It’s funny. We can ask the produce manager to bring out better looking blueberries but we can’t ask our boss for a well deserved raise.
Why are we afraid to ask for what we want?
I don’t know about you but I wasn’t encouraged to ask questions as a child. As the most talkative child in my class I often got into trouble at school. I recall being sent out to sit on in the hall many a day. My report cards confirm this.
At home or in other venues I kept quiet. I didn’t speak up. And, as a result I began to develop a sense of ‘not good enough’. As if I didn’t really deserve to ask for things. I would eat the overcooked steak, sit in the uncomfortable chair, and agree to things I didn’t really want to do.
Not speaking up is the beginning of a slide into more than just silence. If we’re not speaking up we’re not asking for what we need. And that means we’re not fully satisfied with our lives.
To ask is to acknowledge yourself.
To ask is giving yourself permission to pursue anything you want.
To ask is to be in alignment with your deepest self.
It means you know what your body needs. You know what makes you happy, what feels right for you and what you need in any given situation.
If we don’t talk about what we want–if we don’t ask, we won’t get it. We won’t get our needs met. Whether it’s suffering through a movie we hate, sitting at the worst table in the restaurant or having to suffer through a friend’s upset without knowing how to help.
What would happen if we started asking for the things we wanted?
I sat down and quickly wrote out six questions I want to ask.
The answers to these questions would make me feel valued in a relationship, clear up a conflict with a relative, bring in better freelance writing pay and build my credentials as a public speaker.
In each case I would feel a deep satisfaction in knowing I value and respect myself enough to speak up.
It feels pretty powerful to think about getting my needs met. But. Suppose I ask for these things and they say No. Would I be crushed? No. Not necessarily. Any response I get will help me understand the relationship. I can ask further questions or choose to focus my energies elsewhere. I might get a Yes to everything I ask for.
Wouldn’t that be powerful?
What would happen to your life if you thought about the questions you’ve been unwilling to ask? And got up the nerve to ask! What would change?
Here’s one of my questions. To my mother–”How can I help you, in my role as your caregiver, deal with the health-related problems that are decreasing your mobility?” Her answer will tell me how committed she is to making some changes. And, I’ll have a clearer sense of my role and how to interact with her.
Would you share one of the questions you need to ask someone?