We are told from a young age that we can’t always get our way. There’s even an underlying stigma associated with wanting to get your way. Getting your way is goal attainment. So there is nothing wrong with wanting to get your way.
Problems occur when getting your way conflicts with what others want. When this is the case, it’s no longer an issue of reaching goals but rather of imposing your desires on someone else.
What happens when a young child doesn’t get their way? They throw a tantrum until their demand is met. When a parent gives in, the child learns that irate behavior is rewarded. They will then repeat this process whenever their desires are not being satisfied.
Unfortunately, these children often attempt this strategy as they get older in an attempt to achieve their objectives. When it doesn’t succeed in producing the desired outcome, their attitude can turn negative or even develop into a victim mentality.
People may exhibit a variety of detrimental reactions when they don’t get their way. They blame others. They give up. They become resentful or bitter. Negative responses to getting your way work against you, making it harder or impossible to get your way.
As you know, you don’t always get you way. Sometimes it may even be unfair. What’s significant is your response to not getting your way. When you don’t get your way, you need to determine the best way to move forward. Resentment or bitterness inhibits this process.
Things do happen for a reason. When you don’t get your way, what insight can you gain? At times, not getting your way may actually be a blessing. So when you don’t get your way, first determine if it’s a sign that you were going in the wrong direction and should be adjusting your orientation.
If you conclude your goal and direction are indeed what you really want, you have to formulate a strategy for getting your way. Here are some useful traits for getting your way.
A clear vision of what you want. A detailed mental picture of your objective is essential for stoking your motivation. Your mind works to attain whatever images it’s given. This is why people post pictures of places they want to go, where they want to live, or things they want to acquire.
Desire. The stronger your desire, the greater the chances of getting what you want. It’s virtually impossible to attain challenging goals you don’t really care about. In order to get your way, your way has to be what you want rather than what someone else says you should want.
Determination and persistence. It may not be easy getting your way, but it’s possible. You will face challenges and obstacles. There will be numerous problems you need to solve. Determination and persistence keep you going through tough times.
Knowledge. You need to know what to do and how to do it. You can either acquire the necessary knowledge yourself or consult with those having the needed expertise. A great way to gain knowledge is to study those who have already obtained that which you are seeking. Learn from their experience rather than reinventing the wheel.
Flexibility. You have to be ready to adjust direction as needed. Your strategy has to change when you uncover unexpected opportunities or run into dead ends. Flexibility enables you to adapt to changing circumstances.
Resiliency. Setbacks are a normal part of any journey. When you stumble and fall, you have to get back on your feet. Bouncing back up is a key to success.
You can get your way when it’s appropriate. Maintain a positive attitude and follow these suggestions. It’s a process, so stay with it.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at
or write him c/o this paper. 2012 Bryan Golden