When you don't get what you want
When you don't get what you wantThere’s an old Rolling Stones song which includes the line “You can’t always get what you want”

When all your hopes are geared on a particular outcome, and even more so when your efforts are focused on the same results, it can be more than disappointing that things don’t work out as you had wanted.

What You Want

We tend to imagine all the good things that will happen as a result of our hopes being fulfilled.  We can feel anticipatory joy and a build up of excitement.  Our enthusiasm is only matched by impatience for it all to become real.

But we don’t always get what we want.  Something unexpected can happen and hopes are dashed.  You couldn’t be more deflated if you were a balloon left over from next-door’s party.  You may even feel victimised or disempowered by it because there is nothing you can do.

When You Don’t Get What You Want

Or is there?  The second part of that Rolling Stones line is “you might just find you get what you need”.  I love that line.  Some people don’t like the idea that everything happens for a reason.  I am a believer in empowerment, in being the author of your life.  And I believe in fate too.

It can be empowering to reflect on the situation differently:  rather than thinking that this happened TO you, consider that in some way, this has happened FOR you.  Let’s say you had your eye on a particular job.  You did well in the interview.  You felt this was definitely the job for you, but someone else got it.  It would be natural to be disappointed.  But what if the next job was better?  It was closer to home, more money, more aligned to your values, better prospects.  And perhaps introduced you to someone who would be important in your life that you would have had little chance of meeting otherwise?

These things happen all the time.

Key Questions

Ask yourself “What is there to learn from this that is for my highest good?” or “How can I use this for my highest good?”  The learning is never negative.  It won’t be “nothing goes right for me”.  It might be “OK.  What is for me won’t pass me by.  There must be a better job out there with my name on it.  I’ll polish up my CV, get myself some interview coaching and keep looking.”

Thinking this way opens up your mind to opportunities and creates a positive energy around you.

And if the problem is that you have been betrayed, think that your best revenge is your happiness:  that’s definitely your highest good, isn’t it?

Hellen Keller, who was deaf and blind, said “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door, that we don’t see the one that has opened up for us.”

It’s all about the way we think.  It’s true that you can’t always get what you want but if you try … you might just find you get what you need.

Tricia Woolfrey

PS  If you feel moved to, and want to remind yourself of the curious way Mr Jagger performs, here is a clip of the Rolling Stones song.

PPS  If you need some 1:1 support on this issue, do get in touch.