What To Do When Things Just Don’t Work Out

I think we all know what often happens to our best laid plans.  Sometimes things just don’t work out how we’d hoped.

Whether it’s  a relationship turning south, a class needing to be retaken, a job not offered or any other wide variety of stumbling blocks, one thing is for certain-

Set backs are challenging.

This week I’m relearning what to do when Plan A goes astray.

Since it’s Thanksgiving break I had a lot of plans.  I was excited to work on various projects, get a lot of homework done (okay, not so excited about that…) and catch up on a lot of the work I’d fallen behind in.

Then I got sick.  Bummer.

So instead of being productive, I’ve been a lethargic boogery mess.  I’ve been about as useful as a Slim Fast on Thanksgiving.  It’s been really hard not to be frustrated, but a little thought keeps crossing my mind-

Just be patient.

Preach My Gospel (a resource for missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has one of my all-time favorite definitions of patience.

“Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious.”

Ay, there’s the rub.  The ability to endure set backs WITHOUT becoming a sour mess.  Easier said than done.

So how do you do this?  I have a simple strategy-

Find the beauty in Plan B.

Instead of achieving tons of awesome things on my to-do list, I’m taking it easy.  I’m enjoying hanging out more with my kids.  I’m finding ways to recenter myself.  I’m playing Cut the Rope and I’m rocking it.  Heck, I may even read a good book.

There will soon come a time when I can accomplish the things I so desperately want to accomplish, but right now, it’s just not going to work out.  And maybe, just maybe that’s okay.

It’s okay if we don’t always get what we want, right when we want it.  Or at all for that matter.

If you just let go of your expectations, Plan B can be pretty sweet too.


What do you do when things don’t work out the way you’d hoped?   


8 thoughts on “What To Do When Things Just Don’t Work Out

    1. Alex Barlow Post author

      Yeah I gotta say, I’m really grateful for many failed plan A’s. God usually just has something better in store than what we think. Thanks for the comment!

  1. Brittney Pasquale

    Thank you so much for this post, and many of your others as well. Words of encouragement and direction. You’re a great example and I love your blog!


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