#28: The Uncomfortable Ask - Ask Anyway
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Asking for more in life is one of the most difficult things you can do.
It can be hard for a number of reasons.
You’re afraid your ask won’t be granted.
You have this weird notion the opposite person will think less of you if you ask them for something.
You’re just not sure you deserve that ask in that moment. So, you tell yourself you’ll ask when the time is right. Breaking news! You will always be waiting for the right time.
Or you just didn’t learn how to ask for more because as a child from a middle-class home your parents got you what you needed. Now, this doesn’t mean you end up being a pampered, snobbish adult. It just means your needs were always taken care of. And, if you wanted more, you could always ask.
Surprisingly, as a child, you weren’t in the slightest bit fazed by rejection. You persisted. The idea of discomfort didn’t even cross your mind. Your parents either fulfilled your wishes or asked you not to be greedy. As an adult, we can’t throw tantrums. We worry more. We are more afraid than fearless.
So, we struggle with framing our ask. What’s the right way to ask? What will people think? Am I being too aggressive? Am I being too pushy? These are probably the most common thoughts crowding our mind.
Even if we want to speak up and ask, we’re far more worried about how others might perceive our ask than how that ask can transform our lives and our confidence. So, we choose not to say anything.
Asking is disruptive. It breaks the pattern. Asking is uncomfortable. It’s not easy. It takes months and sometimes years to muster the courage to ask for what you truly believe in. The emotions you experience when you’re asking for your worth, asking for more, asking for opportunities are something you don’t want to experience. Your palms are probably sweating. Your hands feel cold. You feel like you just made the biggest mistake of your life.
So, to avoid this feeling of uneasiness, you don’t ask. You stop yourself even when you know you’re right.
Not asking is stopping yourself from growing. You’re not giving yourself the chance to experience and feel more—be more.
By not asking, you’re telling yourself you’ve failed and you’re never going to get up.
But once you master the art of asking and speaking up, you find yourself in a beautiful place. You become more confident and surer of yourself. There’s even a certain amount of pride you experience.
You think you deserve more money? Ask.
You think your boss needs to give you more challenging projects? Ask.
You think you want to take six months off and go off on a solo trip? Ask for that sabbatical. You may or may not be granted that sabbatical, but at least you did the asking. That’s a win.
If you’ve (somewhat) followed my journey, you all know I didn’t stay in a job where I was unhappy with the culture.
I didn’t take No for an answer when I got rejected from jobs I wanted. I didn’t stop myself from asking a former boss who forgot to pay me for the money I was owed.
I didn’t stop myself from applying to jobs where I met only 50% of the job requirements. I gave myself that chance.
If you ask, you might be turned down. But if you don’t ask, you’ve turned down yourself first. So, that’s my message to you this week. Give yourself that chance. Ask.
That’s all for this week, folks!
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With Being Curious, I’m sharing my experiences and random musings on working abroad, career pivots, personal growth, the passion economy, networking, and more. It’s a way to keep myself accountable in sharing my tips with other people who are struggling or stuck and need that extra nudge. This is yet another interesting micro-experiment for me, and I can’t wait to see where I go with this.
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