It can be hard to bounce back when we are stuck in a rut. The more helpless we feel, the more we are prone to daydreaming and believing in wishful thinking – they seem like the easiest way out.
The problem is: The situation in which we feel trapped does not change – it is pure escapism and a safe haven from our fears.
It is nice to believe that by wishing for the universe to help us we could change our life for the better without having to face the unknown.
At some point, we have to decide to go for it, no matter what, and get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
In the end, it boils down to the question: Do we want to live our dreams or dream our life?
So in case you feel tempted to try wishing for the universe to help you, here are the six things wishful thinking gurus won’t tell you:
1) No Pain, No Gain
Whatever we strive for, we have to work for it. It doesn’t matter if we want a new job, need a new place to live or would like to become more confident, it is always a piece of work – and without it we would not be able to make any progress.
Progress is based on experience – and what we learn from it. Maybe that’s why life’s greatest gifts tend to come wrapped up in problems: When we face roadblocks we can start to rise above ourselves.
Face what makes you uncomfortable, push your limits - and enjoy your success after having driven along a rocky road.
2) There Will Be Setbacks
Defeat and failure are steady companions in life. We might not get what we want and have to look for other options.
The universe is not against us if things don’t turn out the way we expect them to. It is just part of being fearless and exposing ourselves to life’s challenges – sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail.
The most important thing is to carry on and not to put fate or ourselves into question when times are getting rough.
Setbacks are a natural process, and neither do they define us nor the rest of our life, so it does not make sense to bury our heads in the sand and hope for better times.
The more we understand that we hold the key to a full life in our own hands, the less we are going to be rattled by setbacks.
3) Trust in Your Abilities
We are only able to take the necessary steps if we believe that we have what it takes to break new ground; so what matters is that we make as many positive experiences as possible.
By sitting home and wishing for the best, we are not able to strengthen our self-confidence; to the contrary: disappointment is imminent.
Recall difficult situations you have managed to overcome before. Think of your past successes. What did you do extremely well, and what positive feedback did you receive?
It will help you navigate through the rough patches and show you how strong you are.
Everyone succumbs to wishful thinking and daydreaming once in a while, and it is legitimate as long as we don’t rely on it to solve our problems.
Make your dreams and wishes your compass in life – and consider your skills and abilities as the best means to get there.
4) Have Dreams, But Stay Realistic
It is possible to live our dreams, but it is also necessary to take a realistic approach. We are and become what we think, but we will not become rich, successful or confident, just because we wish for it to happen.
Wishing does not give us control about anything. We might just feel good in the very moment we imagine ourselves living a certain lifestyle, however, it is just in our mind and not real.
A dream remains a dream unless we start to take action. Instead of dreaming of the outcome, visualize how you get there and how you are going to overcome any difficulties. This will make for a pragmatic approach and less likely result in disappointment.
Break down your dreams into approachable goals to pave the way for future success. Try to reach the next level by doing what is possible for you now with the given resources.
Seek for support when you struggle, and don’t give up when you run into obstacles.
5) Prepare for a Detour
You should not give up, just because your plans do not work out the way you imagined them to. Instant success is rather unusual. Most people need several attempts – that’s how they learn what to do better next time.
It might get difficult to get to where we want, but there is more than just one way to find success and happiness. We have to rely on our creativity and fearlessness to find a solution that works – and not wish for happy coincidences.
Try again – or try another way.
6) Adjust Your Plans if Necessary
If you cannot get there by all means, check if this still is what you want or if it makes sense to hold on it. Sometimes, we change plans while we are underway because the first destination doesn’t seem that tempting anymore at all.
Clinging to plans that don’t fit our current circumstances anymore can deter us from identifying viable alternatives.
So don’t be disappointed. No experience is for nothing. Either you know what does not work for you or you find something that resonates more with you than your initial plans.
After all, you know the saying “the journey is the reward”. Take it for what it is: progress.
Once we accept that life means embracing changes we have abundant opportunities ahead of us – at any stage of life.
(Image Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock)
What’s your opinion? Do you believe wishful thinking can work?