How To Be at Peace When Things Don’t Turn Out as Expected

Share on:


Change can be hard, especially when things don’t turn out as expected. Have you ever planned something, and it didn’t turn out as you wanted? This can lead to feelings of frustration and disappointment. And when the change is unwanted, it can leave you feeling devastated.

Whenever your expectations don’t meet reality, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is just different. A simple example is when you go out to dinner and order your favorite entree just to be told they are out of it. You feel unhappy, maybe even upset in the moment, but you order something else. And when the new dish arrives and you find out you like this one too. But of course, it can go the other way and that’s when you become disappointed.

“When you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.” — Ryan Reynolds

Disappointment can be a good thing if it motivates us to change our direction and create something better, such as when we need to rework a story. Yes, revisions are frustrating, but when they are done, we see the piece has more clarity, better flow, and overall improvement.

Conscious Chaos

When we stress or worry about change, peace can seem unattainable. The mind goes in different directions, and if it doesn’t slow down, it can feel like a train wreck is happening inside our heads. These “thought trains” go off the tracks and create what I call Conscious Chaos. We are consciously thinking, but we seem to have no control over the direction of our thoughts. Nothing makes sense, and it is hard to make even a simple decision, like what to make for dinner. This is a state of utter confusion.

But there are ways to slow down the train. First, is to take deep breaths to quiet the mind and calm breathing. As you inhale, breathe in peace, and then let go your stress on the exhale. Do this a few times to lower your worry and take you out of fight-or-flight mode. Second, if you can’t change the situation, accept it. You can’t physically move a traffic jam or wishing it was Friday when it’s Monday. Don’t fight it; just allow it to happen. Third, change your focus. Stop thinking about the situation and do something different, like listen to upbeat music or go for a walk to take your mind off the situation. Where attention flows, energy goes, so focus well.

“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” — Michael J. Fox

When we redirect our attention, we can decrease anxious thoughts. Beneficial choices do not appear in a chaotic mind. Decreasing stress helps more favorable resolutions to enter our awareness. Find a technique that works for you, so the next time you enter Conscious Chaos, you can slow the thought train down before it derails. It is easier to find peace when you are still on the track versus falling off it. Or at least you can diminish the stress, even in the most crazy times.

Accept What Is When Things Don’t Turn Out as Expected

Accepting what is can be challenging. How many small, daily annoyances, like a long line at the drive-thru window, do we resist instead of accept? We get stressed or anxious that the line is not moving. If we have to be somewhere, we worry we’ll be late. We can quickly jump to a worse-case scenario that we will be stuck. This negativity leads us to ruminating over and over about the situation, which only creates more anxiety. It also prevents us from seeing any other options or opportunities, like finishing an audio book or listening to our favorite band. When things don’t turn out as expected, we should try to accept what is.

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell

When change happens or things don’t go as planned, it’s important to accept it and make peace when things don’t turn out as expected. Some things are just not in our control and wishing things were different doesn’t change the situation. It just creates unnecessary stress and strain.

But acceptance helps us to lessen our tension and allows for peace to enter. We might not want the situation, but at least we are not fighting it. Accepting what we cannot control can bring us into a calmer state and a better mindset. Not everything in life will go as we have planned. When we can go with the flow and accept change, instead of resisting it, we create more contentment and inner peace.

Change Can Bring New Opportunities

Change, even unwanted change, can benefit us in the long run. I know people who have lost their jobs or relationships only to find a better fit for them. Change can bring in new opportunities when we are open to other possibilities. Improvement does not come without some type of change.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” — Winston Churchill

And not all change is bad. Some change is good, such as having a baby or getting married. Even though these events are wanted, we still have to adapt to our new circumstances. Ask any new parent how their life has changed, especially their sleep. Life might not be what it once was before, and that’s okay. Maybe it’s better.

Be open to change and accept what is instead of how you thought things should be. Make peace with things don’t turn out as expected. We spend a lot of time worrying about things we cannot change or control. You can’t change what has already happened, but you can change how you view it. Next time you get frustrated over change, try to change your focus to something more beneficial. The view is much better here!

For more on change, take a look here –

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Wake Up Your Inbox

Receive my weekly newsletter

Elevate your week and sign up to receive success strategies, confidence boosts, heartfelt conversations, and the motivation you need to build a better day. Want in?

Privacy Policy Agreement(Required)

Get your free Ebook here!

Positive statements to help you have a better day!