6 most common reasons for not having what we want

by Annelise Mitchell March 12, 2017

6 most common reasons for not having what we want

We each have reasons of why we can and cannot achieve what we want.

We may say it is because of how we grew up, disasters that have befallen us or our lack of “natural talent.”

The reasons we give always sound so logical and truthful. This is because the reasons for our failure to have what we want sounds so logical (i.e. reasonable) that we think they must be true.

But no, we are being misled by our own logic.

Just because our ideas about truth and reality may have even passed from generation to generation, it doesn’t mean they are inevitable and just the way things are.

They are very often misrepresentations of reality. Some of these ideas don’t represent the truth any more than the claim that if a woman owned a cat and had no children was a witch in the 16th century. What was believed to be the truth was in fact a dangerous lie. It wasn’t until many generations had passed, that what was once considered “The Truth” was revealed to be false.

And this is the case for many of the ideas and forces that we believe prevent us from creating what we want in our lives.

We see them as unsurmountable and just the way things are. No matter what we do, we can’t change them.

But if this was true, then so many people who were born in the most unfavourable circumstances would not have achieved anything beyond their rough beginnings. Amy Tan, the best-selling author of the The Joy Luck Club reveals how despite the tragedies that had befallen her family over many generations, she could make herself into a successful writer.

Amy Tan is not alone in forging ahead despite emotional and physical turmoil. Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling and Walt Disney each had poverty, discrimination and deeply entrenched beliefs that appeared to determine the trajectory of their lives.

But they didn’t let themselves become victims of harsh events and other people’s ideas, and neither will you.

It is my attempt to debunk some of these ideas about what we can and cannot achieve. Until we do, we will forever remain in the world of the impossible, instead of the probable and desirable.

The following 6 forces are commonly believed to sabotage our potential for achieving what we want:

  1. The universe

The idea that your fate is bound by the laws of nature or the universe. We may have some freedom to choose, but we are mostly limited to a fate that is beyond our control.

Proponents of this idea point out that we are determined by the laws of physics, and as a part of nature, what we do and ultimately achieve will be limited to our genetics, our bio-chemistry and the energy within and around us.

But many of these proponents will also say that although we may be determined in a lot of ways, such as what we look like and how we feel, we can still make choices to change our interpretation of what happens to us and our ultimate direction.

How we see the opportunities available to us and the actions we can take are not determined by universal laws. They are determined by the choices we make. When we understand that we can create the results we want, we can take whatever steps are necessary to achieve these results, regardless of what happens within and around us.

The universe may have causal laws in operation that make some things out of your control, such as when you were born, viral diseases you may contract when young or travelling overseas, but you have the free will to take steps towards what you want in your life.

  1. Family

The notion that your parent’s status, and even their parent’s status, will determine your overall life chances is very popular. You may be able to increase your level of education and longevity, but you are highly unlikely to increase your social status.

Many will also assert that ambition, talent and the ability to overcome failure are strongly inherited. The values and beliefs of our family, wealth and social networks all determine who we are to become.

There is a lot of truth here, but only when we’re not aware of how our beliefs ultimately effect whether we take action to change our future. If we believe that our fate is determined by the bad luck and misfortune that has plagued our family for generations, we will see ourselves as a victim to a similar fate.

But if you believe that tragic or unfavourable circumstances can happen but that you have the ability to determine your own success, you will behave very differently. The end result will be remarkably different (and better) to your parents. They didn’t have this knowledge, but you do.

  1. History

The idea that our life is constrained by what has happened in the past. These events cause us to move in a certain direction and we are mostly powerless to fight against their effects. We can’t change what happens to us because these events have limited our choices.

For example, if we have experienced a history of family conflict, we believe that the effects from the conflict will forever disturb us. We won’t be able to create what we want because the disturbances in our life and family have forever altered our course, and we are doomed to suffer its effect for the rest of our lives.

But we are not.

There are countless examples of individuals who have suffered the most terrible of circumstances, such as war, natural disasters and even the death of their greatest loves, and they have still created a meaningful life.

There are countless examples of individuals who have suffered the most terrible of circumstances, such as war, natural disasters and even the death of their greatest loves, and they have still created a meaningful life.

There are countless examples of individuals who have suffered the most terrible of circumstances, such as war, neglect and abandonment, and even the death of their greatest loves. Despite these events, they have still created a meaningful life.

  1. Culture

The idea that our cultural background – who we grow up hanging around and who we see as role models – will largely shape our success in life. If we grow up in a culture that emphasises hard work and individual responsibility, we are more likely to believe in the same work ethic. But if we grow up in a culture that only does what is necessary to get by and is quick to blame others, we have a much higher chance of doing the same.

Of course, this is true but only if we let it.

When we know otherwise, we have the opportunity to do otherwise. When I looked at my parents, they didn’t know much different, so I cannot blame them for doing what they did and not creating the life that I thought would have been better. They just didn’t know.

When we know otherwise, we have the opportunity to do otherwise. When I look at my parents, they didn’t know much different, so I cannot blame them for doing what they did and not creating the life that I thought would have been better. They just didn’t know.

I do, and you do and that is the difference. We can choose who we mingle with and share our ideas, and this has tremendous influence on who we become!

  1. Astrology/numerology

I grew up hearing so much about astrology and horoscopes that it drove me a little nuts. Apparently, the time I was born, and the stars that were in orbit around my home town would determine much of my personality and what I was capable of achieving. It was even possible to predict what would happen in my future based on the predictive ability of astrologists.

I was very doubtful.

How could stars, which really are far away planets, have any bearing on the personalities and life pathways of humans? Did the same apply for my cat? My dog? The millions of cows and chickens that are killed every day? How are humans so special?

Apart from these questions, I learned that although the sun and the moon have some influence on us, such as showering us with Vitamin D rays that are so nourishing, the planets that exist in our universe don’t influence what happens to us. And they certainly don’t influence our ability to make choices.

When we look to astrology, tarot cards, or any form of prediction, we are taking power away from ourselves.

The biggest influence on our life comes from within us, when we know what we want and we go after it. This means rather than following pre-ordained plans that are out of our hands, we make our own plans and we put in the enormous effort that is required to fulfil our plans.

Sadhguru talks about this and provides a profound insight into why astrology is misguiding and can become an excuse for not having what we want.

  1. Biology/DNA/genetics

The idea that our behaviours, beliefs, and desires are caused by our genetic heritage. The genes we were handed by fate or our “genetic lottery” shape how we see and act in the world. We may have some influence from our environment, but what we can achieve is limited to our biological traits. We are born smart, talented, ambitious. It’s in our blood.

You will be familiar with this line of thinking if you ever heard growing up, “You are just like your father.” [Or mother, aunt, the family line, any will do.] These comments imply that we will turn out like these relatives. We can’t change the direction of our lives because we have their same behaviours and inclinations. The most we can hope for is to control any undesirable behaviours.

This is the most insidious of all the forces, as it seems so logical. Of course, we have inherited traits that shape our behaviour. But what this idea ignores is how we interpret who we are and how our beliefs about our position in the family can shape who we see ourselves to be. When we realise that we determine what actions we take, and not our genetics, we are in a position to create the life we want.

There are many who will argue tooth and nail that these forces and ideas are true.

They are “scientifically” validated and have hundreds, even thousands of educated people arguing for their validity.

But what they don’t talk about is how each of these scientific accounts are interpreted by humans who are influenced by the dominant beliefs in their culture. When looking at behaviour through these lens, they very often interpret data in alignment with what they believe to be true.

In fact, the very claim that something is based on “science” is very often an opportunity for us to pause and reflect.

Is it true, or is it someone’s representation of reality? Are they using the word "science" to make what they are saying sound true?

Don't get me wrong, I love the scientific method. It is one of the most important tools we can ever use to get to the truth – but it doesn’t always lead to the truth, and what was true for one era ends up being debunked by others in another era.

You will do the same.

The beliefs and values that you grew up seeing as all-powerful are really serving the interests of some people, but not others. It is learning to question these beliefs and reasons for why we cannot have what we want, that we will ultimately create what we want to see in the world.

6 most common reasons for not having what we want by life-changing learning




Annelise Mitchell
Annelise Mitchell

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