I never imagined my life to be like this. I am 27 years old with a bunch of health issues. Unable to work, I moved out of the city to live back at home with my parents, who were able to help me psychically and financially. 

This is supposed to be our prime. The age where you have already worked the first few years at shitty jobs, climbing the corporate ladder or create a career path for yourself. The years were you finally get into that long term relationship that turns into a partnership for life. You hopefully pay of your student loans and have a bundle of $$$ invested into a retirement plan.  As well, you’ve been saving up for a new car, vacation fund, or house mortgage. 

You had it all planned out, only because these are the social milestones that most people hit. High school, college, building a career, meet the person of your dreams, marriage, home, family, etc. 

But for whatever reason, our life plans haven’t happened as we projected them. We hit a few bumps in the road and took a couple detours that were never on our bucket list. When we are thrown these curve balls, it can feel extremely frustrating, if not devastating. We have to take the time out of our planned lives to address the circumstances we didn’t plan for and sometimes it just feels like life is falling apart. 

When life gets you down, here is what to do when life plans go awry.

Trust the Universe

For some, hearing “Trust the Universe” sounds a bit hokey. I used to be right there with ya. If I had heard that in my younger years I would have scoffed and rolled my eyes. “Trust the universe. Ok… sure.”

Although I was raised catholic, for the longest time I didn’t believe in God or some higher power. During my teenage years I questioned life (which is a good thing; question dogmatic lessons and think independently), and deemed myself an Atheist. As time went on, I thought that I couldn’t possibly know if there was a higher power or God, so I then deemed myself Agnostic. I did not believe, nor disbelieve. 

After going through unexplainable life changes, I started going through a spiritual awakening. It’s hard dealing with unexpected events without thinking about why things happen. What is the greater meaning of it all?

With this awakening I found comfort in learning to trust the universe. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan for a reason unknown to us in the current moment. We are tested with adversities to prove our strength and determination and often time the challenges bring us down an unexpected path to something greater.

Now when I say: trust the universe, this could mean anything for you. Call it what you want; God, the cosmos, the divine, gut instinct. 

Trust that the universe has got your back. Understand that things happen for a reason, even the really hard and shitty things. Know that we get what we need, not what we want. And know what we seek will come at the right time. 

In the moment things may seem unfair, but when we look back and connect the dots, we can see how everything happened the way it was supposed to.

When we trust the universe, we can step back and take a deep breath. Go with the flow and when life plans go awry in the moment, just trust that better things lie ahead.  

Ask, What Lessons You Can Learn From This

You may catch yourself asking “Why me?” “Why now?” “What did I do to deserve such misfortune?

At first it is very natural to questions things this way, but what you should be asking yourself is “What is the lesson I’m supposed to learn from this?”
Perspective is everything. There is always a silver lining in everything if you chose to see it that way. Take yourself out of the victim mentality and become a victor.

Although things may be painful and challenging, they are there to teach us a life lesson. This is a great time to do some introspection. Often what we learn is where we have been lacking and what we have taken for granted. 
Through our challenges we learn how strong we are and what our true values are. Don’t let your challenges overcome you, learn from them.

Let Go Of Social Norms & Focus on Yourself

Societal norms are what give us the original outline for our life. There seems to be a universal guideline that people follow, and for some, they don’t think outside the box.  We get worried about what other people think when we are not living up to their expectations.

The best place to start is letting go of social norms and other people’s opinions. Unexpected life events happen and if we are worrying about what other people think of us, we are just going to be adding more stress to our lives.  

The only one who is living your life is you. Know that you can not control other people and even if you explain your good intentions, they may not always agree, sympathize, or understand your current life circumstances. Don’t feel frustrated if you feel people don’t agree with you. Naturally, this may frustrate you if you have not mastered the art of letting go. 

Whatever is going on in your life, put your focus on yourself. When you are taking care of yourself and your personal needs, you are not being selfish. In order to get where you need to go, you first need to meet your own needs. Do what is best for you when it comes to overcome your life challenges and let other people’s expectations fall to the wayside.

Detach From Outcomes

One of the hardest parts about life is our emotional attachment to things. What makes broken plans so much harder to deal with is our attachment to the outcome, especially when we don’t get our desired outcome. One thing that we must do to help us deal with derailed plans is learning to detach from outcomes. 

What do I mean by this? It is important to set goals and have some standards for what you want to receive from the future, but don’t always have your mind set on one idea. For instance, if you are single and hoping for a relationship you may have a met a particular person in mind.

You become attached to the outcome that this person could and may be your one. When you become attached to this idea, so much more suffering occurs when it doesn’t work out. Instead we much detach from the outcome and allow life to happen. 

It’s important to wish for the best, like having 5 year career plans or planning to live a long, healthy life. If it doesn’t happen the way you expected it to, it’s okay. You still learned valuable life lessons and there is something greater that is bound for you. Walk the path, but be flexible with the outcome.

Did you find “What To Do When Life Plans Go Awry” helpful? Share your experience below.

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