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10 questions to ask yourself when life doesn’t go to plan

Life is largely about how we handle the stuff that goes wrong
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Time after time, we hear from our clients some version of ‘This was not my plan’, followed by something along the lines of ‘I never expected this’ and ‘I don’t know what to do’ or ‘I feel stuck in this situation’.

Let’s be real here: no-one is planning their divorce on their wedding day. We don’t dream of leaving our jobs on anything other than our own terms. People don’t intentionally become overweight. No-one plans for or looks forward to having a sick child. Very few people get through life without heartbreak, pain, loss or unplanned events – it’s just part of the whole ‘life’ experience.

We could frame these moments as learning opportunities, but that just sounds like cringe-worthy self-help speak. Alternatively, we can simply get on with writing a new plan that’ll empower us to move forward. It doesn’t need to look pretty or perfect – think of it as brainstorming. The main thing is to get started. What do you need to think about, feel and let go of before you can make a specific, new, achievable plan?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do I know what I really want?
  2. What decisions would I make if I trusted my instincts, believed in myself, backed myself, and took time for myself?
  3. What’s possible for me now? (Think big but in small increments or steps.)
  4. What decisions/actions most need my attention? (What are my priorities?)
  5. What can I implement immediately?
  6. What do I know I need to do differently?
  7. What’s in my control? And what do I need to let go of?
  8. Will I be better, stronger, smarter and more self-aware when I make and implement this plan?
  9. What have I always wanted to do, but not done?
  10. Does my plan reflect my passions, strengths and values?

It’s funny (not really) how we still do things we know aren’t good for us and we get ‘stuck’ on questions that don’t help us move forward. So, when you find your mind wandering down the ‘Why did this happen to me?’ path, pull yourself up. Such thoughts are disempowering and victim-like – and believe us when we say that nothing good comes from them. There’s nothing we can do about the bad things that’ve happened to us, but we’re more than capable of planning for the good stuff that lies ahead.

– The Coach Place Global

Image by @Clemens van Lay

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