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The #1 Reason You Don’t Have What You Want

If you’d rather listen to this content on the From Good Girl to Grown Ass Woman podcast, click here:

Today, I’m going to ask you a very simple question. Ready?

What do you want?

Note that I said the question was simple… not necessarily the answer.

I’ll try again: what do you want?

Seriously: when is the last time you asked yourself that question and truly allowed yourself to answer? 

This is the most fundamental question I pose to my clients. And many of them have no idea where to start in answering. And how about you, dear listener? When I ask you, “what do you want,” what happens?

Do you freeze? Is it as if a giant wall comes up and you have no idea what’s on the other side? Do you pre-determine that you can’t have it, even before you even consider answering? Do you feel as if you can’t even go there, lest you rock the boat of your carefully constructed life? Do you feel excited at the possibilities? 

Today, we’re here to examine some of the most common obstacles that are standing between you, and having what you want. And more importantly, why bother wanting in the first place?

Why You Don’t Have What You Want

Let’s start with unpacking some of each the biggest obstacles that can get in our way.

The “good enough trap.” I’m selfish or greedy for wanting more. If I want more than the goodness I already have, it means I’m ungrateful. This is typically the result of early conditioning that taught us that we “should” be satisfied with what we have, and we all know that the grown ass woman life has no room for the “shoulds.” AND: I do actually believe that appreciation for what is, is essential to growing your capacity for what’s next. What I mean by that is if you start with discontent and agitation and thinking that the next thing is going to “make” you happy, that’s very unlikely to happen. Happiness isn’t the result of getting something; it’s the place to start from. Discontent and agitation create more discontent and agitation. That’s how we get into the loop of pursuing more and more and more and thinking at some point we’re going to finally feel good. Start with gratitude and appreciation for what already is, AND want what you want.

I know what I DON’T want. While that’s a place to start, and certainly can provide some helpful information, if that’s where you stop, you still don’t get to access the treasure of what you DO truly want. 

The last time you wanted something, it didn’t work out, and so you’ve decided to give up on wanting … forever. Oh no! I’m so sorry! That stinks! And, how it went before only has as much to do with how it will go in the future as you let it. This does not mean that you have to close down all of your future wanting. That sounds really heartbreaking, actually.  

You’re out of the habit of asking yourself. Maybe you’re so locked into your day to day life and routines that it doesn’t even occur to you. I’ve been locked in a role, job, trajectory for so long, I can’t see outside of it or beyond.

I’ll tell you what it is for me, and for many of my clients: we don’t think we can have it. We shut down possibility before we even allow for it. We immediately go into all the reasons why we can’t have what we truly want: it’s going to be hard. Expensive. Time consuming. We don’t know HOW. And so we just don’t even bother.

For some of us, and this comes up along with my clients: We fear disappointment. We fear the possible feeling of not having what we truly desire. If you really let yourself yearn for what you want, and then it didn’t turn out that way, you fear being devastated. And it’s true: the price of admission for wanting, is that we may not have or receive or create the thing. And we decide the pain we anticipate from not getting, is too much to be with, so we don’t even go there. 

Connect with Your Why

Or maybe, you want all day long, you want and want and want, but don’t have. The difference between wanting and having: 1. Any of the obstacles we’ve already identified. 2. Lack of sufficient structures, support, an actionable plan. and 3. A meaningful “what for.” Ask yourself, what will this thing that I say I want, actually mean to me? For instance, if I get this pay increase, what will that mean? More money? Ok, cool, but what will that mean? Well, that will mean I get to donate an extra share of my earnings to support women’s reproductive freedom. It will mean I can finally take my parents on a vacation, as an expression of appreciation for all the vacations they’ve taken me on. It will mean I can install solar panels and contribute to environmental sustainability in my community. Connect with your WHY, and you’ll immediately connect with power to alchemize your wanting into your having.

Why Bother Wanting in the First Place?

Here’s why bother: because every thing you’ve ever created started with a desire. Because without desire, maybe you become complacent; maybe you cease being an active participant in your own life. You may let life happen TO you, rather than creating your life, or- pardon the woo-woo here… co-creating WITH life. Ever been there? I think back on times in my life where I was disconnected with desire, and it was kind of like living in before the days of color tv. And once I gave myself permission to entertain what I actually wanted, technicolor arrived on the scene!

And the reality is, if we truly allowed ourselves to explore the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations of want, desire, yearning, it would be immense. Said another way: your desire is powerful. It is fire, motivation, creator of possibility. 

Practices for Getting What You Want:

  1. Give yourself the journaling prompt: what do you want? Note the little “w” wants, AND the big “w” wants. For instance, little “w” wants: I want my coffee extra dark. I want my partner to make my coffee and bring it to me in bed. I want a full 10 minutes to drink my coffee in my bed in silence. And the big “w” wants: I want to make an impact on 10’s of thousands of women. I want to support leaders in influencing policy that ensures reproductive freedom for people with uteruses. I want all of my interactions with people to leave them knowing that I see them, and that they matter. 
  2. Notice the power of your wanting. Give yourself permission to experience the thoughts, feelings, and body sensations of your desires. Notice how identifying your wants allows you to connect with possibility.
  3. Practice creating life from your wants. This is a big, courageous step. It will involve you making clear intentions and bold requests, it will involve you creating structures and action plans, and invoking support. 

Finally, if you desire support in connecting with your wants, and daring to bring them forth into being, reach out. Grown ass women who want what they want, and create what they want, rarely do it alone. And even if you can do it alone- you don’t have to.




The #1 Reason You Don’t Have What You Want

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