Saying “I just want my life to get back to what it used to be” is a sure fire way to feel like you are failing. We can think about how great things were and drive ourselves crazy with “If only I had…” But, the thought of what our life could have looked like distracts us from thoughts about what our life can look like moving forward. We grow up dreaming and designing our Plan A life and then, after tragedy strikes, we feel as if we are stuck living the rest of our lives in Plan B. We look around at our friend’s and coworker’s lives and find ourselves growing jealous that they have the nice house, the helpful spouse, the promotion, the hot date, the new baby. But, there is a secret.
Plan A doesn’t exist. For anyone. No one. Nada.
That cute couple that has been together since high school? Nope.
The guy who always seems to have the ear of your boss? No.
The mom who always brings the perfect cupcakes? Not her either.
People are much better at presenting that Plan A is in action rather than actually feeling as if they are living in Plan A. While their social media account may present the perfect life, each and every human’s brain is designed to look for the bad in something. It is literally a survival strategy that keeps us alive. In his wonderful book, Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, author Rick Hanson describes a beautiful island with blue skies, crystal waters, luscious fruit, vibrant flowers and a crocodile. If you are staring at this island, what will you turn your attention toward? The crocodile, of course. Why? So it doesn’t kill you! We are wired to look for danger so we can stay alive. But, we apply the same concept to non-life threatening associations. We are wired to focus our attention on what is wrong with our lives rather than focusing on what is right or what could be right as we move into our next best life. The people you are jealous of who are still living in some version of Plan A are plagued with the same brain we all have. They, too, are picking apart their own Plan A’s and probably consider themselves to be in some version of Plan B even if it does not look like that from the outside. No one gets the perfect Plan A. We are just not wired for it.
You may be reading this right now and feel as if everyone around you, or at least everyone on Instagram, is living their version of Plan A and you have somehow drawn the short end of the stick. I get it. I shed many tears over this idea myself. I hated the concept of Plan B. Living in Plan B meant I was always reminiscing about Plan A. If I couldn’t have Plan A then I felt like I was living a “less than” life. Years of schooling preconditions you to know that you are the best if you get an A and anything other than an A is code for “Not as good as if you had the A.” So, eventually, I had to throw out the idea of Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D… and I learned to embrace the idea of Life 2.0.
The official definition of 2.0 is used to denote a superior or more advanced version of an original concept, product, service, etc. So, I deemed myself Sarah 2.0. Sarah 2.0 knew new ways of communicating. Sarah 2.0 knew how to be brave in situations that Sarah 1.0 would have buckled under. Sarah 2.0 understood pain and so she was much kinder about other people’s pain than Sarah 1.0 would have ever been. Sarah 2.0 knew how to make her way in the world in a way Sarah 1.0 never did. Sarah 2.0 could think outside of the box. Sarah 2.0 took risks, fought for a new life, and refused to take the easy way out. Sarah 2.0 walked into situations where she was set up to fail and didn’t. Sarah 2.0 could do hard things, really hard things.
Why live in Plan B when you can live life in 2.0? Are there going to be things you miss about Life 1.0? Sure, but think about the people you really admire in life? Do you admire them because they had the perfect Plan A and everything worked out for them? Or, do you admire them because they refused to be stuck in a Life of Plan B and instead used their tragedies to transform themselves into a 2.0 kind of life?
A Life 2.0 is a badge of honor. It is where the heroes live. It isn’t some Plan B version of your original life – it is a new and improved version of the life you have been called to live. This is your new best option. Yes, I know you are sad and angry about your tragedy, and yes, I understand. I was sad and angry as well. Grieving is the right thing, however, being stuck in your grief is not. Move on. Move forward. Refuse to settle for Plan B. Design Life 2.0.
Bounce Back Better
Who is someone you admire living in Life 2.0? What are 3 specific qualities you admire?
What are three specific things you admire about yourself as you live out your own personal Life 2.0?
Ex. I have learned I am stronger than I ever imagined. I have learned I didn’t need the things I thought I needed to get through life. I have learned to be grateful for good times.
Bounce Back Better!
Of course I want free tips to Bounce Back Better! I'm ready to turn my tragedy into triumph!