Ease your anxiety by being prepared for the unknown with a failure plan. Use this free printable to help you start to organize your thoughts and feelings.
It took me months to start this blog. I had the idea – it excited me! For the first time in a long time, I was energized. A new direction, change! All those scary, terrifying things in life mixed with hope and dreams and anticipation.
I would research and start to learn about starting a blog. I would plan and organize and write and then I would freeze.
My mind would start the ‘overthinking’ cycle:
“You are going to fail”
“You are wasting your time”
“No one will read this”
“No one feels this way – only you”
“You’re a loser. You are the only one struggling”
“What if this whole idea fails? I would be back to square one. Back to the feelings of insecurity and doubt.”
“What if people say mean things to me?”
Has your brain ever said these things to you? Or something similar?
Guess what?! Your brain LIES to you!
Can you fucking believe that?!
“Like aren’t we in this together, brain, and there you go lying to me ALL… THE… TIME!”
So, there I was thinking all these things (and much more) and I would start the process again; research and learn, plan, organize and write. FREEZE!
I knew I had to get over this cycle. I needed the push to launch rather than the circle of failing to launch that I was stuck in.
I made a plan – a failure plan.
What is a Failure Plan?
“Failure to plan is planning to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
A failure plan allows you to be prepared for those “what if” questions. It won’t take away the emotions (hurt, fear, doubt) of failing. But it will help you look at the situation rationally (not emotionally) and it will give you steps to get over this road bump. It will also ease some of the anxiety that comes with uncertainty.
Planning to fail does not mean you are going to fail. It means that if you do fail or things don’t go as planned, you have a plan B, or C, or D.
How to Make a Failure Plan:
1. Write down all the fears, thoughts, and emotions you are having about a specific event or situation.
Ex: What if people say mean things to/about me? What if no one reads this? You’re a loser.
2. Answer the questions (honestly).
Ex: I will be very hurt, I will take it personally, I will want to give up, I will want to respond with ‘fuck you!’
3. Answer the questions from a different perspective.
Try to think of the situation from a rational perspective, take the emotion out of it. What advice would you give someone else with these fears/emotions? How would an outsider view the situation? Try not to think of it as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. If you feel comfortable, ask a trusted friend/family member how they would view the situation.
Ex: It is the internet, I have to be ready for anything. They don’t know me personally. What they say often reflects their own insecurities. Can I learn anything from their comments?
4. Now make an ‘If-Then response’
Using the emotion-free answers and different perspectives make an If-Then response.
Ex: If people say mean things to/about me, then I will not take it personally because I don’t know these people.
Ex: If people say mean things to/about me, then I will respond with kindness (Kill them with kindness – and it makes me feel cheeky 😉).
Ex: If people say mean things to/about me, then I will have comment guidelines in place for people to follow and I can delete them if necessary.
You will find that if you fail, you will have an automatic then response because you already have the plan. You know what comes next. It eliminates some of the uncertainty.
Keep your plan in your phone or on the fridge. Wherever is convenient for you when you need a quick reminder that You Can Do It (even if you fail)!
Failure can be about any situation: starting a business, applying for a job, bathing suit shopping. If you have a failure plan, it will ease the blow (a little).
And always remember – you aren’t the only one!
Have you ever failed to launch at something in your life out of fear?
~ Lacey ~