Sometimes Things Go Wrong, and that's OK.
Did you envision being in a certain place in your life by 25? Dream job, a direction? Or were you on the right path until things went south? Like every mammal in the world, we tend to fear when things go wrong, but why can't we just embrace it?
Why does it bother us so much?
As beings with emotion, it's only normal to be discouraged when things go wrong, and we've all been guilty of fixating on the future instead of solely being in the moment. An example of this would be 'Next week I have something great planned' or 'That won't happen to me', which psychologists call optimistic bias. It's a simple example that we all tend to manipulate in our everyday life, and it's not necessarily a bad thing to do. The ability to hope, dream and envision happiness is healthy and enables us to lead happy and successful lives. It only becomes a concern when our expectations prevent us from accommodating when things go wrong and this is real life, situations can naturally go wrong. Pair this with social media, and it creates false beliefs that we are unable to live up to, so when things don't go accordingly, we get disappointed.
What we tend to do
Naturally, when things go south, we feel anguish, and our self-esteem drops as our rational thoughts become clouded. Upon reflection, we begin questioning how different the situation might be in various scenarios, repeating a draining cycle of ifs and buts.
But how can we embrace the unexpected?
Don't take things personally
When something doesn't go in the way we imagine, it's easy to take it personally but some things that happen are just simply out of our control. If you have ever worked in a Chef's kitchen on a Friday night, you'll know that you cannot control the situation, but you can control how you react to it. I'm not telling you to ignore your feelings, but to recognise when it's not personal.
Failure is your success
It's disappointing to place consistent effort and worth into something that doesn't go as expected, but think about all the skills and knowledge that you've acquired through being on that journey. It's preparing you for your next opportunity, and I'm a firm believer that when one door closes, another door full of opportunities will open. Life is full of surprises, but it's how you manage those surprises that make you who you are. Have you ever wondered why employers beg the question, 'How do you handle failure?' It's because failure is a necessary component of personal growth. To achieve success, you must own your failures and struggles.
Know when to let go
It's easier said than done but disassociate yourself from replaying scenarios in your head and trying to re-do the past. Recognising when enough is enough will give you the strength to embrace future opportunities. It is admirable to want to achieve a goal, but it's important to accept your limits. Understand that the mishap will pass, nothing is ever temporary, but if you can't let go, you're only delaying yourself from finding solutions.