How To Enjoy Your Life Even When Everything's Going Wrong

Life has a funny way of working out OK.

Last updated on Jan 11, 2024

Man looking in mirror at himself, reflecting Stockbusters | Canva

We believe by a certain age, we will be stable and accomplished. We grow up thinking there will be a line in the sand where we are successfully adulting.

And then we reach that age and don't feel successful. We wonder how we ended up where we did. We blame others, or wrong turns out of our control. Maybe a partner left, someone lost a job, or our health slipped away.

Sometimes, we mess up, and sometimes, we get messed up. There is no way to escape loss, heartache, and vulnerability.


Yet, we can embrace where we are in life even if we wish things were different.

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Here's how to enjoy your life even when everything's going wrong.

1. Stop giving your power away.

You are not a victim.

You are not destined to be unhappy. You are perfectly able to achieve your goals. Most people’s goals are wildly achievable. The problem comes when we give away our power to being overwhelmed, to blame, to excuses, to outdated stories we keep telling ourselves.

We get stuck.

Do you believe happiness is meant for others but not you? Do you believe you are unlucky in love? Do you believe you aren’t able to make money? Do you believe people aren’t to be trusted? Do you believe if you missed one opportunity, there won’t be any more? Do you believe you are unsuccessful if you haven’t ticked certain achievements off your list?


Hold onto your power. Harness your energy. Live deliberately. Make conscious choices that bring you closer to your goals.

2. Learn to accept what is.

When we spend too much time-fighting reality, we make ourselves miserable.

Reality will always win. Wasting time wondering what "should" have happened will only make you feel powerless.


It is better to admit what is reality and take steps toward a better future. For instance, instead of obsessing because your boss should treat you better, you could accept that your boss does not value you, you could stop wishing the problem away and decide what action you need to take to change your situation. Perhaps you speak up. Perhaps you get a resume together.

Wishing your partner didn’t leave you doesn’t change the fact that your partner left. Accepting the reality that you are alone gives you the energy to focus on the choices you need to make that can support your mind, body, and spirit as you heal.

Wishing you were further along in pursuit of a career, family, and killer vacations will only bring you stress. Focus instead on the reality you’d like to take planned and deliberate steps to lead you closer to your dreams.

Stop "should"ing yourself. Minimize the oozing of energy.


Accept reality, and then create a plan that best moves you through your reality in the most efficient way possible.

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3. Accept there is no perfect time in life.

Life is never perfect, and expecting that life will somehow align for you one day if you work hard enough or please enough people will leave you resentful.

Even our most precious moments can be tinged with sadness or pain. The promotion you worked so hard to get alienates you from your co-workers. Your wedding day makes you miss friends who cannot be in attendance. The birth of your child makes you long for a lost parent.


Every moment in time is precious. If we live fully, even the most joyful moments can come with a touch of sadness. That isn’t depressing or unfortunate. That is beautiful. It means you’ve invested in yourself along the way. Celebrate your wins.

If you wait to celebrate your victories until the moon and the stars align for everything you’ve ever dreamed of falls into place, you will be waiting a long time. Train yourself to recognize and celebrate small accomplishments. Celebrating smaller markers or goals doesn’t nullify your grand plan. It means you are healthy enough to celebrate the long and winding road to success.

Success doesn’t come overnight. It isn’t a cakewalk. Why not have some fun along the way? Why not acknowledge that your work has paid off and you are on the right path?

confidently happy woman


Photo via Getty

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4. Embrace your path.

Your small victories minimize the stress of achieving your goals.

It takes the edge off. It brings you into the present. It keeps you from placing too much emphasis on the future. You’ll be more fun if you see your hard work pay off step by step. You’ll enjoy your journey more often. You’ll lighten up.

Accept that you are the only one who can make you happy. Being happy wherever you are means choosing what you put your time and attention on.

When you find yourself in a heap of worry, anxiety, and self-doubt, it is easy to forget that happiness is a choice. Choosing to see only where life is hammering you down is a choice. Choosing to see the beauty through the muck is a choice.


Even on the worst days, there is something to be grateful for. Focus on your blessings, the things that make you happiest, the joys in life, or even basic modern conveniences that allow you to live from a place of celebration and acceptance rather than rejection and lack.

You are the only one who can change your life. You are the only one who can choose to be defeated by resentment, blame, and anger. Embracing the place you are in now means setting down some of the struggles to see the good all around you.

Every day, we are bombarded by our expectations and those of other people. It is easy to believe that life will be perfect one day if you work hard enough to know the right people or find the magic elixir to cure what ails you, whether it be money, love, or adventure. The truth is every day has elements of perfection in its way if we choose to see them.

At the very least, most of us woke up to clear, running water. Most of us have people who love us. Often, the sun shines, and occasionally, we find a parking spot in the perfect location.


Beating yourself up for not being farther along is a choice that rarely inspires one to take action. It usually perpetuates feeling "less than." Embracing where you are on your journey is a choice. Accepting reality is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Action is a choice.



5. You are exactly where you need to be right now.

Embrace it.

Do you wish things were different? Accept your reality and make conscious decisions to further your goals. Consistent, deliberate decision-making that favors your goals is a good path forward.


Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And it has a funny way of working out.

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T-Ann Pierce is a transformational life coach who helps empower parents to create healthy relationships with their children.