What to do when things don’t go as you planned

Listen on:

It’s so annoyed and frustrated when thing don’t go according to plan or when you feel like it’s out of your control.

  • You come home from a work trip and the house is trashed
  • You tell your  manager you need to talk with them and they cancel your 1:1 last minute
  • You get alignment on a project and then leadership contradicts themselves
  • You tell your employee how to do something and they still screw it up
  • You’re expected to do more than is possible in a day

When it seems like things are totally out of your control, it get so frustrated which makes it even worse because now you’re frustrated AND annoyed.

This is why we go out for happy hour and complain over IM with friends at work. We are annoyed and feel justified in it and know how to get backup to support how we are feeling. I love happy hour, but have you ever noticed that you don’t really feel better after complain about it?

So, what should you do when you feel stuck in this virtual cycle of needing to eat donuts all day to feel better?

There is one simple and powerful question that helps you get out of frustration and starts you moving forward. Ask NOW WHAT. Crap happened, now what am I going to do?

The house is a mess, NOW WHAT? You can get mad and passive aggressively clean up the mess (read as throw crap around) or talk with your partner to understand what happened and figure out a plan to get it clean it up.

Your manager canceled my 1:1, NOW WHAT? You can complain to everyone and bad mouth them for always canceling or you can schedule time with your skip level or a different manager to get some help.

Leadership is contradicting themselves, NOW WHAT? You can point it out to them and spend time arguing or you can get scrappy and find more data to help frame the discussion and move forward based on that data.

You get my point. You can spend time continuing to validate your frustration, but there’s not upside to that.

Next time you feel frustrated and annoyed ask yourself NOW WHAT and get moving. Life happens. Now what.

Chat soon,


P.S. Did you know I offer a free online confidence course? Get instant access to it HERE.

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Hey, I’m Lindsay Lyman

I spent the last ~12 years growing my career at Amazon. I’ve built teams, launched new products, and created my own jobs. As a certified coach, I teach people how to manage the noise in their head to feel motivated and valued at work again.

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