5 years ago
How To Stay Positive When Things Aren’t Going As Planned
It’s easy to feel down when you’re not exactly where you think you should be. Ending a relationship, not being where you imagined in your career, and not checking certain travel destinations off a list can leave you feeling like you’ve failed in one way or another. And social media has a way of magnifying how awful you think things are by seeing how perfect you think everyone else has. I want to talk about how to stay positive when things aren’t going as planned.
How To Stay Positive When Life Isn’t What You Planned
I’ve been there. It’s not my first time sharing this story, but for those of you who are new here or need a refresher, at 27 I was 8 years into a toxic and very dead-end relationship with an awful guy. I was designing blogs out of a bedroom at my mom’s house and found myself in a friendship, career, and general life rut. I became really depressed and retreated from everything.
At 28, I moved to Chicago – a city where I didn’t know anyone – and one year later I was single for the first time in my adult life. A few months later, I started working on the launch of The Everygirl – a website people thought exploded overnight (it did grow quickly) but we worked away unpaid for a year with full-time jobs on the side. I had my ups and downs over the next few years and still do, but I was the happiest I had ever been when I met Conor. He didn’t complete me because I didn’t need him to.
If you’re struggling with where you are right now, it’s time to reevaluate your goals and realize that it’s ok to be where you are – even if it’s not where you thought you should be.
Think about what’s going well
When it feels like things are falling apart in one area of our lives, it’s so easy to focus on where you’re stuck instead of what’s going right. I’m single. I don’t make enough money.
Most recently for me, I found myself fixating on the fact that I wouldn’t have family at my wedding and couldn’t stop thinking about how sad I might be. I’m 35 and still learning. Rather than pine over the negative (something I am painfully good at) try thinking about what’s going right. Do you have an amazing family? Great friends? Are things improving at work? Focus on the good and do things that make you happy.
If you’re feeling stuck, take a class, say yes to new plans (this was a big one for me), go on a road trip, or consider moving to a new area in town or a new city.
Moving from LA to Chicago was the start of a completely new life for me and opened so many doors. A new job or new part of town could do the same. You just have to get out there and try something new.
Remember that change takes time
Just because things aren’t exactly how you think they should be now doesn’t mean they won’t get a lot better. Just 5 years ago, my first paycheck from The Everygirl was $1000. I was stressed about money. And I still worry about the future because who doesn’t – but it’s now my full-time job. I also got married about 7 years later than I thought I should but it all worked out in the end.
Things will get better
When I was struggling in my 20s, I felt like I didn’t have any support. I hoped that one day, I’d use what I went through to help someone else. I didn’t know when or how, and I’ve gotten to be a part of something so much bigger via my blog and of course, The Everygirl. Had life not felt so messy, I may have never left LA for Chicago. And I never would have launched The Everygirl, met some of my closest friends, and eventually, my husband.
Do things that make you happy
Surround yourself with great people. Make your favorite dinner, watch your happy place movie (hey Nancy Meyers). Sometimes, I’d eat a mini Trader Joe’s ice cream cone in bed in the morning because I could. Corny? Probably. But it made me happy.