How To Answer Life's Plot Twists

I wish I could say I’m a woman of adventure; that spontaneous is my middle name and I crave the unknown.

But I’m not, it isn’t and I don’t.

I’m a woman of knowns. I crave schedules. I need a plan. My adrenaline rush comes from using all of my brain power to push through the tasks at hand. I love a day packed with urgent to-dos I can cross off with a vengeance. I thrive under the pressure of getting stuff done. But when plans go awry and I have to deviate from my list, it really throws me off kilter. That sense of accomplishment I long for has no chance.

Many years ago, a co-worker of mine coined this quirk as “high planner” and it has always stuck in my mind as the perfect term to describe myself and the other wannabe adventurous people. I am driven to schedule things, to anticipate and plan courses of action for many different outcomes. My family teases me about all of my contingency plans. Where most people may only have a Plan B, I have a plan C, D E and F. I’m definitely not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal.

You can probably guess by now that any kind of change is hard for me. But in the last several years my life has taken some unexpected turns that have forced me to step into the land of flexibility. There have been times I have been tempted to shut down and stay in my comfort zone, but I knew that wasn’t an option.

In order to survive, I had to realize that change is a necessary part of life. It’s not a train without brakes ready to run me over.

So how did I do this?

I started breaking down derailments one curve at a time. I couldn’t look at them like all the parts of a train, more like individual cars that I could enter one at a time.

Ever heard the proverb We eat the elephants one bite at a time?

Don’t worry, no elephants were harmed in the making of this blog. I just had to put my challenges into perspective. It goes back to my blog about overcoming fear. When we are too scared to step out of our comfort zone and take that first step toward change we miss out on opportunities for growth, and probably a lot more. I may be a high planner at heart, but the more I let go of plans C-F, the more I uncover that spontaneous spirit I know is inside me. It has made everything from handling life’s curves to implementing nutritional and exercise goals a lot easier to tackle. I’m less overwhelmed and distressed when things don’t go just as I planned.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to change? Are you a planner or do you just go with the flow? Tell your STRIVE community in the comments below!


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