In 4 prior posts for this series, we have been talking a lot about what our needs and wants are and what we can do in order to get them.
However, has it ever dawned on you that what you are NOT getting may be working for you?
In other words, has it ever occurred to you that there is a benefit or a payoff for wanting or needing something, but not having it?
I know, it’s crazy! But hear me out.
There are many reasons why what you want isn’t showing up in our life.
And no, those reasons aren’t because you’re unlucky, doomed, a loser or anything like that.
On the contrary, you are soooo powerful that you are probably preventing some of these things from coming into your life. (And nope, these are not woo-woo reasons, either).
Let’s see if some of them actually ring a bell.
Reasons Why You Subconsciously Prevent Yourself From Getting What You Say You Want
Keep in mind that there are three ways you prevent yourself from getting what you want:
The first way you prevent yourself from preventing what you want own is by you getting in your own way (without other people involved). In this case, the conflict is internal. It’s you vs. self.
The second way that you keep yourself from getting what you say you want is by not communicating your needs clearly, tactfully and with conviction. The conflict is with someone external. It’s like you vs. them or you vs. the world.
The third way is that it’s a combination of both you having an issue with yourself and with others. This usually manifests itself when you have a scipt you play again and again in which you have an expectation, and when people don’t figure out what your expectation is, you regurgitate the script as to why this happened blaming yourself for not being worthy of getting what your want or their stupidity for not knowing by now what you need. Sounds familiar? Yep, I thought so. That is because, unfortunately, this is the most common reason why you don’t get what you want. You make everything mean something. More precisely, you make everything mean something negative about you. You play the “woe is me” game… and you end up winning the woe, or seen another way, you end up losing on the beautiful moments in life all because they didn’t go according to plan.
In each of these cases, however, the solution to getting what you want is within you, and you either have to make changes in your own internal landscape to get what you want, OR you need to change the way that you communicate and interact with others, in order for those positive changes to flourish.
Reason #1: What You Are Asking For Is Not What You Want
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “WHAT?!? Of course I am asking for what I want!”
Of all the ways in which you block things, admitting that you don’t really want what you say you want is among the hardest things to admit. It’s so difficult, so uncomfortable and so painful that if this is going on for you (which in some area of your life it probably is)… your brain is just saying “NEXT!” You want to go onto the next topic because you don’t want to deal with this.
You don’t want to think about this. You don’t want to have a conversation with yourself to get to the bottom of what your anguish is. You would rather ignore the truth, because that way you can “peacefully” continue doing what you’re doing and not have to change a thing.
Let’s say, for example, that you have been telling yourself and others that you want to build a business. But for years, you’ve been trying to get that thing that you’re doing off the ground and it’s not budging.
If someone were to ask you what you would do if you won the lottery today, your first response would be to spend more time with your children, because deep down, you KNOW you don’t want to be in business for the sake of feeling accomplished, but rather, because you want to take care of them, even if it’s monetarily.
And don’t get me wrong, children are a HUGE motivation behind the success of many businesses but some women would prefer not having to worry about being a breadwinner or contributing to the household’s income and would instead prefer to truly focus on fully being a carefree mother.
So ask yourself, if you had more money, more time, or more support, would you really want to do that which you say you want to do?
If yes, good for you.
But if your answer is no, then you have four choices.
- You can abandon ship and stop trying what you’re trying and is failing miserably and instead do what you REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to do no matter what anybody thinks.
- You can sit down and get real with yourself and even promise yourself that even if you do gain traction or achieve success in that which you have been resistant to be successful in, that you’ll still make time for the things that are the most important to you.
- You can do something else that allows you to have more time to do what you really want to do.
- You can continue burying your head in the sand like an ostrich and not gain any satisfaction in your projects that you’re doing out of obligation and give up the courage to actually pursue what you want. And life, will sound like this… tick, tock, tick, tock… and it’ll take something bigger to wake you up, and most likely it’ll be painful.
Reason #2: You Don’t Want To Do The Work
If truth be told, sometimes you have wants or even needs that you don’t want to work for.
You may say you want to go to Bali, but you don’t want to put in the effort to earn the money to go, book the travel or remove yourself from your comfortable routine in order to potentially have a good time.
When it comes to love, people need romantic love (and they even go as far as to say that they want it) but then they don’t want to do the work, by making the time to date, making the time to grow the relationship, heal the relationship and give more love to their partner. Ever done that?
So, whatever it is that you want, if you actually are convinced that you really want it, requires that you invest either time, money, effort, attention or love.
If you’re not willing to invest these things, then you probably don’t want it that bad. And that’s okay. But don’t whine and complain that you don’t have it if you’re not willing to do the work.
Reason #3: You Prefer Placing The Blame On Other People Rather Than Taking Ownership
It’s SOOOO easy to “resign” yourself in not having what you want by telling yourself, “Oh well, I guess I’m not gonna have ____ need or ____ want because so and so is not willing to give it to me/ is not supportive/ doesn’t think I’m enough to deserve it or to achieve it” (and the list can go on and on).
So then, you sit in your laurels, well actually, to be precise, you sit on your pile of excuses and have a pity party for yourself instead of focusing on the fact that you pretty much CAN have everything you want and need if you work for it, think highly of yourself to think you’re worth it and ultimately want to give yourself the satisfaction of obtaining it for yourself.
Solution? Take ownership and pride in what you can achieve.
Reason #4: You Have A Block
When despite how hard you try you’re not able to obtain a need or a want, it’s very likely that you have a block.
Blocks are especially common around money, love and self-image.
If you hit income ceilings, income plateaus, or don’t believe that abundance is for everyone and that there is enough to go around, then you probably have a money block.
If you haven’t been able to attract a good partner into your life, have had broken engagements, routinely attract the bad boys or have gotten to the point in which you simply don’t believe in love any more, then you probably have a love block.
These blocks are probably there because you’ve had a terrible experience in the past that pretty much traumatized you.
Or you’re very jealous and critical of people who have what you want but you don’t. But if you stop and think about it, why would you be able to have what you criticize others for? You are essentially protecting yourself from your own critical by not having it.
So what do you have to do to clear up any blocks that you have?
- Admit that you probably have a block.
- Find out why that block is there to the best of your ability.
- Find out what the benefit for remaining stuck is for you and decide if you prefer that benefit over getting that which you want or not.
- If you decide that you would want to have what you haven’t let yourself experience up until now, you should monitor your thoughts around that which you want.
- Monitor your language.
- Monitor your actions that could be repelling or attracting that which you say you want.
- Have courage to face your fears of things going wrong, of you potentially being hurt, of you potentially being criticized, of you potentially being seen as conceited, of you potentially being seen as shallow. Most importantly, have the courage to face your fear of things going RIGHT… of you getting what you want and being able to do more things in your life that perhaps in the past you haven’t been able to.
- Have the perseverance to do the work.
- Have faith that the work will be worth it.
- Have patience with your yourself and in getting that which you desire.
Reason #5: There’s Better Timing
When you know that there are no blocks regarding what you want and need and you’ve put in the effort required in transforming your needs and wants into reality, it is highly, HIGHLY possible that it may not be the right time to have what you want.
It sucks to admit it, but usually, when the timing isn’t right, deep down, you know that it isn’t… or you soon find out that it wasn’t.
The reason why things don’t move forward when the timing isn’t right may be because this desired need or want that you have may clash against something that you’re currently enjoying in your life as it currently stands or because it may clash against something you desire.
For example, let’s say you’ve been wanting to backpack throughout Europe with your husband, but for some reason or another, you haven’t been able to finalize the arrangements to make it happen because companies cancel on you, there’s miscommunication, things (like emails) get lost or disappear and it seems that the world is literally conspiring against you so that you don’t go (and it’s not you having paranoia).
The situation is so bad that you have practically given up on your desire to go backpacking… or at least you’re not currently thinking as actively about the beautiful sights you imagine you’ll see. Then, all of a sudden, you find out that you’re pregnant. Right then you understand why things were getting on the way. You weren’t meant to go backpacking throughout Europe. Having morning sickness in that environment would not be pleasant. Heaven, forbid, no. Perhaps instead, you can go on a European cruise… that is, if you aren’t also prone to being seasick.
This phenomenon of “there’s better timing” happens all the time with jobs that you want and don’t get or jobs that you have but are let go from. And during those moments remembering that things will come in their due time is especially tough. But take a look at your own life… at your own jobs. Can you see the thread of how one job and one disillusion in a job led you to another job, and another thing collapsing led you to a better job, and to you meeting someone else that was important in your life?
From what I know, there’s always a golden gem in failed jobs, failed relationships, failed businesses and failed transactions. The gem comes in the form of a person, a lesson, a better opportunity, health, more peace, more overall joy and even saving your life.
I didn’t always have the best time in my jobs, but you know what? If it wasn’t for one of those failed jobs in particular, I wouldn’t be in this home, with my current husband and holding my son as I write this. And for those reasons alone, I don’t mind that failed job as much. I would even do it all over again just to be able to hug my current family because to me, they are my gem. Did I learn other lessons with that same failure? Of course! So, in many ways, it was all good.
The ideal destination isn’t an achievement, success or a recognition, it’s being embraced by the people who believed in you all along, not because of what you accomplished, but because of who you are. -Haydee Montemayor
Things happen for a reason. When it comes to things not working out in a specific timeframe and then finding out why, seeing what that reason was for things not working out is like a big “aha moment” and it provides you with more clarity, peace and a feeling, of “alright, I see why that happened the way that it did,” and you’re better able to move on in your life and TRUST, that next time, when you question why things are happening the way that they are, that Life has your back.
Reason #6: Not Getting What You Want Helps You Avoid Your Fear
It does so In two ways:
1) It Gives You Security And Protection.
Sometimes, the goals that you want are so huge for you either because of the bravery required, the strength they call for or the courage needed that just thinking about going after them gives you the heebie-jeebies to the point that you either don’t move toward that dream AT ALL or you take one step forward and three back.
You can relate, right? And then, you feel justified in saying, “Oh, well, it’s not working out” even though YOU KNOW you gave it a wimpy try and you can do SOOO much better!
The truth is you’re scared of going out of your comfort zone. You’re scared of being signaled, criticized, made fun at, attacked or followed around the internet by trolls.
WHY are you afraid? Because you don’t fully believe in your dream. You wouldn’t slay a dragon for it, yet. And the operative word is “yet.” But don’t worry, there may come the day when you do have more faith in your dream when you finally realize that even if you were guaranteed security and protection for life…that that itself won’t make you the happiest.
Having an entourage or a body guard for you and your dreams won’t make your life meaningful, so go out there and create the things you think the world needs, because it most likely does. While your creation might not be well-received by all, for those people that you positively impact, your decision to go out on a limb for them will be well worth it. -Haydee Montemayor
2) It Keeps You Small
By insisting that you have security and protection instead of accomplishment, adventure and bigger satisfactions, you stay small.
You’re staying small if regardless of how much you SAY you want to progress in life, you’re very comfortable living in the situation that you’re living. Your life isn’t all that you want it to be, but it’s not a total disaster either, so you just stay put right where you are and continue getting the results you always have.
Some people decide to play small most of their life. There are some people, however, that “graduate” to medium… doing more socially noteworthy things while still taking special care to remain in their comfort zone.
But if what you’re really after is self-actualization, you need to G-R-O-W and therefore, staying small, or even medium, is not an option.
With self-actualization, it doesn’t matter WHAT you want to do, but How you want to do it. And usually, truly self-actualized people do things with a beautiful impact. So whether you want to build the next Apple, be the best stay at home mom you can be, or provide the most humane philanthropic care that you can, you can’t stay small. Because in a way, you staying small would be like you loving small, and I’m pretty sure that’s not what you’re after.
Think of Oprah, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Gandhi, Deepak Chopra, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Adam Braun the founder of Pencils of Promise and Scott Harrison the founder of Charity: Water. They are human people who make mistakes just like you and I. Yet, they’ve been able to do great things for the world. It doesn’t matter so much WHAT they’ve done, but that they’ve done it with their own unique touch and to attempt to reach their own mission in life.
In order to make a big difference you have to play big where you are, whether it’s in your own relationship, in your own family, in your own community, in your field, in your state, in your country or in the world. There are needs that need to be fulfilled at each of these levels. It’s not the size of the things that you do that will matter. Ironically, it’s usually the little things that people need to make them feel better like inspiration, motivation, meditation, education and water. These “small things” end up being the most important of all. They’re the little links connecting the beautiful gemstones in life. They’re the little things that make life feel more complete, more worth it.
In sum, you don’t have to put yourself out there for the sake of putting yourself out there and for the sake of accomplishing HUGE things.
In order to create great change in the world, you just have to lend a helping, supportive hand every time you get the chance to help people you know, people you don’t know, people who are having a rough day, or people who have been having a rough life. The greatest changes are, after all, achieved by providing hope to one person at a time. -Haydee Montemayor
Reason #7 You Like Drama
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Really, Haydee? You’re gonna go there?” And my answer to that is “Yes, I am.”
As you already know, because you and I both have been guilty about this, sometimes the reason why we consciously or subconsciously get in conflicts with people is because it’s entertainment.
More like a terror or a thriller than a romantic telenovela, but it’s entertainment nevertheless.
- Raise your hand if you’ve ever gotten into an argument with your partner because you wanted to add some “intensity” into the relationship because it’s pretty boring without it?
- Have you ever gotten into a fight because you like making up?
- Have you played the “woe is me” role in a conversation only so that you’re pampered at the end?
- Do you pretend you’re jealous of your spouse or do you make your spouse jealous just to gauge how much they love you?
- Do you prove to your husband how wise you are by always wanting to be right instead of preserving the peace?
- And perhaps the ultimate question is, would you rather create conflict with your spouse instead of being emotionally and physically intimate with them because you fear what that fear and intimacy requires?
You don’t have to tell me all of the answers to these questions, unless you want to, of course.
When you opt for this drama instead of actually getting close to someone else, it’s usually because you think it lacks passion. The true kind, the romantic kind, the thing that romance novels are made of. Well actually, even romance novels have a lot of drama. They use the rubber-band effect of coming together and pulling away a little too often. So perhaps, the love relationship you’re after is the one that the best couple in your life has.
At the very least, you’re actually afraid of that which you say that you want. If you come up with all sorts of issues about love, and say you want love, but spend more time untangling the messy parts of love than enjoying it, it’s about time that you get real with yourself in a loving sort of way and tell yourself that you can have the beauty and benefits of love if you behave well. You can’t be throwing constant tantrums in a relationship and remain desirable.
Yes, I know that there are plenty of ladies out there that pull every one of these tricks out of their bag every single day and seem to have a saint for a husband. But even saints get tired. What’s worse is this:
If you make drama a daily part of your life, pretty soon, you forget who the actress is and who you really are. – Haydee Montemayor
In order to untangle yourself from the drama as much as possible, there are two things you should ask yourself:
- Have I had similar dramas like these in previous relationships? This is especially useful if you want to get a better idea if this is a pattern that YOU are carrying with you into every relationship. If you find out that you are causing some drama, ask yourself, how is it serving you?
- If I could say ANYTHING to my partner, what would I say? Am I really saying it? The reason these questions are important is because often, we add drama into a relationship to distract ourselves from the void, the pain, the apathy, the tiredness and the loneliness we feel in a relationship. Perhaps we want proximity, perhaps we want out. It’s very important to know the difference. Most likely, you just want to let a prior argument, blame or situation go… but you insist on holding a grudge. When you forgive that situation or release that situation from the bottom of your soul, you create space for new experiences with your partner.
What Can We Learn From All The Ways We Self-Sabotage?
There are three things we can learn:
- If you remember this, you pretty much have it made:
Don’t send mixed messages. To others, especially to yourself.
Women are the topic of many stand-up jokes because of this very tendency to say yes when they mean no and vice versa.
And while it is funny that we do this subconsciously and consciously, the more we send mixed messages the less surprised we should be if we don’t have what we want.
When you send mixed messages to yourself, your subconscious mind cannot help you. Napoleon Hill once said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” But if you’re coming and going, then, there’s no clarity, no path and no vision.
Know what you want. It’s unfair to expect other people to unscramble your desires. -Haydee Montemayor
2. You have more control of your destiny than you give yourself credit for so choose and act wisely. If something isn’t working out, the most likely person to blame is you instead of other people.
3. When something isn’t working out, it’s the perfect opportunity to evaluate whether we really want it. It’s totally okay if it isn’t. Just be real with yourself.
You can either repeat the story of why you can’t, or create a new story of why you will. – Haydee Montemayor
5. There are various seasons in life and what you’ve wanted for your past or present, may not necessarily be what you’ll want for your future. So instead of carrying a huge backpack of dreams up a hill without ever stopping, stop and take inventory of those dreams to see if they still would be things that give you joy. If they’re not, leave them by the roadside, perhaps someone else would like to have that dream. Don’t feel guilty of leaving them there, especially if they started being someone else’s dreams instead of your own.
But for those dreams which you really treasure, march confidently up that hill knowing that you can achieve what you put your heart, mind and soul into.
Now It’s Your Turn
- Fess up, what are you getting out of NOT getting what you want?
- What would you prefer to have? The current payoff or what you really, really want?
- Feeling brave? What is the primary reason why you’re not getting what you want out of life?
The Want/ Need Series
If you liked this post, feel free to visit the others in the series designed to teach you how to navigate the difficult waters of assuming responsibility for what you want, what you need and how to communicate those wants and needs.