Should we have a Plan B BEFORE we Burnout?

how to avoid burnout Young woman with note HELP on forehead at workplace.

Burnout creeps up gradually and then one day you find yourself with no motivation, little inspiration, sleep deprived and living in a ‘foggy brain’.  This is not a great time to develop Plan B however so many people find themselves in this state and have to make a new plan.  However, if we are functioning well, life is great, we are enjoying the journey, it is always important to have a bit of a back up plan, be a little prepared for a curve ball coming, so we are not so rattled, so we can recognise some warning signs of burnout and can feel comfortable in the knowledge that we are self connected and have thought through your plans for our future – a way of future proofing yourself.

Today we interview author Shannah Kennedy. Her most recent book ‘Plan B’ is a helpful guide to navigating and embracing change.

How do you know when it’s time to enact plan B? Can you notice this prior to burn out?

Plan B can come both in expected and unexpected circumstances.  Sometimes we are blindsided (marriage failure, get retrenched, or a health diagnosis) or we choose it (step up and take a bigger job, choose to end a relationship etc).  In both instances we will grieve the past a little, need to heal or prepare, and then reset, refocus and restart with a new plan – plan B. Plan B is not just about burnout, it is about life events that influence us, change the course of our lives, or lift us to new levels.

It is scary making big change. How do you calculate risk? What do you prioritise in these decisions?

Change is inevitable. It happens every day. So learning to embrace it, lean into it and grow and evolve with it is a new superpower for our future. What if you allowed change to be an adventure rather than scary, you allowed it to be easy and effortless rather than daunting.  Change and how we view it is important, adopting a growth mindset rather than a fixed one helps us navigate the twists and turns in our life’s journey.  Plan B the book showcased the journey of change –

1. recognise and respond

2. restore and recover

3. redirect and reset

4. rejoice and radiate

Allowing Plan B to be just as good, or just different or even better than Plan A, is about the 4 stages and how you navigate them.

Shannah Kennedy Author of 'Plan B'

What do we do when unexpected changes happen and we don’t have a plan B?

The first thing to do is to stop – take the breath (recognise and respond) and accept the change.  Secondly is to heal, to restore and recover and then you can embrace making a new plan for yourself.  If you miss the first 2 steps you have a knee jerk reaction which often doesn’t work out too well.  So we need to allow some time to breathe.


Everyone experiences change. For some people it comes in small hiccups along the way and for others it is gut wrenching and paralysing.  But no matter the circumstance, we as human beings going through these four stages either consciously or subconsciously.

Losing a loved one cannot compare with a company restructure where you are put in a new role. Nor will it compare to leaving a marriage, or selling a home, or beating cancer. But funnily enough we all go through the process of acceptance, healing, regrouping and moving forward.  The degrees of feelings and emotions within these stages will vary on the circumstance.

plan B Shannah Kennedy

I hope this book will help you understand the pathway, the roadmap that life and emotions take you on when you find yourself in the face of a live event and you need to change, pivot, adapt and create a new plan.  Know that you are not alone and know that this book can be your guide for the remainder of your life.  No matter what stage you are in, it will give you some points to focus on to get you moving forward and out of your stuck state.

Plan B can be full of hidden gifts, treasures and incredible life experiences as too can Plan C and D.  Becoming aware of how to pivot and adapt your strategies, ways of thinking, being and living can now be your hidden super power.

May you shine bright, no matter where you are in life, and know that you are not alone. Be strong and be gentle – You’ve got this.

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