Asking is the beginning of receiving ~ Jim Rohn
Whether it is requesting an increase in salary, reaching out in a relationship for more connection, or simply stating a personal need in a social setting, asking for what you want in any of these areas can generate fear (of rejection), embarrassment, feelings of stupidity, or worries of seeming weak. In the emotional turmoil that can precede simply stating a desire, it is difficult to see how such actions can be empowering and can strengthen your resilience.
How To Ask Effectively
There are many ways to ask for what you want or need but all requests have three essential components:
- Knowing what you want
- Letting go of inner criticism and self-judgement
- Communicating with clarity and comfort
Know What You Want
Try these four steps to help you get clear about what you want:
1] Set aside a few minutes. Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed. Settle in comfortably and take three slow, deep breaths through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Set the intention to connect to your heart.
2] Ask yourself – “If there were no restrictions or judgments on my desire, what is it that I really want in my life?”
3] Journal your answer. Write as much as you need. Record every detail completely.
4] Now clarify what you have written by condensing it into one concise sentence.
Release Inner Criticism or Self-Judgment
Messages in your upbringing become the internalised recordings that play out when your adult self needs or wants anything. The smallest, insignificant childhood incident can blaze the trail for disempowerment, low self-esteem and inability to ask because you may have learned that:
- It is selfish and demanding to ask
- It is not okay to want anything
- It is not okay to ask for too much
- Receiving what you want means someone else is left without
- Asking means you are weak and needy
Ensure that you have addressed and released any inner criticism or self-judgment by identifying and silencing the old messages about asking you might be hearing
Communicate Clearly and Comfortably
State your request from a place of confidence and self-worth and let your value and courage guide your asking. Before you ask, take a moment to touch the soul of your worthiness and acknowledge that what you need or want is an honest request from your heart.
A heartfelt ask is also mindful of the timing and is respectful of the other person’s needs and life situation.
To clearly and concisely ask for what you want, it is vital to make your request in such a way that it has no:
- exaggeration (I need to get 100% of what I am asking for). Instead be willing to accept part of what you have asked for –ie- pre-plan a compromise.
- manipulation ( I will not survive if I don’t get what I have asked for),
- projecting guilt (you owe me because…)
- fear of rejection (I am asking for too much or what will they think of me if I ask),
- justification (I should because I deserve), or
- understatement (It really doesn’t matter).
“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” -Lena Horne
Not knowing how to ask with ease and grace can be a massive stumbling block to growth and peace in life and in your ability to give to others as well. The ultimate result of not asking can also mean you might experience anxiety, feel resentful of self and others or begin to absorb a sense of lack or deprivation.
There are times in life, when we struggle, get overwhelmed and need help. Rather than judging these needs as weak, growth and empowerment can emerge when we choose to reach out, connect and become interdependent. The loving and caring at the heart of who we are is made more beautiful when it is shared through asking.
Sometimes the asking is what creates deeper relationships….It is a gift to ask because we’re human and we need each other. ~ unknown