How Mistakes Can Be Life’s Way of Pushing You Right Where You Need to Be

by: Nicole Dahl

Can disaster lead to destiny?

Nothing makes me cringe more than hearing a person softly utter, “everything happens for a reason” in an attempt to comfort someone wading through the murky shit of a major life trauma.


You’re going to tell someone who is going through a divorce, just lost their job, or found out that their landlord sold the house they are living in that everything happens for a reason.

Screw that.

Though I absolutely believe that cliché line of supposed comfort should be banned from existence, I can identify that there is some truth behind the sentiment.

Sometimes when throws us a curve ball and we respond with a swing and a miss, it’s not such a bad thing.
In fact, more often than not, what seems like a setback is actually a not-so-gentle push in the right direction.

Think about your life right now, as is? What do you consider your greatest successes?
Close your eyes and meditate on something in your life you most treasure, be it your home, your career, a relationship, or an achievement.

Think on the path let led you where you are today?
Was it easy, full of rainbows and butterflies, or was it rocky, with some uphill stretches, a snake or two, maybe a surprise mud pit?

For me, almost every good thing I hold dear came via the snakey mud pit route:
I would have never moved and found some of my dearest friends if I hadn’t had a nightmare of a situation to escape in my hometown.

I met my husband in the eye of the darkest storm of my life, and we wouldn’t be together, nor would our children exist, had we not been in toxic relationships that ended with dramatic breakups.

I once worked in marketing, for other people, and now have the privilege of writing for a living, a career change brought to me by the dark experience of crippling post-partum anxiety.

I’m not sure where I stand on destiny.

I can’t swallow the idea that our entire lives are pre-destined but I do believe that there are some good things planned for us.

Maybe there is a straight and narrow path that leads to where we should be but, my guess is, most of us get to where we need to be by making wrong turns, bad choices, and colossal mistakes.

A shitstorm is not a prerequisite for a blessing but it is comforting to know that, more often than not, our mistakes and failures can be used for the greater good.

In his novel, A Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde writes, “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

This sentence sits better with me than, “everything happens for a reason” because it is much less calculated.

Are you going through some tough stuff right now or feeling like you have strayed so far away from where you want to be that you may never get there?

If so, I ask that you take a deep breath in and focus on what you want in life.

Consider that what feels like the end is often just the beginning of something far better.