About today’s title, I’ve often pondered on it. Like, does one always need a plan B? You know, like not putting all your eggs in one basket just incase of incasity. (Please don’t look up that word in the dictionary. It doesn’t exist. Lol). Some researchers and human psychologists say having a plan B makes you not to be very committed to your original plan to see it through so there’s this bit of hesitancy just because there’s another plan. We all know the importance of commitment in anything we do.
On the other hand, another group suggests that having a plan B is like having a contingency plan. Because sometimes life doesn’t always happen as planned. With a plan B, you have something to fall to when the unforeseen and uncontrollable force happens. This is equally logically right too I must say. However, to weigh in on this properly, Let me highlight some pros and cons of having a plan B so you can answer the title question yourself as we discuss further in the comments.
PROS of having a plan B:
- It gives you alternatives:
By having a plan B, you have another option or options as the case may be. There’s something to hold on to, should your plan A not work. Take for example, a worker who devotes all his time at work. It is true most jobs give security but not all and not always. It is therefore somewhat necessary to hone a skill by the side should there be need to take it up anytime.
- It encourages diversity:
With a plan B, you don’t feel limited or stuck within a peripheral. You’re likely to be a lateral thinker with the ability to adapt in variety of situations. Your mind will be stimulated from life outside the box and you’re not overly consumed from plan A.
It gives you confidence:
Having a plan B gives you some kind of reassurance/confidence that you will be able to move forward even if your initial goal didn’t work. For example, if you planned to study medicine and you didn’t make the cut-off mark your college requires for admission, you can at least take up nursing or pharmacy, since they’re all in the medicine/biological sciences. You can always adapt/re-route with a plan B.
Ok, So Let’s look at some of the CONS of having a plan B:
Even though most of us would agree to having a back-up plan as events never always happen as expected, and therefore it becomes necessary to prepare for contingencies, However, new research shows that having a plan B might hurt your chances of success. How? you may probably be wondering. Let me highlight some:
- You see, life isn’t a dress-rehearsal. Planning for failure gives you permission to fail. You believe whatever you tell yourself about the universe and your potentials. And so you have to remind yourself that you CAN and you WILL succeed. No settling, no limiting beliefs, no mediocre talks. What plan B does is de–motivate you. You become short-charged of all the energy, commitment and focus you need to make your primary goal work. A successful outcome occurs when you plan for success. Like the military would say, “No retreat, no surrender”. You only have to move forward. We need to focus on getting things right instead of sabotaging the outcome and decreasing our interest by having another plan.
- You might say, being too sure of yourself can jinx things. But what does being too biased about achieving your primary goal or even having another plan do? You guessed right. Plan A is your passion. All you’ve wanted. And so you should invest a lot of emotions and energy to it to make it work no matter what. If you liked plan B so much, why is it in second place? The danger of plan B is having an unenthusiastic work ethic. Now, who wants to work this way? Nah I bet you don’t. When you know you have a contingency plan, your subconscious tends to dictate how much effort you put into your initial plan and this tends to lead to failure.
- Having a plan B makes you accept failure/rejection easily just because you know you have something else to work on. The thing is, life is going to throw you a lot of lemons. Your ideas might be rejected and you may momentarily fail as you work on achieving that primary goal of yours. Should you throw that idea away and begin to work on another just because of rejection? I don’t think so. But you can improve and modify your ideas and put all your attention into nurturing it to success. That’s all you wanted and you can give it your ALL to make it work. With a single plan, you have a lot of hard work to do, a lot of things (skills) to learn, personal/professional plus a lot of hurdles to cross.
If you have a plan B, you might as well have a plan C and D and E, even a K. A plan B is the Opt-out plan when plan A seems too difficult. As humans that we are, we often like to follow the path of least resistance so most likely, we end up in planB because it seems a lot easier than PlanA.
Some may argue that having a plan B is right just so one can have an escape route from an awful situation if need be and I think it’s okay. It’s a safety-net. (Because we fear failure). But the fear of failure should push one to go all out or go home. To also play to win.
But There’s so much uncertainty in life. Life doesn’t always go as planned. Therefore, we should prepare for the unknown, and come up with creative solutions and be able to adapt, should there be unforeseen occurrences.
Now this is where I pass you the mic. Do you really need a plan B? What are your thoughts?