Love Letter #151: You Don’t Always Need a Plan

“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens.” ~Mandy Hale

Does that idea make you a little nervous? I get it.

If you’re a perfectionist, you always have a plan. I know firsthand. In fact, we often have a backup plan or two, just in case. Because…

we think we’re supposed to know everything, be good at everything we try, always have the right answers, and have it ‘all together’. Anything less than that feels like failure. 

So we tend to avoid doing anything new, fun, or risky. Anything that feels vulnerable. We pretend to know things, we laugh at jokes we don’t get, we smile and nod when things don’t make sense or worse, they make us cringe. But inside, we feel like a frightened child fearful we’ll be shamed if we admit we don’t. Does this feel at all familiar?

I’m talking about myself here. And the many clients who’ve expressed this scenario to me in different ways. They want to have better communication with a loved one but are afraid of messing it up. They’d love to take a new direction in life or start a creative project but are afraid they don’t have what it takes. When I ask women what they want next in life their most frequent answer is, “I don’t know”. 

We can’t predict the future, but we sure can help shape it for ourselves if we dare to let go of the plan and trust ourselves.  The courage to be vulnerable and allow ourselves to take the first step towards what we most desire. To attempt, fail, and keep going. Instead of quitting, allow ourselves to see failure as one step closer to success and nothing more than that. 

Each one of us is an incarnation of the Divine, a unique and beautiful expression of Creative Intelligence. We have the power of the universe not just behind us but within us. Yet, we are often playing small and living timidly, afraid to venture too far from our plans lest we find ourselves lost. Or maybe we’re afraid we’ll find ourselves and feel lost from the crowd? Then what? 

We have our plans schedules and calendars that help us ‘predict’ how the day will go. We create the illusion of control so we look like we have it all together. No one does and we’re only fooling ourselves. When something goes off plan, it can feel that everything has gone wrong or life is against us. I no longer believe that’s true. 

Everything that happens in my life is happening for me and through me. Nothing has gone wrong. The plot twists are neither good nor bad, they are moments of redirection and opportunities for growth, and to allow greater possibilities to emerge.

Perhaps we don’t need a plan at all? Or maybe we all need A Fuck It All Plan (a favorite of mine)…where we imagine tossing everything out so we can see what’s truly in our heart and hear our own voice; our inner wise self. 

What if we lighten up on ourselves and see what happens? I mean, we’re not here in this life for very long. Doesn’t all this planning take a lot of time that we might use to enjoy other things? Imagine shifting that energy towards that passion project you’ve been putting off or the leap of faith you’re been wanting to make.

Perfectionism isn’t about perfection at all. It’s about control. Thinking we should know. Trying to control situations, people, and circumstances so it appears we know and know gives us a sense of belonging. But at what cost if we don’t belong to ourselves? If we never take steps towards what we would love, then what’s the point of being here?

Not knowing what’s next can be terrifying to the survival instinct in us. But stepping into the unknown is exactly why we’re here. For the adventure living, and that means not knowing what’s next. Trust ourselves to take the next step that feels inspired and aligned with our truest self and see what unfolds. To find out what we are truly capable of. 

I know we put a lot of attention on what we feel we have to do each day. But just for today, I’m, asking you to take a different approach. Ask yourself first, “Who do I want to be”? And then, be that version of yourself in everything you do and see what happens. Let your future self lead the way and shape the future you desire.

What if I fail? Oh but darling, what if you fly?

With love,

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