I have never failed a class, an exam, a course. I completed five years of a university degree that wasn’t quite the right fit because simply couldn’t quit. (I wouldn’t give up that time for anything of course; those years brought me my best friend Casey, and all the good things that have blossomed out of that friendship.)
This semester I took on a business subject in the course of my master’s degree. I thought it would be a good challenge, a way to stretch my neurons out of their comfort zone, and experience the growth that comes from such a venture. We are supposed to challenge ourselves in order to change we are told.
But sometimes a challenge isn’t right; sometimes we try to force ourselves outside our comfort zone and the challenge isn’t something that will help us grow, it just brings around frustration, stress, and unnecessary pain. I wasn’t quite sure when I first signed up for this class. I was already undecided when I walked into the first class, but I decided to stick it out because I’d made a commitment and cracked open the text book. Week after week my uncertainty grew; the course didn’t seem to be adding anything to the direction I want to take my career in.
Today I sat down to work on an assignment, and I realised that this class wasn’t making me happy (not just the assignment either). Believe me, I know that not all university classes are roses, sunshine, and lollipops – this isn’t my first rodeo after all. I took up my post-graduate studies as a way to extend my career, to move into a different sphere adjacent to my current position, to charge of my life again, and -most importantly – to make myself happy.
Another path is open to me, and withdrawing from this subject would mean I could pursue this path in the next semester of university. Quitting is not something that comes easily to me, and I am brilliant at the ‘self-shame guilt game’. I need to learn that when my Plan A fails there is no shame in taking Plan B, because sometimes Plan B is the right way to go.
So, dear reader, when have you tried Plan A, then had to move onto Plan B? Or Plan C/D/E/F?
How do you cope with moving on from a challenge, or leaving Plan A behind?