Not what you expected? The choice is yours... | Inge Dowden Coaching

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Not what you expected? The choice is yours…

This month it was my birthday. Did I party, celebrate, have loads of fun? Not this year – I was ill and felt a little down that it was my first birthday without my mother, who passed away during the year.

So I did what I needed to do this time, just slept and stayed in bed, grateful that I could do so and hadn’t planned a big event.

It made me think though, that sometimes in all aspects of life – from birthdays to family relationships and more, we just have to be flexible, accept reality and not always hold on to a specific idea of how things should be.

That’s as true for career or business as everything else. I was talking to a client this week who had bought a franchise, and it was nothing like she thought (and had been told) it would be. She had spent time, money and effort and didn’t want to feel it had been a failure, but in her heart she knew it would be better to give up now.

Things don’t always work out how you plan. Sometimes it’s good to stick at it, because if you give up then you won’t climb that mountain. But if you’re half-way up the mountain with severe altitude sickness and a sprained ankle, giving up and going back might mean that you will stay alive and get better, which is surely the preferred option to reaching the top and never making it down.

The important thing is to understand how you feel about something and recognise when it’s really not good for you. It’s hard to find the right balance – not giving up too soon, not continuing too long. All you can do is make the best decision you can at the time and live with it, learning from your mistakes but not letting yourself wallow in being downcast if it didn’t turn out how you thought.

The fact that things are not what you expect is not the problem, the question is how you deal with it. You can be angry, upset, regard it as failure and never do anything like it again. Or you can accept that this happened, adapt, move on and learn from the experience for next time. That will always be your choice.

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