Did You Ask For It?

by on March 11, 2015

Did You Ask For It?

Voting and protest conceptWhat was that last thing you really wanted?   Was it the job you interviewed for last week?  Was it to spend some time with that person you really find special?  Perhaps there is a charitable cause which appeals to you and with which you want to get more involved.  Or maybe there was something you wanted from your spouse, children or parents, had the sense they would refuse, and instead of out and out addressing your desire, you hinted all around at what you wanted without directly asking.  The closer I listen to the actual language of those with whom I come in contact, the more I realize that many frustrated by what they have not achieved, have not actually asked for what they desired.

We’re all guilty of not asking to some extent.  I know I am.  Sometimes I don’t ask to avoid an argument.  Other times it may be because I believe even before I ask, the answer will be no.  Other times I may believe that I do want something, but I’m truly not sure.  So, as a result, to not directly ask is a protection of sorts.  If I was to achieve or receive what I asked for, found I really did not like it once experiencing it, and than tried to move away from it, I’m protecting myself from “the I told you so’” feedback you expect to receive.

None of us likes to be told “No!”  Rejection hurts whether personal or professional, whether intentional or unintentional, whether we’re ready for it or it comes as complete surprise.  So, I believe subconsciously we often build up in our mind all the reasons why we’re not the one qualified to receive what it is we are seeking, so as to “soften the blow” when we don’t receive it.  It also helps to “justify” in our mind the litany of reasons, (“I’m too old,” “I’m not the type of person they’re looking for,” “I’m not from this school or that school”) that we will use to explain why we are not receiving that which we seek.

Asking does not have to be hard.  It starts with always being in a questioning mode.  The best way to keep conversations going with others is to ask them questions.  In fact the fastest way to cut off a conversation is to make a declarative statement and walk away.  Think about that when you think through the recent conversations you have had that have ended unpleasantly.  When you ask questions, good questions, it helps to move you closer from rejection to acceptance.  Through questions you may receive answers that surface the objections to you being allowed or chosen to do the thing you desire.  Answers to your questions may help to make you aware of additional qualifications you need to pursue or earn.  It also will help you in developing strategy to lessen the objections.  Additionally, you may be able to make a case for a trial period to show what you are able to do.  From that trial, it may indeed show you are ready to receive what you desire or provide evidence you have more work to do to get what you want.

However, the real shame is not asking in the first place.  So, if you have been falling short of obtaining what you seek, examine what has been happening.  Have you truly been asking to be the person selected for that job or to be given an opportunity to fill that role in a local charitable organization?  Are you able to provide examples of how your skill sets help to meet the needs of others?  Or are you reaching out, but not presenting what you offer with confidence.  Or do you feel your written credentials should speak for themselves, without backing them up with your attitude, emotions and passion for what you seek.  You may get a “No” even if you run a good solid campaign in obtaining what you desire.  But, your chances of receiving it are just about impossible if you don’t ask for it.

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