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What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned

Misty Landscape

Much energy goes into planning our lives. We feel secure knowing our lives are mapped out and we are in control.

Then comes a setback: you get laid off, you lose a parent, someone you love leaves, or you suffer a breakdown. It shatters the illusion of control you have in an instant and reminds you of the impermanence of life. What do we do when life doesn’t go as planned and we lose our center? Here are eight tips I suggest to help you find your ground and move forward:

1. Self-Compassion

Give yourself unconditional love and empathy. Instead of criticizing and chastising yourself, reassure yourself that you are on your side and there for yourself. Amp up your self-care.

2. Accept What Is

Blame, regret, and resentment drain you and keep you stuck. When you accept what is, you stop fixing the past and focus your energy on growing the present.

3. Let Go

There is so much freedom in letting go. When you stop holding on to what could have been, you open up space in your heart to connect with your higher self. Life is speaking to you. When you let go, you often discover what matters to you most and what you are truly searching for.

4. Explore Your Options

The beauty of life often comes from its unpredictability. Think about all the unexpected treasures of life you have discovered and still cherish to this day. Open yourself up to the universe. Explore all the good things life has in store for you.

5. Inner Resource

In the face of obstacles, you realize the potentials and capabilities you didn’t know you had in you. Now is the time you allow your hidden gifts and talents to emerge.

6. Gratitude

When you feel everything is against you, name five things you are grateful for right now in your life. Here are mine: A fluffy bed to sleep in at night, my beloved cat, Momo, my sister who has the biggest heart, the soup simmering on my stove right now, and the birds singing outside my window.

Gratitude gets you out of a downward spiral. It reminds you that there are still good things in your life, even if it doesn’t go as planned.

A winter tree with 2 birds on it.

7. Bet on Yourself

Invest in your growth and healing. Attend to your emotional wounds and integrate your shadows. Do your inner work and build yourself up. The best bet you will ever make is betting on yourself. When you have you, you have everything.

8. Flow With Life

When we are rigid, we break easily. When we are flexible, we develop the resilience to work with whatever circumstance. Life is movement, and nothing stays the same. Flow with life and know you have the strength to meet whatever comes your way.

A Final Note

How do you know the life you have planned is really meant for you? How many times have you heard of stories of those who ventured out of their comfort zone only to discover their true passion? Those who deviated from their planned path only to come across the opportunity of a lifetime? And those who surrendered to their adversity only to experience the most significant transformation of their lives? We all have heard of such stories numerous times. Life is a wondrous mystery. When your life doesn’t go as planned, could it be that something more exciting is waiting for you?


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