Life is Unpredictable —
“Life often doesn’t look the way you think it was supposed to look. You don’t land where you think you were going to land. And that is where the love in yourself, and that faith . . . that there is something greater than you that’s going to be with you, and if you love yourself and accept what is, doesn’t mean you agree with it. . . it’s just ‘Okay. Okay, I’m here.’ And then, instead of asking the questions that bring you more into the problem, and the ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me’ spin, which is a very natural default at first. . . we all go to that space when life ends up different than we thought. But to shift yourself purposefully, to know that your thoughts are critical to what you experience, and start asking yourself, ‘Okay, I see it. We’re here. What am I going to take from this? What is this situation trying to communicate to me? How can I grow?’” Tracy Litt-Lester, Certified Professional Coach & Master Practitioner of Energy Leadership.
Life Doesn’t Look Like I Thought it Would
I know that I’m not alone in this. In fact, there probably isn’t a person that is living that has always lived the exact version of their life that they had anticipated. If you’re anything like me, then you were probably surprised, or taken aback to realize that at some point things stopped going the way they were “supposed to”.
For me it’s happened a lot! Most recently was when I moved back to the US and decided to be self-employed. I never meant to move back to the US, and certainly not NYC of all places, but I met my partner and he lives here. To me, I was living my dream life in Spain, and now I’m in a city that is notoriously hard to make friends in and self-employed to boot.
Here’s the thing, when we find ourselves in a situation that is not everything we ever dreamed of, we have three choices:
Whatever happens, the choice is ours. We are the authors of our own stories, and not making a choice, staying stagnant… that’s a choice too. I, and only I, am in charge of my thoughts. In a world where we have very few choices that are ours and ours alone, our thoughts are where we have complete control.
You Choose Your Story
You get to choose your own story, so why not choose the versions that helps you move forward, not dwell on the past? Sure, of course you can dwell on what went wrong…… why did it go wrong? how did it go wrong? what could have been done differently, said differently????
This does not move your story forward.
This creates a situation where you are, at best, stagnate. At worst, it keep us living in a past that no longer exists. This is not a productive story. This is not a story that, when we are truly loving ourselves, we would tell ourselves to live. This is, as Tracy Litt-Lest says, is “bringing you more into the problem”.
There is nothing productive, or life affirming in this line of thought.
Instead, we should focus on intentionally asking different questions. We should purposefully pick our thoughts, with both love and intention, to focus on first, acknowledging we are in a spot that we hadn’t anticipated, planned for, or foreseen — maybe we don’t even desire to be where we are. Acknowledge. Move forward. Own it.
“What am I going to take from this?”
“What lessons have I learned?”
“What lessons should I be learning?”
Take advantage of this unexpected turn to document experiences you have lived before, and how have they shaped your future? Also, take time to consider how the current state of your life can help you grown into the person you were meant to be — which may not be the person you thought you were meant to be.
Let Go of Your Old Version of Your Life
As scary as it sounds, sometimes we will find ourselves so far afield from where we planned that there is no logical way back. First, it’s important to acknowledge that, at least for now, it is difficult to imagine a way to get back on that track that you thought was your destiny.
This has happened to me several times- I thought I’d be a professional musician, I thought I’d stay in Europe forever, I thought relationships would never end.
After realizing that some things aren’t meant to be, accept that life is funny and you have landed in a strange new world that you hadn’t anticipated… for me, that meant Brooklyn ;)
Finally, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make some time ach day to determine what your story will look like going forward. Visualize it, but don’t get attached.
Letting go of your old version of your life is critical to moving forward. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have abandoned your dreams entirely, it just means that you acknowledge, for now, that things have taken an unanticipated turn which require reevaluation. Don’t be afraid to pivot. To shift. To change.
Know that You are Fabulous and that You Will Rock This!
You may not be certain, today, where you will go next. But you do know that you are a competent, capable dreamer. Trust yourself enough to know that, with hard work and dedication, you will figure out where your path will lead you next.
Then start skipping down that yellow brick road in front of you! Make friends with people who don’t look like you! Anticipate and embrace adventure!. Sit with your fear, don’t leave it sitting alone across the table from you. You can — and will — rock this!
So long as you write that into your story.