We’ve all experienced moments in our life when we hear ourselves say “YES” to a job, person, or situation we know deep in our heart isn’t right for us. And still, we do it. As soon as “yes” leaves our lips somewhere in us, we hear a voice that screams “NO! Don’t do it!” but somehow another part of us kicks in and our mind overrules the wisdom of our body, and we find ourselves on a path we never intended.
Sometimes these wrong turns can be detrimental to our wellbeing. They cause stress and put us in danger of losing ourselves indefinitely. Other times we immediately realize our “yes” has led to an “o-oh” and we decide right then and there to go back to the beginning and start again.
Either way, when you find yourself in a sticky situation, only you have the power to declare you took a wrong turn, and only you can decide when it’s time to get back on track. These tips may help.
Be honest with yourself. Admit, as quickly as possible, you made a choice that led you down the wrong path. Nothing will change until you personally acknowledge the decision you made isn’t working for you. The sooner, the better. Be willing to take 100% responsibility for the choices you make for your life.
Plan an exit strategy. Once you’ve admitted to yourself you’re on the wrong path, decide how you’re going to get back on track. In some situations, it may be necessary for you to stop what you’re doing immediately. Most of the time, a fast exit may lead to even more stress and poor decision-making. Take the time you need to get very clear on what it is you do want and get back on track one step at a time.
Be gentle with yourself. Beating yourself up will only damage your self-esteem. Realize everyone takes wrong turns — even the most successful individuals take several wrong turns before getting it right. Remember, life is ten percent how we make it and ninety percent how we take it.
Look for the lesson. There are no mistakes and there’s always a lesson to be learned — and even a blessing. What did taking a wrong turn teach you about yourself? Do you need to listen to your gut more and others less? Do you need to finally listen to your heart and follow its calling? Do you need to value yourself more? Do you need to redefine what success means to you?
Do better next time. Life is full of second chances. Be willing to take them! Let go of the past and commit to doing whatever it takes to get back on the right track. The wisdom you’ve gained from taking a wrong turn will help you do better next time.
There’s only one way to live life on your right track. Listen to your heart. It holds the secret to your happiness and the key to your success.