "P" word. Procrastination. I know that even small steps and imperfect actions would be better than staying still, but I am just so scared of making the “wrong” decision.

I know this is the life I want to live. I know what I love—traveling, meeting new people(despite being a top tier introvert), cultural diversity, and the excitement from exploration. I do have a general idea or vision of the where, what, and how. You know, the somewhere with amazing nature and sunshine; something that combines the ocean, environment, outdoors, and culture. So a rough idea, but not completely clear, and it feels like a lot of big decisions to make!

At the start of 2020, I felt quite lost. The lack of a plan and knowing what's next made me feel out of control and anxious about the future. Having always harbored perfectionist tendencies and feared the unknown, it was absolutely and utterly terrifying for me.

So after the return to a bit of normalcy I tried to get back on track by planning. Planning things make me feel more in control. THERE, I said it! Hell, having a plan makes me feel less anxious and stressed. A perfect plan would solve everything and help me achieve anything. Or so I thought.

Not to mention it did help get back into a routine and on track. But it also did the complete opposite and made me overthink every-FREAKING-thing, which created a lot of stress and more fear.

During this last few months I've been actively looking for different opportunities and things to learn, do, experience. It really is amazing how much you can find when you really look. I applied for and asked about many different opportunities including becoming a traveling Surgical Technologist.  At times I got good news and I thought I was in a great place to do it. I could finally relax and go with that plan it get me closer to my overall goal. But then I got bad news and things seemed to fall apart. For example, my agency needing "one more" item before I could start this new role. 5 F-IN DAYS!! before said role was to begin. Because this role was about 300 miles away from my current life I had to make the decision to cancel and say no.  This in turn brought me back to square one with no set plans. Throughout the entire time of 'planning', no matter how much I planned, things would change. I felt so out of control and anxious. The whole opposite of what planning was meant to do.

But as the days have past, I started to feel calmer about my decision. I don’t know if it was my daily meditation or the fact that I had been thrown out of my comfort zone so many times in such a short amount of time that I was getting used to it. In any case I was calmer and started to reflect.

I came to realize a few very important things:

1. Plan, but know that plans change.

Having a plan is good because it leads to setting and working toward goals. Hopefully these goals pertain to things that will bring you happiness and a sense of achievement. However, as much as you plan, things change. It is important to be okay with this and flexible. Then re-evaluating and getting going again will be much easier.

2. Overthinking can keep you stuck.

Spending all your time planning, overthinking, and overanalyzing is often procrastination for actually doing something. Usually because of some fear.

3. Doing something is more important than finding the “perfect” opportunity.

It’s important to take action toward any opportunities, even if they don’t seem perfect, as this opens doors for you. It gives you different avenues to explore, new ideas, and even routes to your goal. The open doors are also something you come back to, even when plans change. In the very least, it gives you experience.

4. And finally, in life we go through phases, some that seem good and some that seem bad. But neither lasts forever.

It’s great to make plans, to have a direction and vision. This helps you achieve the goals you set for yourself, things you always wanted to do or accomplish, things that could bring you happiness. But we need to accept that plans don’t always go well!

Knowing that when they don’t, you can still achieve your goals and vision, just in a different way—and with a lot more peace of mind.

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