I can live with uncertainty: the universe has a plan for me

** Disclaimer: The content in this post is based on my experiences which have shaped my beliefs. There may be experiences and/or visuals I share that may be triggering to some readers. Reader discretion is advised. **

Imagine this: It’s a Monday morning. You’ve been waiting all week for this day. You grab your laptop, log in to your work portal, and hover over the little icon on the top left corner that says “Job Applications.” You feel your heart start to race, your breathing rate increases, and you can hear your heart pounding in your head like a drum, this is it. Your palms are shaky and warm with sweat as you click on the icon. You close your eyes, take a deep breath, and exhale as you open them again, staring at the job status screen before you. You’ve just applied to your dream job this week, which you’ve wanted all your life. You couldn’t imagine yourself doing any other type of job, this job was meant for you. Except for the fact that you see a letter in your inbox, and as you open it, you read “Unfortunately you were not a successful candidate at this time.” Your heart sinks, you feel heavy and it gets difficult to breathe. This is the job you’ve always wanted; the job you’ve worked so hard to get. That same job you thought was meant for you, has now been added to the long list of job rejections you’ve received this week. You start to wonder “Why me? Why does this always happen to me? Am I doing something wrong?” You spiral into this mentality of self-blame when in reality this is something you cannot control. 

When something in your life has not worked in your favor, how many times have you told yourself: Is it me? Am I doing something wrong? When something does not work out for us in our lives, human nature makes it easy for us to take some of that blame, even when it may not always be the case. A job rejection comes your way? “Maybe I did something wrong.” Someone you’re seeing decides to end things with you? “Maybe I didn’t put in enough time or effort to make things work.” I used to think like this all of the time too. And it used to haunt me. Self-blame is so easy to do but so damaging to yourself at the same time. You forget your worth, your value, your self-love, and your standards because you keep taking away from these things by finding faults and deficiencies in yourself. And how is that fair to you? 

Stressed Woman Covering her Face with her Hands
Photo by Anna Shvets

Now I’m not saying that you should never blame yourself for anything. There are times introspection and owning mistakes you’ve made help you grow and develop as a person. Self-reflection is a significant part of self-growth. But, when you start blaming yourself or looking for faults in yourself over things you can’t control in your life, you start to devalue yourself. This is not self-reflection, but rather self-destruction

When we talk about not having control over parts of our life, I believe it goes hand in hand with the uncertainty of different aspects of our life. How many times in your life have you felt uncomfortable with the idea of uncertainty, not only in your career but in other aspects of your life as well, be it your health, your relationships, or your friendships? Uncertainty is inevitable in any and every part of our life. The problem is that many of us tend to feel uneasy with it because it’s not something we have any control over. And when we tend to lose control over something, we tend to get anxious, spiral, and feel like everything is shattering or crumbling before us. It takes over your mood, your thoughts, and your mentality. So, you sit in a lot of self-blame because that’s all that you feel you can control. 

I’ve struggled with the idea of uncertainty in many parts of my life, my career, my relationships, my friendships, and my health. It has caused me a lot of stress, it has made me sick, and it has made me feel helpless at times as well. But, not anymore. So, I’ll let you in on a little secret that’s helped me live a little more comfortably with uncertainty. That secret is acceptance. Acceptance in the idea that the universe has a plan for me, and I will reach my goals. It might not be the most obvious or easiest path to get there, but I will get there. And if I don’t even after multiple attempts, that’s also okay because that just means that that was never a path meant for me. I believe I have the free will to make my own decisions, set my own goals, and work towards my own future. But at the same time, the universe has a plan for me too. Sometimes this plan can be in the form of lessons, experiences, and heartbreaks, and I have to trust that it’s what is meant for me at the end of the day. 

Now you might think this is way too philosophical or spiritual in my way of thinking. But, I have had instances where I really wanted something and it did not work out for me, and it crushed me. In some way or form, this opened up other opportunities for me which allowed me to travel down a different path or learn something new about myself.

A good example is when I was in university and I had to take a calculus course, except that I was terrible at calculus. I failed the midterm – the first time I’ve ever failed at anything. And this meant that the final was going to be 85% of my final grade. This haunted me, and it made me anxious about failing the final and eventually the course. My perfectionist self at the time, could not allow me to do that. So I worked my butt off, stayed up late at night, and did constant calculus problems till 3-4 am at times. I was so stressed out leading to the final and was even stressed about neglecting my other courses at the time to study for calculus as well. When the time came to write the exam, I did it but the stress and anxiety leading up to that day was the worst I’ve ever experienced. After writing the exam, I noticed mini red spots on my arms that appeared to be itchy.

Later on that night, I developed hives, had to go to the hospital and get treated for a stress-induced allergic reaction. I didn’t even know that was possible, but it happened to me. I stressed so much over failing the midterm that I spiraled into self-blame that I was not good enough. And I got so scared of something I had limited control over that I made myself physically sick. This was not okay. I’m not saying that my studying didn’t pay off in the end, I did pass the course. But was it worth putting myself through all that anxiety that I became physically sick? Would it have been better to try my best, study as much as I could, and accept the part I could not control? To even have more faith in myself and my abilities than self-blame for not being good enough? That day changed my outlook on exams, stress, and school. I learned to accept that whatever is meant to happen will happen and try my best to control the parts of my life that I can control without worrying about the factors I cannot control. 

Now, I’m sure you’re wondering why I think the universe has a plan for us if I believe we have the free will to make decisions in our lives. Well, let’s talk about the common saying “Why does this keep happening to me?” that we all use one too many times. I came home one day after one too many failed dates and I said the exact same line to my friend. Her response stuck with me and reinforced the idea of the universe’s plan for me. She said “Do you notice how all of the situations you’re placed in are so similar to one another and they always have the same outcome? Well, that’s because you’re not learning. The universe is trying to teach you something and you’re not learning its lesson so it keeps putting you in these situations to give you that opportunity to learn and grow, and it won’t stop until you succeed.” This conversation made me think back to all my failed dates and realize that I kept falling back into the same patterns with every one of them and I needed to learn to accept that those situations were not meant for me and move on, just like I needed to learn to accept that certain jobs I wanted weren’t meant for me and certain friendships weren’t meant for me either. And move on. 

If that door was never meant for you, it will always remain shut, no matter how hard you try to enter or how many different routes you take to get there. But there’s always another door open for you, and that one will get you to where you need to be; where you belong. This way of thinking may not work for everyone but I do find it tends to ease my anxiety when I’m in situations where I feel like I have lost control or I am uncertain of the outcome. I still try my best and work towards my goals every single day, but I also accept that I’ve done the most that I can do and the rest is out of my control. I carry that acceptance at the very end of my pursuits.

Uncertainty also opens up opportunities for us to explore areas of our lives that we never thought possible. It can open up the door to opportunities that we never thought we had access to. Living in uncertainty does not have to be a bad thing and accepting it also allows us to comfortably live in that uncertainty and accept the opportunities it presents to us. A TED talk by Patrick Mayne, describes his journey in life living with uncertainty and how he embraces it to take advantage of the opportunities it presents to him.

You see, acceptance of your current situation, regardless of the uncertainties, the negatives, the downfalls, the lack of control of it, and finding positives to look forward to when moving on creates a sense of peace within you. A sense of peace that makes life more enjoyable, that creates stillness in the chaos. That sense of peace is invaluable and makes you enjoy the rollercoaster of life, the ups and even the lows of it. It takes away that sense of fear, and anxiety and unravels the knots in your chest when something doesn’t work out or go your way. It creates a sense of comfort and teaches you to enjoy every moment of your life because it’s your life to live. 

So next time you feel nervous or scared, insecure or anxious over uncertainty or a situation you cannot control, remind yourself that what’s meant for you will be there for you. Trust in the universe’s plan for you and accept the outcome, be it good or bad. You have control over your emotions, your reactions, your sense of yourself. Don’t let fear or the feeling of a lack of control take that away from you. 

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*Disclaimer: All of the information, opinions, and views provided in this post are based on my personal experiences. Reader’s discretion is advised related to any of the views presented.



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One Comment

  1. As someone who’s struggling with uncertainty and a heightened insecurity on certain aspects, I’d definitely say that parts of this really resonated with me. Keep writing 🙂

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