What does it mean when you don’t get what you want? Since this happens often throughout life, understanding that it’s not always a bad thing is key. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, or a personal goal, not being able to achieve something we desire can be frustrating and disheartening. However, not getting what you want can be a valuable learning experience — and an opportunity for growth.

Here are some helpful tips on how to handle situations where you can’t get what you want:

1. Reflect on your goals: Take some time to think about what it is that you truly want and why. Are your goals realistic and attainable? Are they in line with your values and priorities? Reflecting on your goals can help you gain clarity and perspective.

2. Be open to alternative paths: Sometimes, we may have a specific idea of how we want to achieve our goals, but life has other plans. Instead of getting caught up in the disappointment of not getting what you want, try to be open to alternative paths. Since it’s impossible to know what will actually happen tomorrow, the best anybody can do is hope that things will go as planned. And if they don’t, you may find that there are other opportunities that are even better than the ones you originally set out to pursue.

3. Learn from the experience: Not getting what we want can be a valuable learning experience. Take the time to reflect on what went wrong and what you can do differently in the future. This can help you avoid making the same mistakes and increase your chances of success. This is not failure; this is you learning from the experience so you can have a better chance at getting what you want in the future.

4. Practice gratitude: Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, take some time to appreciate the things that you do have. Practicing gratitude can help shift your mindset and make you feel more content and fulfilled. And putting that gratitude out there invites more things into your life to be grateful for.

5. Don’t give up: It’s easy to feel defeated when we don’t get what we want, but it’s important to remember that failure is not the end. Keep pushing forward and don’t give up on your goals. Remember that setbacks are a natural part of the journey towards success. If you choose to be open to learning, you will be better prepared for the future.

What to do when you don’t get what you want