Navigating through life’s Detours

Remember a time when you were heading on a trip and you came upon an unexpected detour in the route you had decided to take? What did you do? Did you turn your car around and go back home and say forget it? No, you most likely did not. You most likely chose to travel the unexpected new way. You didn’t cancel your trip or throw in the towel; you navigated down unknown territory and found your way.

It is easy to become discouraged in achieving our goals and dreams when something unexpected occurs and forces us to take a different direction. Just like when you’re on a road trip and you run into a detour, it causes some stress and definitely some fear of the unknown. While you may still experience some disappointment when things don’t go your way, you can learn to enjoy the scenery on life’s detours and navigate safely and successfully to your desired destination.

Here are 4 ways you can navigate through life’s detours without giving up on your goal!

  • Take time to assess the situation before reacting emotionally the easier and most common thing we do is react without taking time to accurately assess what is happening. When you have a plan, and you’ve made the decisions on the direction you plan to take to reach your destination, an unexpected circumstance that forces you to go a different route can cause a knee-jerk reaction. That initial emotion, which triggers a fight or flight response, can make things seem worse than they actually are. It’s important to train yourself to take a deep breath and take time to get an accurate picture of the reality before redirecting. Remember, some of life’s best lessons come from unexpected experiences.
  • Do not focus on the things you can’t change, focus on what you can when we focus our attention on things we can’t change, not only is it a waste of energy, but it causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. When you find yourself at a detour, try not to focus your energy on the actual detour, focus on how you will navigate safely and successfully to your desired destination. Be willing to adapt to your situation and keep the faith that there is a lesson you need to learn. Create the mindset of being stubborn with your goals, but flexible in how you achieve them. Focusing on what you can’t change, will cause you to sit idle and get you nowhere. Focus on what you can control.


  • Look for the beauty in the new scenery you’re experiencing sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t want to take. Learn to embrace the detours and look for the beauty in them, because they just may lead to discovering places you never new you loved. Take time to experience this new path to the fullest. Imagine if you were on an actual road trip and you had to detour through a quaint small town. Instead of blowing through it, stop and shop. Have lunch at a local place you would never experience if not for the detour. Life’s detours can be experienced the same. Look for the good, the lessons, and the new ideas that can come from being unexpectedly redirected.


  • Trust the process the waiting, the meantime, the in-between, it all serves a purpose. Closed doors can protect you from the unknown that could be more harmful than the detour. We must learn to trust that every detour along this life’s journey is a part of process and ultimately is necessary for our own good. When you trust, it can turn the unexpected adversity or detours into the highway to your purpose. In this life there will be trials, but trust that there is a God who loves you, and has a plan for you.

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