As I sat there in the quiet waiting room, deep in thought, a voice inside me whispered the words I wasn’t sure I’d ever hear “I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore”.
We were 2 years in to our infertility journey. Five failed ICSI cycles and four miscarriages down, yet here we were staring down the barrel of a sixth cycle, this time in London, hundreds of miles away from home. With more visits. More drugs. More complications to navigate with life and work. And as I sat there, before even entering the consultancy room, I knew I’d had enough and it was time to move on.
But what now? I always saw my future as a Mum. I didn’t have a Plan B. I was hoping to not need one. But the universe had other ideas and in that moment our future laid before us – a vast, blank, white page. And whilst at first it felt daunting and scary, we soon learnt it was the most amazing gift we could have ever been given.
And I know I’m not alone. I’d hazard a guess there aren’t many people living their Plan A lives. Whether it’s relationships or jobs that have unexpectedly ended, or an illness or tragedy of some kind, in reality most of us are living some kind of Plan B.
So what if Plan B was the best thing to ever happen to you? Here are 4 ways to make sure it is:
- Let go of the outcome
If infertility taught us anything, it was to let go of the outcome. Disappointment after disappointment became unbearable and it was impossible to see a life outside of the one we were currently living within. We were trapped by the outcome we were striving for. It was like wearing a big set of blinkers. Until that fateful moment in the waiting room where we decided enough was enough, we had never even considered another outcome.
However, when you let go of the outcome, you suddenly see stuff you hadn’t noticed before. Opportunities that would have otherwise just passed you by. When you’re so focussed on a very specific goal, it’s difficult to enjoy the present and it’s easy to miss stuff that could be the best thing to ever happen to you. For me that looked like a summer teaching swimming in Ibiza and a photoshoot with Lydia that led to me becoming a personal brand photographer and now training to be a coach.
So whilst having goals is great, be flexible with the outcome. Be curious along the way. Say yes to exciting opportunities even if they seem “off plan”. And in doing so, you might just find something wonderful you didn’t know you were looking for.
- Get intentional
School => University => Good “secure” job => House => Marriage => Kids => Retirement
That’s what I believed a good life to look like before infertility. And for many people it is an exceptional life. However, I’d been coasting through it without a thought until the decision we made in the waiting room threw a spanner in the works.
Until infertility struck, I never really questioned the path I was on. The reality was my job was just “OK”. I was living for holidays. I was numbing out on trash TV way too often.
Can you relate?
But that day in the waiting room I finally woke up. Suddenly I was questioning everything and in doing so it changed the trajectory of my life in a way I could have never imagined.
From living in my home town with a good, steady, corporate job, decent salary and nice car, we threw away the rule book, the corporate identity, the sensible home and moved to Ibiza. INTENTIONALLY.
Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens because of us so get intentional with how you’re spending yours.
- Feel the fear and do it anyway
As the saying goes, nothing exciting happens in your comfort zone and this couldn’t be more true when embarking on your Plan B life. With so many unknowns and so much newness ahead, it’d be easy to hibernate to avoid the hard stuff. But nothing changes if nothing changes.
It’s in feeling the fear and doing it anyway where the magic happens. It’s when you finally see what you’re really capable of. It’s where you can discover things that truly light you up.
So seek out new adventures. Try new things. Say yes to things that scare the bejesus out of you. Feel the fear and do it anyway and see where it takes you.
- Hire a coach
When you’re suddenly faced with a life you didn’t ask for, it’s very easy to get caught up looking back and lamenting what might have been. To have a pessimistic view of the future. And whilst feeling all the feelings is necessary and needed, there comes a point where you need to start looking forward with optimism. No, life isn’t going to be what you thought but that doesn’t have to mean it can’t be as good or even better. And that’s where coaching played a massive role in creating a life I could never have dreamt possible.
Coaching is focussed on moving forward, not looking back, and it creates new awareness with which to approach life and decision making. It’s like someone turning on the light in a room you didn’t know existed and you can finally see things you didn’t even know were there. And the amazing thing is, it’s you turning the light on for yourself.
It expands your thinking about what’s possible and available to you.
And when facing a Plan B, coaching is by far the most powerful tool in helping you kick the sh*t out of it!
The question is, are you ready to kick the sh*t out of your Plan B? The choice is yours!
Author – Sally Wright (Life Coach & Photographer)
Follow Sally on Intsagram @Sallydreamsphotography
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