Updated: Nov 23, 2022
From time to time, things do not turn out the way we want them to. In spite of all our planning and hard work, sometimes the result is quite different than we expected or hoped it would be.
When that happens, we are often disappointed and discouraged. We are convinced that we did something wrong, that we should have gone about it differently. Or we put the blame on someone else or claim circumstances were much harder than promised or estimated.
Sometimes we feel like we are the only ones these things “happen to” and we say things like: “I am always the unlucky one” and “Why does this only happen to me?” We feel resistance or anger and try to hold on to the plans we made and the life we want to lead. We resist our disappointing and frustrating reality and take out our negative feelings on ourselves or others.
There is something we can do to make it easier to deal with disappointment, and that is to go with the flow of life. Some people think this means we should only be doing things that are fun, or that we should passively let circumstances direct our lives. We have certain ideas about how we should live, what our life should look like and how to make that happen. Surrendering to the flow of life is scary, because the outcome is uncertain.
For me, going with the flow means not resisting what comes your way and not trying to manipulate and control everything. Going with the flow requires self-awareness, attention and being present in the moment. Here is what you can do to be more in the flow.
Breathe and feel
Breathing consciously and calmly helps to quiet your mind and your body, and releases tension and resistance. Acknowledge your feelings. There is no shame in being angry or sad. (Read more about this in my blog on feelings.)
Take a good look at yourself. Why are you feeling resistance and rejection to reality? Maybe you expect too much of yourself. What can you learn from this experience?
With acceptance I don't mean giving up and calling it quits! Accept what you cannot change and try to find other options and alternatives. You may find there is an opportunity that you did not see before.
Let go of your expectations and thoughts about yourself and your life. Have a closer look at what life brings you.
It is helpful to know that there is very little we can do to control circumstances. And that you cannot change other people. What we can change is our own behaviour and our own way of thinking about people and situations.
I would love to hear your reaction on this topic. For example, what does going with the flow mean to you? Do you find it difficult to accept and let go of things?
Would you like to live in the moment a little more, instead of worrying about what has been or what the future may bring?
If you would like to talk about yourself and your life, and about what you would like to change, I invite you to book a free coaching conversation with me.
You can find more information here.