It’s painful not getting what you want. However what we want is not always necessarily what we need and when we look back we can see that it was a blessing. Admittedly when caught up in the maelstrom of angst and yearning for what you cannot have that can be nigh impossible to see, at the time. It’s only with the 20/20 vision of hindsight that we are able to rest in ‘I’m glad that didn’t work out’. With the beauty of time and space, in looking back we can see the positives in the reasons things did not go to plan. However if we cannot manage this then hopefully we can grow to feel more neutral and at peace because time brings acceptance.
Let it also be said, that hindsight, while it is enormously valuable, and builds your wisdom reserves like nothing else on earth, can also be a bit of a bitch.
Every single one of us can look back and see how we would have done some things differently. With the knowing of how choices have panned out we can see with stellar clarity where we would have made different decisions. The job you didn’t go for – that was actually your perfect role. The things you’d said in an argument – that you really wish you hadn’t. The money you excitedly poured into a business venture – that went nowhere. The true feelings you wish you’d expressed about something – that would have changed everything had you possessed the courage at the time! And so on.
This is generally not a problem, unless we say stuck in it. Dragging yourself over hot coals for not knowing then, what you do now is both punitive and unhelpful, and it’s worth remembering here that ‘we all do the best we can with the resources we have at the time’. Nonetheless when you are smack, bang in the centre of the pain of something not working out, as you had deeply desired it to, it’s completely natural to want hindsight to hurry the hell up.
What can we do to help ourselves here?
Remembering that what we want is not necessarily always what we need – what we take as rejection can actually be a form of protection. Often things do not work out for reasons we are thankful for further down our path.
Fast forward – When we are strung out not knowing what to do and which decision to make, I’ve found that one of the most effective tools is to imagine yourself as a 90 year old looking back at this moment. What decision would you wish that you had made? Go forward and look backward. You can also use this ‘fast-forward’ method if you’re struggling to leave a situation you’re unhappy in, be it a job or a relationship or needing the impetus to kick a toxic habit to the kerb, simply by asking yourself ‘what will this truly cost me if I stay / keep on with this?’
Trust yourself & life – Trust yourself to recover from disappointment no matter how poleaxing it’s been, as well as your ability to create and attract other financial, romantic and business opportunities. Trust in life that it will bring you more. One of the most amazing things about life is that there are always more opportunities.
Listen to yourself – if something doesn’t feel right it isn’t, and by listening to and acting on this from the beginning you can save yourself a whole lot of energy, time and heartache further down your path.
It’s no secret that the most successful people in life have failed numerous, numerous times before making it work. The thing here is they didn’t give up but they also didn’t lose the lesson that the perceived failure taught them. Things not working out, especially when it’s unexpected, can be painful and difficult to accept, but working through these tough times in life can usher in so much realisation. This sharpened self-realisation packs the power to make you stronger and more resilient in future situations. It can also make you far better equipped to navigate your future. By choosing to let go of the self-reproach but take the lessons and wisdom with you, what would have been the 20/20 vision of hindsight can often become the even more remarkable clarity of foresight instead.