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Does having a plan B stop you from succeeding?

Posted 1341 Days Ago in: Coaching Articles


Richard Branson and J K Rowling didn't have a plan B- for them, achieving their goal was the only option. How much is having your plan B stopping you from succeeding? It may be time to banish it!

“But if all else fails, there’s always plan B.”

Have you ever had a plan B? Have you ever considered that having a stand-by plan could be holding you back from achieving your plan A, that’s the one that really matters?

Here’s how banishing your Plan B will help you to achieve your goal when success is the only option, and how coaching can help guide you there.

  • You’ll have greater determination and resilience

When J K Rowling set out to write the first book in the Harry Potter series, you could say that the odds were against her. She had just gone through a divorce after starting a family in Portugal. Forced to move back to England and relying on state benefits, she became clinically depressed. Writing had always been an important goal for her from a young age, and so, it was in this time, looking after her daughter as a single mother, that she finished the first book of what is now one of the most famous book series in the world.

Without a fall back plan, there’s no other choice but to succeed. Barriers then have to be overcome- when the going gets tough, you won’t have any option but to see it through, and so will more likely achieve success. Your plan B gives you a safety net.

How can coaching help?

The role of the coach is to help people to discover which goal is important to them, and exactly how much that means to them. In fact, when coaches use the GROW model in their sessions, this can often be the very first part of the session. Knowing the importance of your goal can be empowering, and can be the driving force you need to jump every obstacle.

  • You can improve your confidence in achieving your goal

The way that you talk about your goal can affect your determination, approach and confidence to achieve it. By repeatedly telling other people as well as yourself that you have a plan B, you may be programming your mind to doubt your possibility for success. This in turn can contribute to the development of limiting beliefs, which will often hold you back.

How can coaching help?

A coach can challenge any limiting beliefs that you may have, and will give you the space to work reflect on whether having a plan B is practical, or a support for your own self-doubt.

  • You’ll be more creative with your options

“Obstacles and challenges are healthy for everyone… They force you to think outside the box, so to speak—to be creative”-

Richard Branson Richard Branson is now a multi-billionaire, and the challenges that he faced are perhaps well known. He didn’t succeed at school, and struggled with writing and numbers due to his Dyslexia. Thanks to those challenges and a combined determination to start a business, he was forced to stretch his mind and find alternative solutions.

To this day, Branson attributes his success to rely less on the numbers, relying more on his gut instinct and delegation and people skills.

Any goal needs a plan- a way forward. A crucial part of that planning is to find different options that can get you from where you are now to success. If success seems impossible, having a plan B will allow you to stop asking yourself: “what else can you do?”

How can coaching help?

Coaching is all about exploring options. A coach will provide their client with the right environment for them to be creative, and will push them to think of a variety of options and solutions to their goal.

Gale Sayers , the successful American Footballer said: “If you want to make it bad enough, no matter how bad it is, you can make it”



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