5 Signs You’re Living a Plan B Life…
Most people think Plan A but live Plan B.
And they get rewarded for it. Whether they get called objective, smart, cautious, detail oriented, thorough or meticulously aware, these people are given a pat on the back for living on the fence: wanting a dream but accepting and catering to the ‘reality.’
How’s that working for you?
And the really tricky part is this: there are a lot of people living a Plan B life who don’t even know they’re doing it.
How is that possible?
Because some Plan B lives have Plan A tendencies, enough so it feels like winning but, in actuality, for what you’re capable of, is nothing more than settling for average.
So how do you know if you’re living a Plan B Life?
Most people feel it on a very deep level. They know they could be doing so much more, feeling so much better, and living on a much higher level. There’s this nagging sense that they’re wasting their lives on things that don’t really matter. It’s as if their Inner Knowing keeps calling them to higher ground and the more they dismiss the call, the louder the call becomes… and the calling comes in the form of experiences that are clearly out of whack with their values, goals and beliefs.
But if the inner tug has been numbed, if you’ve gotten to a point where you close your ears to that inner calling, there are still signs that will tell you when you’re living a Plan B life.
Here are 5 signs that you’re doing that:
1 Everything’s fine… but not extraordinary
How do you respond to the daily question of “How are you?” Do you respond with “I’m good”, “Things are fine” or “I’m okay”? Any of those responses (especially if they’ve become automatic for you) are signals that you’re living a Plan B life. Why? Because when your life is extraordinary, you feel it, you talk about it and your responses come from a place of passion and joy. There is no “I’m fine” when life is amazing. When you’re living full out, when someone asks you how you’re doing, every response is filled with excitement, anticipation and absolute joy because you live in that space… and it takes a Plan A life to be there consistently.
2 You spend most of your time doing the things you’re “good” at but rarely experimenting with learning new things or pursuing areas that challenge you to grow
Whenever you find yourself doing what you’re good at doing (and not much else) or staying in the comfort zone of your strength area, you’re living in Plan B.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. — Unknown
If your life isn’t full of new challenges and ways that you grow and expand on a daily basis, more than likely, you’re living in Plan B. And the challenges don’t necessarily have to relate to your biggest life goals or dreams. Learning a new language, doing a Spartan race or cooking a different meal from scratch every night for two weeks- all of those things will grow your Plan A muscles.
It’s the stretching you’re looking for- and the grit that kind of growth and expansion requires.
3 The three to five people you spend most of your time with are living Plan B in their own lives
Look at who you hang around most of the week. Are they living Plan A… or feeling ‘fine’ in Plan B? When you talk to them, are you both exchanging stories about your latest adventure, pursuit and new growth zone… or are you talking about the same old same old? Yes, you do become like the people you hang out with most so pay close attention to what crowd you’re in.
If you find yourself in the Plan B crowd, you don’t have to ditch them. Add more Plan A people to your life and spend more time with them. This is not about deleting people from your life. It’s about adding more of what you need to your Plan A life.
4 Your dreams are ‘should do’ things that you create in January and lose track of by March but not MUST DO goals that you have planning, pacing, and daily attention on
Review your last two years of goal setting.
How many goals have you set? When did you set those goals? After setting them, how often did you look at those goals? Daily? Weekly? Not at all after you set them? How many of those goals did you accomplish?Were you vigilant about staying true to those goals or did you give up after a while?
People who write out their goals on a daily basis achieve success (on all levels) at much higher rates than people who don’t. A clear sign that you’re doing the Plan B things comes in how easily you lose focus of the big life goals that, at one point, seemed so important to you.
Remember: your REAL priorities will always show through in what you do daily.
If reviewing and taking on action on your biggest goals are not on your daily schedule, you are Plan Bing through life.
5 The last time you conquered, achieved or created something extraordinary was at least five years ago
Keep in mind: extraordinary differs from person to person. When I say ‘extraordinary’, it refers to an accomplishment that is beyond anything you’ve achieved before, required your focus, tenacity, and persistence to overcome obstacles, and stretched you in terms of your understanding of the world, yourself and others. If you haven’t done something like that in over five years, yes, you’re in Plan B mode… and it’s time to get out of it.
At this point, you might be wondering, “Okay… how do I stop living a Plan B life if that’s the situation?”
So glad you asked!
There are 3 things you can do to immediately stop living a Plan B Life and here they are:
1 Adopt a Plan A Mindset NOW…
First and foremost, you’ve got to decide that Plan B can no longer exist in your life. That doesn’t mean you eradicate it at this very moment. It simply is a decision where you say to yourself, “Beginning today, I’m no longer going to live in Plan B. My circumstances might be Plan B right now but my mindset is going 100% to Plan A. Over time, I will be living Plan A but, for today, I’m making the decision to get my mind out of the gutter, out of Plan B and completely focused on Plan A.”
What does that mean?
Every decision (big or small) that you make from this moment forward needs to be taking you to Plan A. If it isn’t, then the answer is No. That’s it. No in between, no maybe-sorta-kinda, no ‘I’ll think about it.” From this moment forward, every decision you make must meet the Plan A criteria.
2 Draft out the steps from Plan B to Plan A
What are the five(notice I limited it to five because we planners like to go overboard) steps required to get to one of your biggest life goals?
Write out those five steps on a piece of paper.
Now, under each of the five steps, what are the 3 smaller steps that need to happen in order to reach each of those 5 milestones (or steps)?
Write those down.
Based on the plan you now have, what are you next, three simple, steps you can take to get closer to the goal today?
Write those down and take those next three steps today.
3 Pursue something small but hard first
Going from Plan B surviving to Plan A living isn’t going to happen overnight and it isn’t going to be easy… which is why it’s important to start with a small but hard goal. For example, let’s say you want to completely change careers.
You might have been a banker for twenty years and now you want to be a detective. Do not go out and quit your job today. That’s not the path to Plan A (that’s actually the path to broke, scared and alone in this moment). No, instead, ask yourself, “What’s the plan for getting from where I am to where I want to be?” Draft out that steps required to get to where you say you want to go (from Step #2).
Now it’s time to pick one small, hard next step that you can take to get you into the mode of achieving on a Plan A level without it having to be more massive than you can take on at this moment.
Remember: you’re changing a mindset, shifting paradigms so the first go at moving to Plan A needs to be something that’s small but hard and will get you that much closer to Plan A living.
Look at your steps. What would that be for you?
Take action today and achieve that first milestone ASAP.
At the end of the day, lots of people live and die in Plan B… and some of them are okay with that. Most are not.
At this very moment, you get to decide who you’re going to be TODAY and how long you’re going to be that version of you.
Do you want to spend the rest of your life being ‘okay’ or do you want to reach, expand, grow and live in the extraordinary EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE?
With every thought you think, emotion you feel and action you take, you are choosing one road or the other. Be mindful of which life you create for yourself and, remember:
The quality of your life is always up to you…
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