How to Enjoy Your Life Even When It Doesn’t Go to Plan
Sometimes our life plans can be so rigid that when things don’t go to plan we feel lost. We might end up down a path that was completely out of our choice, and feel an element of resentment or failure because of it. It might not be what we wanted, or even what we knew we wanted. But that element of resistance we often feel when our plans are changed is what makes us feel stuck in our lives and lacking control.
But we’re never really in control despite sometimes temporarily feeling like we are, and change is inevitable. Although easier said than done, there are ways that we can remain positive even when we’re dealt an unexpected hand.
Remove your expectations
There are paths we didn’t even realise we wanted to take and maybe wouldn’t have done so given the choice. But sometimes when we expect life to be so fixed one way, we forget to stop and notice the beauty that comes with going another way instead. Our rigidness is what can make it so painful and unbearable when things don’t work out how we expected them to. But when we remove any expectations, we open ourselves up to the process, trust in the journey and give up the need to be in control.
Be open to new discoveries
Most of us are so fixed in our life plans. We determine how many children we want, where we’ll live and by what age we want to reach certain milestones. Then life happens and sometimes it completely throws that plan out the window. But from that, we’re forced to actually stop and consider whether it was what we truly wanted in the first place. When the unexpected happens, allow yourself to discover a new way of living. It’s your chance to be courageous and find out who you really are.
Enjoy new experiences
The best thing about life not going to plan is the new experiences you can face because of it. Similarly to discovering what you truly want, when things don’t go according to plan we have a chance to try new things. Remain open to fully living your life, regardless of what it throws at you. The unknown can be equally as exciting as the fear you might be attaching to it.
Accept where you are
Maybe your life didn’t go as planned and it’s left you with a whole host of emotions such as anger, confusion and hurt. Your feelings of grief for the life you expected and fear about the one you’ll now live is justified and normal. But accepting your situation and seeing the opportunities because of it is the fastest way to move forwards with a positive attitude.
Trust in your journey
Letting go of the need to be in control can be really challenging and uncomfortable for a lot of us. But as difficult as it may be to acknowledge that life can have a different plan, remind yourself of the reality that sometimes things just don’t turn out the way we hope they will. Although we can’t choose the events we face, we can always choose how we react to them. Go with the flow and trust that you will handle whatever life throws at you. If helpful, remember a previous scenario where things didn’t go to plan. Take a minute to note down the opportunities and positives you faced in spite of it. Maybe you notice that although life took you in a different direction, there were beautiful surprises on the path you ended up on instead.
Whatever happens, it’s not your fault
Whatever happens in your life, know that it’s not your fault. Life is simply a series of different paths we take that lead us in different directions. And sometimes that path is chosen for us. But none of them are wrong. Each one simply leads to a different experience and a unique opportunity to learn about ourselves and our lives. Enjoy where you are and trust in where you’re going.