7 Reasons You Aren’t Getting What You Want

You know that frustrating feeling when you’re not getting what you want? When you feel so ready to move on to a new stage in your life, but it’s just not happening fast enough?

You’ve been trying (hard) to achieve something, but for whatever reason, that elusive thing you remains just out of your reach.

Maybe it’s a job, a relationship, a client, a house, whatever. On paper, it seems like you should be there. You have all your ducks in a row. You’ve done the requisite leg work. You are ready.

But it’s not happening, despite your best efforts. What gives?

Why we don’t get what we want.

When we feel like have reached the point where we are finally ready for a big life change, the wait can feel frustrating. We get impatient, anxious, depressed, engaging in doomsday (i.e., “This will never happen”) thinking. When we’ve reached the point that we deem “too long,” we might even give up.

But sometimes it’s simply out of our hands. While we may feel ready for something, other forces may be at play.

As a coach, I see this type of frustration appear with clients regularly. Even (and especially) the most ambitious, goal-getting, forward thinking women struggle with this.

I’d like to offer some ideas on why things might not be happening as you’ve planned and why you might want to relax and even appreciate the extra downtime.

Here are 7 reasons you aren’t getting what you want (and what to do about it).

  1. You aren’t clear on what “it” is.  In order to achieve or receive something, you must be very clear in identifying what “it” is. Envision it in great detail, and don’t hold back. The universe favors specificity. When clients tell me they don’t know what they want, I ask them to do a visioning exercise — no holds barred, day-dreaming of what they could have if they could have anything. [Note: Many people avoid this exercise because they are scared or think it’s too woo-woo. Envisioning allows you to get very clear on what the ideal outcome looks like, and yes – imaging the ideal outcome brings with it the fear of not getting it. In actuality, the clearer you are about what you want, the better prepared you will be to identify potential opportunities.]
  2. You’re not tapped into your “why.” Knowing your why is one of the first exercises I do with solopreneur clients.Your why is your purpose or your mission, and can encompass one part or many parts of your life. It’s the deeper meaning behind why you do what you do. Discovering your why is a process, but once you know who you are and what makes you tick, you can more clearly see (and attract) what you want in your life.
  3. You haven’t done the inner work. Big external changes require big internal changes. Remember, if you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten.Acknowledge the gap that exists between where you are right now and where you hope to be. Who do you need to be in order to achieve what you want to achieve? What changes do you need to make in order to be on the other side of this gap? [Note: There are no shortcuts to doing the hard work that growth requires. In order to get yourself to a higher level — to get something you have never had before — you have to do something you’ve never done.]
  4. You aren’t supporting yourself. Whatever it is that you want, ask yourself, “How am I embracing this concept in my own life?” If it’s love or acceptance you want, how loving and accepting are you being toward yourself? If it’s challenge that you’re looking for, how are you currently challenging yourself and stepping up to the plate? If it’s a new experience that you desire, how can you create new experiences every day? Think about how you can best support yourself in your current state. It may be as simple as allowing yourself time to rest, giving yourself permission to fail, or motivating yourself to step up to the plate.
  5. You aren’t accepting responsibility. If you’re not taking credit for your successes and your failures, who is? Now is the time to assume responsibility for yourself and your actions. This means realizing that whatever happens to you — good or bad — you get to choose how you respond moving forward. You choose how you handle a negative co-worker. You choose how you approach the idea of being single. You choose how you interpret being laid off your job. You choose to see a setback as a learning experience. Whether a life occurrence is a blessing or a curse is up to you. When you learn to take responsibility for your choices, you stop blaming others and start relying on yourself.
  6. You’re impatient. Once we identify something we want, most of us get super impatient and expect it to show up RIGHTNOW. It likely took you some time to get to where you are today. The next stage will happen when the time is right. For now, what would happen if you relaxed and enjoyed the journey? Practice being grateful for where you are right now instead of rushing to move forward. Remember that will never have this moment in your life ever again. Stop, take a breath, and be where you are. Trust you will move to the next stage when the time is right.
  7. The universe has other plans. You can’t always get what you want. (Cue the Rolling Stones.) Instead, you might get what you never knew you needed. While you might be focused on a specific outcome, the universe could have other plans for you. Instead of fighting against the natural forces and swimming upstream, why not be open to all the possibilities that await you? Knowing and reminding yourself, “If this doesn’t work out, there’s something better,” can help you relax and trust the process.


I’m curious to hear from you: Have you ever tried to force something you really wanted to happen, and it didn’t work out, but something else even better happened? What did you learn from that experience?