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For many people with mental health challenges not getting what you want or not being able to have what you thought you wanted can be a very triggering and anger-producing dysregulated and overwhelming emotional place to be. It will feel very uncomfortable to say the least. For people who do not have the mental health challenges of any diagnosis but who still, like everyone, to one degree or another, may find it difficult to cope effectively with not being able to get what you want, at any given point in time, it’s important to be mindful and self-aware as to what you are feeling. Once you identify and describe what you are feeling then you can practice radically accepting what is right now and finding ways to cope more effectively so that you can get back to a calmer or just better mood and feel better.


Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life – 19 Coaching Exercises – End Negative Thought Patterns Ebook
Developing Self Awareness and Creating Personal Life Change Audio
Thought Changing Affirmations – A 5 Volume Set of Ebooks
Your Thoughts Determine Destiny Ebook

All Ebooks and Audios © A.J. Mahari


Wanting what you want, when you want it, whether it is something emotional, attention, care, support of another person or something material like a book or phone or something even more expensive, can present many emotional (mood) challenges as well as feelings of over-focusing on what you can’t have (for whatever reasons right now) which can then further upset, anger, or overwhelm you depending on how you react. The only two major differences between people with known mental health challenges and averagely mentally healthy people (who still have challenges at times in being human) when it come to not getting what you want are:

  1. The degree to which you intensely react negatively to that
  2. Whether or not you know how to regulate  your emotions to  cope with that

♥ If you can’t have what you want (whatever that might be) when you want it, as uncomfortable as it might feel, or as angry as you may suddenly feel, try to take a few slow deep breaths and think beyond how you feel. Why is what you want so important right now? Is what you want that you can’t have something that you experience in cycles or when triggered? Can you describe it? Can you put your feelings about it into words?

♥ Can you cope without being angry or upset or feeling victimized by not getting what you want or may really feel you want/need when you want it? What happens? Why do you think you might feel angry, upset, or victimized, perhaps even abandoned or rejected if what you wanted was something that someone couldn’t give you at a given time or at all.

What is the solution? How can you cope better if this resonates with you?

whatwantwantwhathave2“When you can’t have what you want, it’s time to start wanting what you have”

A very effective solution to the problem of not being able to have (at any given time) what you want, is to radically accept that you can’t have it (or in the case of childhood trauma and attachment issues with parents/family) that you will likely never get it, let alone have it, and that it is not your fault. It is, however, your responsibility to decide what you are going to do emotionally to cope with having (maybe for a lifetime or many years) your want/need thwarted.

It might sound simplistic but radically accepting what you cannot have and then mindfully being willing to accept what you do have and re-frame it so it can become what you want because it is what you have. This also means re-framing how you can in the case of emotional wants/needs provide what you want for yourself. Re-framing this can really can make such a positive difference that can be learned to be perceived/thought about and then felt instead of feeling frustrated, thwarted, angry, punitive, upset, triggered, or out of control. Often when one feels he or she cannot have what they want or meet a certain need by getting what they want (especially emotionally from someone else) it often leaves one feeling out of control (though rarely does one consciously identify that). That can feel very uncomfortable to outright “unfair” and intolerable for many people. You might even have experienced this  many times in your life.

♥ If you want what you have and work with that to begin with radically accepting what you can’t have you can change what you focus on and change the negative way of perceiving it to a positive way of perceiving it. Once you practice doing this, you will come to realize how truly empowering it really can be for you.

What can Help You Accept What You Have?

  1. Being mindfully aware and actually identifying what you do have versus what you want or think you need from another
  2. Being mindfully aware of looking within for emotional needs sought from others (empowers you)
  3. Learning to describe how you feel and re-frame that with here-and-now positive affirmations
  4. Learning to tolerate the discomfort (for a while) of wanting instant gratification until you can delay gratification
  5. Learning to meet your own wants and needs so that you do not end up not having what you want or need

Overcoming LONELINESS – Its Challenges, Lessons, Purpose and Meaning Ebook
The Importance of Observing The Moment Mindfully – Effective ways to Cope with Stress Video
The Power of Gratitude – Nurtures Healing, Recovery, Self Improvement – Ebook and Audio
Self Help for Change – Healing and Recovery Audio

All Ebooks and Audios © A.J. Mahari


When it comes to materialistic things and/or just really expensive ones that you can’t have when you want them or maybe they are realistically out of your reach for now altogether it is important not to purchase what you cannot afford on credit or do anything impulsive to get what it feels like you really want/need to have right now. That charged up, thrill type feeling of “I have to have it now” when it comes to things is often as emotionally based as the things people who are emotionally triggered or dysregulated want emotionally from others to feel better.

Ask yourself, what are you trying to not feel? What need or emotionally uncomfortable to painful feeling are you trying to cover up with wanting something right now? If you are willing to pause, tolerate the discomfort and actually write about it you can identify emotions that may be from your past or that you’ve felt the need to protect against for whatever reason that drive your to make choices or purchases that really aren’t even what you need, let alone what you really want.

Being able to work through what you are feeling and empower yourself with those feelings and accept what you have, want what you have versus what you cannot have will prove to be for most people who haven’t really figured this out yet intellectually and emotionally – not just intellectually in a fully-conscious way – is the true healthy solution to all those uncomfortable to distressing feelings that can come up repeatedly and so quickly.

Learning to understand what you are feeling and why and separate those feelings out, in the here-and-now from emotional wants you can’t have or materialistic wants that you can’t have (really shouldn’t go buy to take away uncomfortable feelings) is the way to truly understand what the feelings are underneath what you seem to so powerfully suddenly (on and off perhaps) want that you cannot have.

The choice must be a conscious one. It is not wise to let your emotions take the lead when trying to get what you think you absolutely have to have. Radically accepting you can’t have it as you want it when you want it and getting in touch with the feelings driving the wants will truly help you not only with feelings and knowing yourself better but also with wanting what you have.

Chances are if you have intensity and/or impulsivity with what you want when you want it then you will definitely benefit from learning how to want what you already have. Emotionally speaking, that means getting real with your feelings and coming to clearly see that you can meet you own needs. You do have what it is that you want from someone or something else.

Make the choice to slow down when it feels impossible and to tolerate not getting what you want but can’t have (at least right now) long enough to get in touch with what you are feeling so you can realize that you do have what you really want. Or, more to the point, you do have what you actually need. You truly can do without any material thing or even emotional want long enough to ensure that you look within first, identify your feelings, deal with those feelings and learn to delay that rush for instant gratification which comes from the feeling of being out of control. Whether that feeling is conscious or subconscious.

You really can want what you have instead of wanting what you can’t have. You really can choose to be at peace versus in inner turmoil. Nothing about this needs to continue to cause you suffering or discomfort if you are willing to radically accept what is and look inside, describe your feelings and then cope effectively with those feelings.

© A.J. Mahari, December 19, 2014 – All rights reserved.

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Can’t Have What you Want?
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