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When things don’t go according to plan

July. The beginning of a new financial year, the beginning of the second half of 2020 and a valuable opportunity to take some time to reflect.

For many of us, the plans we laid out in January for the coming 12 months have likely altered. A pandemic, remote working, home schooling, social distancing, a halt to travel – few of these things would have featured in our planning and almost all of them will have had some impact on what we hoped to achieve.

When things don’t go to plan, we see more clearly the paradox between control and confidence. For many, being in control equals confidence, and when things happen outside our sphere of influence, confidence can falter.

Control is not a sustainable source of confidence and being out of control, is unfortunately a dynamic that will play out regularly in life. When it happens, we need the ability to adapt. The adage of understanding we can only control our reactions and emotions to a situation rings true, and we do this in two main ways:

  • Cultivate resilience – the ability to move forward when unexpected hardship, change or challenge arises (we cover this in Chapter 7 of Core Confidence)
  • Adapt – look for opportunities amid the constraints we are experiencing and re-set our goals accordingly.

Start reflecting by considering these questions alongside goals and plans:

  • What’s not working?
  • What are the obstacles? (Time? Motivation? Environment? Confidence?)
  • What can you do to overcome the obstacles?

Understanding this can kick-start the process of re-setting goals and help set the tone for the rest of 2020; a path with perhaps more bends in the road than anticipated, but one still travelled with certainty in our ability to deliver good work, achieve our objectives and know that whatever comes up next, we’ve got this.

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