5 Things to Remember When Life is NOT Going Your Way

“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~ Dalai-Lama

How do you respond when it seems life is going against you? Do you get angry, depressed, or feel life isn’t fair? Well, if you chose the latter, you are correct—life ISN’T fair!

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when you find yourself in turbulent or stressful times.

1.  You cannot control anything other than yourself.

When you find yourself in times of trouble, the Serenity Prayer is most helpful. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to accept the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Acceptance plays a crucial part here. You may not like the situation you are currently in, but accepting it makes it a little easier to go through.

Knowing you’re where you’re supposed to be—whether it’s to learn a lesson or humble your ego—causes you to pause and reflect on the situation in which you find yourself.

2. Don’t get emotionally attached to your desires.

When one door closes, another one opens. If you attach yourself to a desired outcome, you can become bitter and resentful when it doesn’t happen. There’s no point in hanging onto what could’ve been.

With an open heart and mind, you can genuinely allow new and different experiences into your life.  You never know, it could be a wonderful stroke of luck!

3. If you want to change something, start by changing yourself.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~ Rumi

If you want to change your outcomes, you must first change what you are doing, and that includes changing yourself. Keep in mind the saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” 

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

4. Be gentle and kind to yourself.

Whether you think the reason why life’s not going your way is your fault or not, you must be kind to yourself. When you find that you’re beating yourself up, put down the baseball bat and pick up a feather!

Creating a life of purpose doesn’t always come easily, but it must come from a place of love. Loving yourself first leads to actions that come from the heart where you see clearly, feel strong, and know you make good choices.

5. This too shall pass.

By learning to embrace the impermanence of things you can become more resilient when you encounter unpleasant experiences. When you let go of judging the situations you find yourself in—disappointing, resentful, sad—you will realize everything in life is temporary.

When you say these words to yourself, you also learn to accept, and not to resist, whatever you may be facing in life.

At a deeper level, if you can realize that life is impermanent, the better off you will be. Letting go of the struggle to control the outcome and allowing it to happen—just as it is—makes life easier.

So the next time things don’t go your way, remind yourself of these things and “this too shall pass.” Use it as a mantra. You will find your circumstances, or at least parts of them, will change fairly quickly.





12-Step Principles 

Step One: Acceptance

In our journey through life, we all encounter moments when we need to mend the fabric of our existence. For me, alcohol wasn’t the root issue; it was merely a symptom. The true challenge lay within – a spiritual bankruptcy that needed addressing. It’s not just those battling addiction who require upliftment; everyone benefits from support at some point.

The divine inspiration of the 12 steps channeled through Bill W. and Dr. Bob provides a transformative path when followed sequentially. Each step aligns with a fundamental principle crucial to its effectiveness.

At the forefront is the principle of acceptance. Acknowledge your powerlessness over people, places, things, and situations. Embrace the idea that everything unfolds for a purpose, and true happiness lies in relinquishing expectations and the need to understand every twist of fate.

Consider these common scenarios in life:

  • Have you been betrayed by a spouse or significant other?
  • Are you misunderstood for something you did or said?
  • Have you lost someone close to you that you loved?
  • Were you ever unfairly terminated or fired from a job?
  • Have you gone through a bitter break-up or divorce?
  • Have you been falsely accused of something you didn’t do?

These experiences are part of life’s tapestry; while you may encounter one or more, acceptance is the key. You don’t have to like the situation, but accepting it paves the way for a smoother journey.

Take the loss of a loved one, for instance. Constantly dwelling on the unfulfilled future and seeking answers to unanswerable questions disrupts your peace. The real challenge is accepting change, not the loss itself.

Remember, You cannot change anything but yourself.

Acceptance is the first gift bestowed upon those committed to healing. It marks the beginning of your life’s transformative journey.

As a poignant reminder, here is the Acceptance Prayer from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (p. 417):



And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed,
It is because I find some person, place, thing, situation —
Some fact of my life — unacceptable to me,
And I can find no serenity until I accept
That person, place, thing, or situation
As being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.
Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;
Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms,
I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much
On what needs to be changed in the world
As on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”

Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition p. 417 

Are you having trouble accepting things in your life?

Schedule a complimentary Discovery call now to learn the steps to accepting whatever comes your way.


** Updated February 21, 2024