5 Surprising Signs Life Is Unfolding Better Than Expected

IMAGE: EVERYDAYFEMINISM.COM

The other day I had to pinch myself.

I was in New York for a wedding, on my way to have lunch in downtown Brooklyn. The weather was gorgeous. Temperatures in the high seventies. Low humidity. No sight of rain. A perfect trip on the perfect day. Feeling the energy of the city, I had to stop for a quick mental pause.

Was this day really happening?

A year ago, this trip was out of the realm of possibility for me. Traveling to New York was once something I did every other month. I hated my job and made up for it by having way too much fun. This changed when I no longer could stand the stress from a job going nowhere. So, I quit without a plan B.

Sometimes, when we step out in faith, the fall is much harder than we ever imagined.

I am the poster child for what not to do when starting a business. I left my comfortable corporate gig to become a Wellness Coach. Let’s just say the first few years of becoming a solopreneur are the opposite of having fun and being comfortable.

Crashing and burning is sometimes the only option we have to grow.

Fear, doubt, and struggle were the new normal. I work tirelessly to find my voice and create my brand. Endless hours networking, building trust, creating a platform, and learning my craft. Then, there’s the administrative work. The work you avoid, so you can “work on your business.”

Everything you do is working on the business.

Outsourcing is a luxury you rarely have. The work is grinding and exhausting, but you push through. You figure it out as you go and nothing goes as planned. There’s always more money going out than coming in. You scratch and scrape just to see another day.

I wouldn’t trade the madness for anything in the world.

I get the opportunity to be in my “happy place” every day. Cooking healthy food, creating healthy habits, and championing better health is my happy place. It’s what brings me pure joy. My happy place is worth the sacrifice, the pain, and hard work.

We are so focused on what isn’t happening in our lives we miss what is always unfolding around us.

I used to think things never worked out for me. I worked hard for a coveted promotion, only never to get the opportunity to be considered. I wanted to travel more, constantly imagining exotic locales. I wished for a better financial situation. The crushing weight of my debt became unbearable.

We never get what we need, only what we ask for.

I stopped waiting for someone else to promote me, and I promoted myself. Today, I travel more than I ever have. I’m living debt free and carefree. Things unfolded not as I imagined but as they were meant to be. Everything is always working out for us. All we have to do is let go, have faith, and appreciate that life is unfolding better than we ever could imagine.

“In the midst of change, we often discover wings we never knew we had.” — Ekaterina Walter

People avoid struggle.

They think struggle is a sign of weakness or being on the wrong path. Struggle makes us who we are. We find courage we never knew we had, strength we never knew existed, and wings we never knew were possible.

This newfound courage gives us the strength to persevere and triumph. The stronger version of you feels super human. Each time you spread your wings, you experience new levels of success and happiness.

When we love the struggle, we accept and love all things.

We appreciate the good by what we learn during struggle. Struggle lets us know we’re active participants in our lives. When we actively participate, we’re more aware. Awareness is the how we’re able to see all the good in our lives.

“Two rules to follow: 1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. 2) It’s all small stuff.” — Robert S. Eliot

Worry, doubt, and fear are sometimes worn like a badge of honor. I worried about not having enough money. I constantly doubted myself. Will someone figure out I’m a fraud? Imposter syndrome always rears its ugly head. We fear for the worst in just about every situation.

When we live our lives from a place of lack, it all seems significant.

Not having enough money and self-doubt are sources of unnecessary stress we create for ourselves. I always have more than enough money. What I do and how well I do it resonates with people. There are significant moments we experience life. Saying I do. The birth of a child. Losing a parent. Everything else is the small stuff.

When we start from a place of abundance, we see things for what they really are, fleeting moments of pure clarity, joy, and love.

Life unfolds at warp speed. We’re too busy worrying about the small stuff, so we miss the true moments. The moments that make us smile and acknowledge our blessings. The only way to experience life is to catch and cherish these moments.

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

In our twenties, we all picture what our lives will look like in ten or twenty years. For me, I pictured kids, a husband, a mortgage, and a corner office. While I briefly had a corner office, nothing else worked out as planned.

Today, I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.

I fall deeper and deeper in love with my significant other every time we see each other. I wake up feeling blessed and go to bed fulfilled. I’ve learned you make the home, not the other way around. Although I miss my corner office, I don’t miss the person I became to get there.

Our lives unfold in direct proportion to our courage.

I stepped out in faith a few years ago, and my life is so much better than I ever imagined. I no longer obsess about money. I’m surrounded by love and support. I’m doing what I love and making the world a better place. My life is not as I imagined; it is spectacularly better. Letting go of how we think our life should be clears the way for how our lives can be.

“Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.” — Anonymous

Happiness is an inside job, not an external event.

We go through life outsourcing our happiness. I’ll be happy when I make more money. Why can’t I find someone to make me happy? My life will be better when I get the perfect job, marry the perfect spouse, or buy the perfect car.

Happiness isn’t dependent on what happens in the future; it’s a function of what happens in the present moment.

True happiness can only be experienced in the present moment. When we’re fully aware of who we are and why we’re here, we realize there is always a reason to be happy. Happiness is a choice we get to choose every moment in every day.

The more we experience happiness, the more we are given things to be happy for.

We are worthy of great things. When we choose happiness, we choose to accept all the great things life gives us. We were not born to live a life deprived of the things we want most. We are here to live a life full of the things that bring us the most joy.

“The surest way to lose your self-worth is by trying to find it through the eyes of others.” — Rumi

We typically equate our worth with the validation of others.

I spent years seeking acceptance and approval from everyone except myself. I waited on others to validate my worthiness of being a great leader. I watched as others were promoted, found true love, and bought nice things. Always thinking, why not me?

I accepted everyone’s success except my own.

The only acceptance that matters is when we accept ourselves. We must accept who we are in all our flaws, chaos, and craziness. Our imperfections make us unique. Nobody is perfect. We are all perfectly imperfect. We are the sum of our quirky, geeky, lovable parts.

Knowing your worth is the holy grail to living a rich and full life.

It’s what separates the doers from the dreamers. The moment you know your worth is the moment you know life is meant to be lived. Living life on your terms is the majestic sign life is good, better than good. It’s when you realize you’re doing exactly what you were meant to do.

This is when you know, without a doubt, life is unfolding much better than expected.

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Robin A Henderson

I write about inclusive storytelling in Hollywood and diverse representation in wellness.