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When the ‘Wrong’ Choice Puts Us on the ‘Right’ Path

Knowing for certain what’s wrong, helps you commit to what’s right.

Intuitive Joy
4 min readDec 7, 2023

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I think we’re too hard on ourselves. We can be extremely self-critical, beating ourselves up for making perceived mistakes in life, for ending up in places we never wanted to be, with people we never wanted to be with.

But to me, no time is wasted. There is value in the process.

I’ve discussed this before in my piece, Let Yourself Make Mistakes, but I’d like to expand on this idea today.

In that piece, I talked about how sometimes we need to go down a path that isn’t aligned to find what is. I discussed this as the “wrong” choice somehow preparing you for what feels right:

Maybe you had to take this long road, this off-beaten path.

Maybe your broken marriage needed to happen so that you’d learn what you actually wanted and deserved in a relationship. Maybe the job you hate gave you the network, the transferable skills, and the confidence to start your own company when you finally do walk away.

Maybe you had to meet certain people along the way. Maybe you had to learn something about yourself. No time is wasted.

I think there’s another way to think of this, though. Sometimes the “wrong” choice doesn’t build us up. Sometimes it breaks us down, purposefully. Sometimes the consequences of the misaligned choice help us feel more sure in walking our aligned path.

Now, this doesn’t just happen in career — it also happens in relationships, in health, in life goals — but I’m going to use career as an example.

This could be as simple as choosing between your dream job, which you’re less qualified for, and a more practical position that you’re comfortable with because you’ve done something like it before.

You’re afraid if you choose the job you know you’d love, it won’t last. Sure, they made an offer, but once they really get to know you, they won’t like working with you. And what if you screw it up? Isn’t it better to take a job that you know you can do?

Is the possibility of fulfillment worth the risk? How can you be sure that you’ll be making the right decision?

Unsure, you choose what’s practical. Three months into the gig you realize that every morning, in the pit of your stomach, you feel a low-level dread about going to work. You’re not motivated. You’re creatively stifled. You don’t like the place you’re spending a large portion of your waking hours — you’re on the verge of crying at your desk.

One day you wake up and realize this job makes you feel mostly dead inside. You made the “wrong” choice.

And maybe you think in this moment, there’s no going back. You’ve ruined your life. You’re stuck at a job you hate.

The regret is overwhelming. You feel like an irredeemable failure. And, hey, maybe you deserve to be there if you’re such a spineless coward you couldn’t choose what you wanted, right?

No. Not right.

Yes, you made a misaligned choice, but that doesn’t mean you deserve to suffer. What if you experienced this horrible job so that you’d no longer doubt that you’re meant to do what makes you feel alive?

Now that you’ve experienced the consequences of choosing something that isn’t right for you (pain, dread, creative blocks), you know you never want to end up there again. The practical job was so painful, that you have no other choice but to do what’s fulfilling now. However things end, you know you couldn’t regret it more than the “wrong choice”.

You might still be scared of failing, of ruining it, but because you know the alternative is unbearable, you don’t let that fear keep you from moving forward.

Having rejected the first opportunity to do what you love, when you get your next opportunity, you’re even more grateful you’ve been given another shot. The joy that you haven’t lost the chance to follow your dreams takes precedence over those old fears. In a way you weren’t before, you’re sure that this is the right path for you.

The “wrong” choice proved to be the exact information you needed to gather your courage and take the leap of faith, to commit fully to what feels right. So, you never have to second-guess your decision or falter in your dedication to what’s for you.

That’s a gift.

If you’re interested in reading more about alignment, you can check out:

If you want to talk more about alignment on the Spiritual Journey, feel free to drop a comment below. I love chatting down there.

And if you have found any value in my work (helping others on their spiritual journey) and would like to support it, you can drop a donation on my Venmo: @JOYMCK317 or buy me a Kofi down below! Much Love.

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Intuitive Joy

Deep Diving into Spiritual Awakening, Spiritual Philosophy, Astrology, and Soul Connections