When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left: Why You Shouldn’t Worry If Things Don’t Go As Planned
There are only two things in life that are certain: death and taxes. The rest is just a combination of luck, planning and hoping against all hope that things go as expected. Nothing is really within our control, and it’s tough to accept that.
Unexpected changes and situations arise no matter how sure you are of a scenario. They happen at work, at home, in your relationships, on vacation; pretty much anywhere, any time.
However, once you do fully embrace the unknowable nature of life, you can prepare for the worst, or if it’s already happened, follow these tips:
1) Stay open, stay flexible
The difference that staying open to uncertainty can make is remarkable. It’s the first step in dealing with a sudden change in plans. If your immediate response is to panic and shut down, you’re going to have a hard time coping with the situation.
2) Deal with change
Now that the worst has happened, how will you proceed? Are you going to let things take their course, or will you do something about it? Both are valid options when dealing with change. Sometimes one is better than the other, and that’s your call to make, but it’s only possible when you’ve checked off number one.
3) Ask for and take help
Even the best of us need help, and there’s no shame in asking for it. So what if you had everything planned down to a tee and it fell apart at the seams? The world didn’t end, right? So pick yourself up and take help from friends, colleagues and loved ones. And if they don’t offer, ask. You’re only human, after all.
4) Talk it out, but don’t linger or obsess
Like we said, you’re only human. It’s okay to be upset and discuss what happened; whether you got passed up for a promotion you thought was in the bag, had a really bad breakup or got rejected by your dream school. As a motivational speaker, Steve Rizzo often talks about personal anecdotes and shares stories about coming out of a rut.
5) Accept the situation
That peace we talked about, it comes when you truly accept a situation for what it is. Closure is a privilege that not a lot of people get to enjoy, unfortunately. Take your time, but when you’re ready, accept that this is how it is and stay optimistic.
Remember, change is an opportunity for growth! To finish off, here’s another favorite Rizzoism to give you food for thought: “Challenges and stress are part of life. As Frank Sinatra crooned, ’That’s life. That’s what all the people say. You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May.’ He also sang Doobie doobie doo, but the relevance of that lyric totally escapes me.”