I realize that the majority of my articles have been about creating the life you want, but the reality is sometimes you don’t get exactly what you want and things just don’t work out. The question then is: what happens when things don’t work out?
This answer is simplistic, but the actual practice is difficult. You simply must move on. From experience I know that is a lot harder than it sounds. At some point in our lives, we create a blueprint of what our lives should look like. When I was a young girl, I dreamt that I would grow up to be a “business woman”, with four children and I would be married by the time I was twenty-one. Well all of that didn’t exactly work out that way. I certainly was not married when I was twenty-one and when I got to university, I was so challenged with the math, I couldn’t complete the Co-ordinated Business Administration Programme, and I most definitely did not have four children. By the time I was twenty-five, I realized that I didn’t have any of the things I had always wanted and I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life. I had eventually changed my major to psychology by default (it was the best grade I got in my first year). It took me years to finish my degree because life got in the way, and I still didn’t have any marriage prospects on the horizon.
In fact looking back I realize just how lost I was. I hung on to that feeling for many years. Even after meeting my husband and having two (not four, thank goodness) beautiful children and opening my first business (which failed miserably). I am very lucky that somehow I have been created with a great deal of resiliency and I can move whichever way the wind blows if I need to, this has allowed me to push through even when there are pot holes and bumps in the road!
In 2007, I finally realized what I needed to do get over the fact that I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was 38 at the time. Yes, I guess I was a little slow on the uptake, but trust me when I say, I was dealing with a lot of stuff until then. Back to what I said earlier, you have to move on! Many of us stay stuck in what should be instead of what is and we have difficulty manoeuvring through obstacles that come up. Sometimes we are the obstacle and sometimes there are other circumstances that force us to change direction.
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, whose life is in a little bit of uncertainty right now. Her job will be ending in a few months, she is currently separated and she is just feeling in a bit of a slump. As we were talking and I was trying to provide different possibilities, which may mean taking a step back in her life (like giving up her rental, moving back home and even taking a job that may not be exactly what she wanted). She said to me: “there is no way I’m starting again; I’ve worked too hard to get to where I am right now”. Honestly, this type of thinking is exactly what will get you nowhere! If you are so tied to what the picture should look like, you are setting yourself up for some level of disappointment. Who’s to say that if she didn’t take a couple of steps back that the trajectory of her life would change completely?
One of my other friends did the exact opposite! She moved back to Canada a few years ago after living in the USA for about fourteen years. She had worked hard, had many not so glamorous jobs, but managed to work her way up to becoming a bank manager. This was a dream of hers for years, even before she left to go to the States. When she came back, she didn’t even have a place of her own to live. She, along with her two daughters had to live with her aunt. Now, what you don’t know is that she had a sweet life back in the States: her own house with a beautiful backyard, built in pool, nice cushy job. Back in Canada, living with her aunt and no job, she just trudged on! She managed to get a job in a bank, but now she was a teller again, not a bank manager. Through hard work and a change in mindset, she worked her way back to being a bank manager, bought a nice house and continues to grow. But imagine if she had the mindset of my other friend? Where would she be now? If she had been tied to the notion that things have to work and be a certain way because of the blueprint she had originally created, I am sure she wouldn’t have the life she now has.
When things don’t work out, you have to let go of the picture in your mind and create a new one OR create a new map to get to where you want to go! Life isn’t easy and most of the time, doesn’t go according to plan. Don’t give up, you’re not alone all you have to do is paint a different picture!
It is my honour to serve you! God Bless!