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An Article By Professor Steve

Why Can’t I Get What I Want?

Frustrated Man

I’ve tried everything I can think of, why don’t things turn out the way I plan? It seems that everything I try to do gets sabotaged. How can I change that? Why do I get more of what I expect, and less of what I want? We all ask these questions at some time or other!

We all agree with ourselves, whether we are right or not. That seems to be at the root of the problem. It also gives us our reasons for doing stuff, and the means to change it if we wish. Whether you agree with me or not is irrelevant. What you do for yourself will make all the difference.

All of the latest gurus are saying something similar; "We are our own worst enemy." or "We are responsible for everything we experience." or "We attract what we dwell on." The Law of Attraction and stuff like that.

It's Not my Fault!

Denial is when we try to blame someone else for our unhappiness. And that's pretty darn easy to do, since the alternative is to admit we have screwed up. But most of us do recognize the difference between what we want and what we expect to happen. Furthermore, we tend to reject anything we disagree with ... unless it is proven to us based on other things we know to be true.

Unfortunately, almost everything we are told these days is negative. The news media, TV, the internet, our phones, the radio, our friends, our family, we tend to share the latest catastrophe rather than the latest blessing. Apparently bad news sells better.

This steady stream of negativity can get to us and encourage us to create a personal bias as well. Just the same, we wouldn’t do it if we weren’t getting something out of it.

Given a choice, we do what we want, and try to avoid doing what we don’t want. Then we try to get someone else to do the things we don’t want to do. We encourage others to do our stuff by blaming someone else for our inaction, by ignoring it and just hoping someone else will take over, through procrastination, or by just refusing to do it.

We accept our excuses to be the truth, whether we accept anyone else's rationalizations or not. Excuses like: It's not my fault. I don’t have the time. I can't afford to. I'm too tired to do it now. There's no rush. It's not my way. There are greater priorities. I'm afraid. I don't need the drama. These are only a few of our excuses.

That's What I Want!

All of our reasons add up to pretty much the same thing; I want someone else to take care of it! So for the most part, we are all inherently lazy. And the payoff is that by our inaction, our life will continue with virtually no changes. We are essentially attempting to do as little as possible without affecting our lifestyle ... we don’t want to leave our comfort zone.

By justifying our behavior in this way, we get to enjoy a peace of mind. Unfortunately, peace of mind, like tradition, encourages us to avoid doing anything different. Therefore, whatever situation comes up and creates an opportunity for us to learn something different is wasted on us this time around ... so we are likely to repeat whatever mistake got us here in the first place. We've all heard the line, "Insanity is trying to get different results from doing the same thing over and over." so many times we're sick of it.

If this doesn’t sound like you, then you must be perfect, very close to it, chemically altered, or lying to yourself. Regardless, if you're still with me, you may still be wondering just how to get more of what you want and less of what you've been expecting.

What Can I Do About It?

Just knowing why we do stuff doesn’t make it any easier to change. But it can motivate us to try. Or at least to review our habits and evaluate whether any of them need changing.

Consciously changing any of our behaviors can seem nearly impossible. Why? Because we created many of our original behaviors when we were young, likely by copying someone, and before we were capable of questioning their value to us. Then whenever an appropriate situation comes up, we activate those learned behaviors without thinking about them.

What this means is that our behaviors sneak up on us; they are not usually premeditated. The purpose for this has to do with our survival instinct. In any crisis situation, there is seldom time to think, or to figure anything out. So we just react.

Fortunately, if we can recognize that our behavior has become harmful to us, we can activate a change. But it requires subconscious reprogramming, not just a conscious decision. For most of us, that means we make changes only when there is trauma attached - very painful. The trick is to learn how to do this reprogramming without the drama.

When the same problem pops up over and over, the questions to ask the small voice inside our head are, "What am I missing here?" and "What should I do about it?" That small voice has access to our subconscious programmer ... you know, the one that gives us more of what we expect. Problems are like weeds; if we don’t pull them out one root at a time, they tend to come back. They may disguise themselves differently, but they do come back, because they are there to teach us something. And when we ignore them, they tend to grow back bigger, and meaner, and more obvious, to a point of overwhelming ... like getting hit over the head with a hammer.

Self Analysis

Once we do finally recognize what's going on, we can finally make the changes we want. We can ask ourselves a series of questions:

• What is the truth of the matter?
• What makes it true?
• If it is not true, why am I doing it?
• What is the payoff for continuing to do it?
• Is that who I want to be?
• If not, what needs to change?
• How is that possible?
• What actions are required to make the change?
• What action do I have to start now?

We all believe our own answers to these questions! We all have different truths, or at least our own spin on the truth. So the only person that has any control over our life, and what we choose to do with it, is our self.

By recognizing there is a problem, we have already taken the first step. Then by believing it is possible to find a solution, we have taken the second step. Step three is to do what we all do everyday; analyze ourselves and then do something about it - but this time, do something other than doing nothing.

When we ask ourselves a series of questions that lead us to agree with ourselves about stuff we already want to change, we can give ourselves permission to get what we want instead of accepting more of the same. And no one else can do that for us.

Lately there has been a lot of focus on this subject. I found Dr. Wayne W. Dyer's book "Excuses Begone!" to be helpful. Although every perspective carries its own bias, the suggestion is that this works. Whether from the bias of science, psychology, theology or metaphysics, the many books, blogs, seminars and workshops, all suggest that we can really make these changes in our lives. So we ask ourselves, "Do I want to?"

If you have found this information to be useful, and want to find out more, please go to my Solutions page.


Professor Steve

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