What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go the Way You Wanted

Posted On Monday, 12 March 2018
What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go the Way You Wanted

Have you ever gotten your hopes so high that you can barely imagine things not working out? Then Murphy’s Law swoops in out of nowhere and blindsides you.

We’ve all been there. When things don’t go the way you want, it can be devastating. But what if it’s more than just one event that goes wrong? What if your entire life ends up off course?

Okay, let’s take a deep breath. We’ve got this.

Here are a few tips to help you feel better and get back on course.

1) Know you’re not alone.

Have you ever heard of the term “fail forward?” Of course you have because so many people have failed before you that this mantra is part of everyday life. And there’s also a lot of wisdom in these words.

Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star in 1919 because his editor said he lacked imagination. Getting fired is considered a failure to do your job, but we know this story turned out for the best. Imagine if he didn’t fail. Walt Disney may have just been another reporter for the rest of his life. And the world would be a little less magical for it.

2) Understand the difference between present and future.

Madonna used to work at Dunkin Donuts before she made it big. At one point in her life, that was her reality. It’s important to understand that your current reality is not your future. You may have to adjust your plans, but you can change course if you don’t like where you’re headed.

3) Pick up one healthy habit.

When you’re feeling down about your life, try something different. Adopt one healthy habit that you can feel good about. You may choose to drink a daily green smoothie or spend five minutes each morning meditating. Meditation heals the negative thought patterns we have running around our heads, so it’s a good choice to combat defeatist feelings.

4) Get out of your comfort zone.

If you feel like you're stuck in a rut, try doing something that makes you a little queasy. This can be anything as long as it's not detrimental to anyone's health. Some examples of getting out of your comfort zone include going on vacation by yourself (can even be an overnight stay), trying a new sport, joining a public speaking group, or even something as simple as going out to dinner on your own.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it’s a good kind of scary. You can overcome fears and get your blood pumping. Things like these can help us gain a new perspective on life.

5) Regroup and re-plan.

Sometimes, it’s best to step away from your problems for a short time until you can clear your head. You may not make the best decisions when you’re feeling stressed, so try not to be hasty. Go out and do something fun that will take your mind off of things. Then, when you can look at everything with fresh eyes, brainstorm some new ideas. Can you still meet your goals despite the setback? Or do you have entirely new goals in mind? Now is the perfect time to build a life you can be proud to call your own.

When life doesn't go the way you wanted, think of it as an opportunity to rewrite your story. Starting from this moment, where do you want to go? Start taking steps towards a new goal, and you'll soon forget the woes that have you feeling down today.

Have you ever had to start over from scratch? Where did the experience take you?

Trevor McDonald

Trevor McDonald is a freelance writer and recovering addict and alcoholic who has been clean and sober for over five years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.


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