I thought I loved planning. But it was all a lie!

I’ve done a lot of planning and I think I’m pretty good at all sorts of planning shenanigans. From road trips across foreign lands and island-hopping holidays to secret birthday parties and complex international product launches.

In corporate I used to do high level business planing all the time. As a business coach and consultant people have hired me just to do their business planning. This usually meant doing the business or marketing plan for their management team, or the banks and investors.

Earlier this year I did loads of business planning for my own business as part of my discussions and negotiations with potential investors.

So yes me and planning are old buds.  Well, I thought we were, but apparently not.

If I loved planning, why was I doing this?

I’d recently become aware that the plans I’d been making for my own business.. well I noticed that I wasn’t sticking to them.

I’d spend time creating and refining them. And then ignore them.

What on earth was that about?

Plans are great. I KNOW how important they can be. What was I playing at?

But this was Miss Sensible speaking. Little Miss Rebel had other ideas and it seems she’d been winning.

  • What was my problem with planning?
  • Why was I not sticking to my own plans?

I wanted to, because other wise why would I go to the trouble of creating them.

There was a conflict somewhere and I needed to get to the bottom of it.

I was conflicted about planning

Now that I had this awareness I knew that I needed to clear my head trash around planning stuff.

So I cracked on with my clearance. And as always happens when I do Head Trash Clearance, I started getting clarity and things started making sense to me.

Then I got the ahaa moment …. and it made me laugh out loud!

There was part of me that hates plans because they’re telling me what to do.
And I have a real big issue with being told what to do!

Especially by me it seems!

What kind of crazy self sabotage is that?

Conflicts sabotage your efforts

Conflicts like this are very common and they are a huge cause of self-sabotage.

You can like something, or want more of it in your life and, at the same time there’s a part of you that doesn’t want it.

The thing is, we’re not always aware of this conflict. But, until we can resolve it, we’re not going to be able to fully do the thing we want, or get the thing we want more of. This is because there’s always going to be a part of us that is blocking us.

For me, this meant that I could crack on with creating the plans, but I couldn’t follow through on them because on some level I was resisting the plans.

The Clearance process enabled me to get the insight as to WHY there was a part of me that didn’t like planning. Once I could untie these two aspects, I would be free to fully embrace planning in all its glory… should I so wish!

So my next obvious clearance would be to clear ‘being told what to do’. Once that clearance is done the conflict that is in play around planning would be resolved.

How else does ‘planning’ head trash show up?

When I shared my planning clearance on Facebook, one of my friends, Mel, shared how she felt about planning:

“I love making plans, as I am a saddo who actually can’t function unless I am telling myself what to do. I looooong to be a spontaneous rebel to my own routine and structure, like you. However I fear imploding if I do not do as I have planned. I am so organised to the umpteenth degree that I panic if I am not following my plan, in case I forget to do something crucial and it comes back to bite me.”

Mel too has planning head trash, but it’s showing up very differently to mine.

She loves routine and structure, but also hates it and wants to rebel it, so there’s a conflict. I suspect there’s a need to be in control, which routine and structure provide. For Mel, it’s the possibility of things being out of control or chaotic (a fear) that is driving her need to plan.

For Mel to be free of her planning head trash, as well as ‘planning’, she would need to clear things like

  • control, and being out of control
  • being organised, and being disorganised
  • routine
  • structure

The thing about our head trash is that it’s all tangled up. Things are connected to each other to create head trash knots. For us to get rid of the knot, we have to identify all the strands and clear them one by one. And before you know, it the knot is gone.

How do you feel about planning?

We’ve all got different stuff going on, so your if you’ve planning head trash, then it’s probably going to be a bit different. But hopefully by seeing how I’ve dissected mine and Mel’s you can try and figure out what’s going on for you.

If I were to draw a list of usual suspects for useful and related clearances, it would include things like this:

  • being prepared
  • knowing what to do
  • having no idea what to do / being clueless

Once you’ve identified your own list, then just clear it using the Head Trash Clearance method which you can find in my book Clear Your Head Trash.

Alexia Leachman
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