If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

I’m a great believer in ‘it’s worth an ask’ and while I’m not disappointed if the answer’s ‘no’, (it was worth an ask, right?) often I’m pleasantly surprised and glad that I ventured to ask for something that wasn’t presented as part of the standard offer.  That might be for a cocktail that’s not on the list (yum yum!), to cancel a hotel booking when the policy is not to take cancellations and to ask for a pay rise in the public sector when people don’t normally negotiate their salaries.  That was definitely worth an ask! 😊  If you don’t ask, you don’t usually get, so are there things that you have been thinking about asking for, that you’re currently shying away from? 

What’s The Worst That Can Happen?!

It’s easy for me to be glib about asking for things because typically they’ve not been things that I’ve been emotionally connected to.  Although I was fairly emotionally connected to my salary! 😉  If there are things that you want to ask for that do have an emotional connection, it’s worth starting with less emotional asks before you build up to the bigger stuff.  That way, if the answer is ‘no’, there’s not such an emotional hit to it and your confidence won’t be dented so much that you won’t be prepared to try it again, hopefully.  If you don’t ask for the things that would gently enhance your life experience, you might be missing out on the minutiae of life that can make it so wonderful 😊  The first step can be to think ‘is there something that would make this just a little bit nicer?’.

Self Care or Self Indulgence?

We can all be guilty of saying ‘it’s lovely, thank you’ when we’re asked if our meal is OK, and it’s actually not but thinking beyond the standard offer can add a few little wins to the day that can make you smile and will build your confidence and self-esteem.  I don’t mean for every single thing in your life, that would tip over into self-indulgence but if you’re enjoying a meal with a loved one, friends or family, just think if there’s something that could enhance that experience.  While your head is saying “just leave it, don’t make a fuss” try and find your inner super hero, who will ask very politely and very respectfully, “if I could…….”.  If you don’t ask, you don’t get and a standard meal might be just that, standard, albeit enhanced by the people you’re with of course 😊

Find Your Voice

If you can find the courage to ask for something beyond the standard offer, you will reinforce a cycle of positive thinking and that can help to build your confidence and self-esteem.  It might also surprise the people you’re with as they would never expect that from you, and that will make you smile.  Even if the answer to your ask is ‘no’, if it’s a polite exchange, you can feel positive afterwards.  It was still worth an ask and you can feel proud that you did that.  If you’re inner dialogue tells you that you’re stupid and shouldn’t have made a fuss at that point, then it might be worth getting some help with your confidence and self-esteem, as your inner dialogue is quite negative.  Equally if someone else tells you that, it’s worth considering the dynamics of your relationship with them, and thinking about where their confidence level is at.  There’s nothing wrong with asking a polite question, very few people will be offended by that.

Our Upbringing Can Make A Difference

I was brought up with a ‘don’t make a fuss’ mentality and that may well be a trend for those of us with post-war parents.  It makes sense that my parents had that mentality, as they had been brought up with that mentality too.  And while making a fuss when there’s no cause to is less than helpful, asking for something that would enhance your life experience has a value.  If you have that ‘don’t make a fuss’ mentality like me, have a think about whose voice you hear.  If it comes from your much earlier life then it might be worth re-thinking your approach.  Ask yourself:

  • Am I making a fuss?  No
  • Am I asking a perfectly reasonable question, politely and respectfully?  Yes.  Then crack on with that! 😊
  • Potentially, will I regret not asking for something later on and feel frustrated with myself that I didn’t?  Yes – do it!  Ask the question!!!!

If you struggle with your confidence and self-esteem, think about someone who inspires you.  Someone who had or has a strong voice, a strength to put their wishes across to other people, very kindly, compassionately and respectfully, and who made an impression, on you and possibly many others.  That doesn’t have to be a well-known person, it could be a family member, someone you’ve worked with or a Teacher from earlier life perhaps.  Think about their behaviour, how they communicated with others, the things you like about them.  Then put that person on your shoulder as a mental image when you’re thinking about asking for something.  What would they do?  How would they ask for something in a totally brilliant way, that would not offend anyone and could make everyone smile?  If they could make that happen, so can you 😊  It might take a few goes at it but with them on your shoulder, you might just feel the boost of confidence it takes to ask for something that will help you to enjoy a situation more. 

A Reasonable Request Is Exactly That

Social niceties can prevent us from asking for anything beyond the standard offer.  That, and a lack of confidence can do that, but observe other peoples’ behaviours; think about the behaviours you like and might demonstrate yourself and those that you would definitely not repeat.  Observing how not to do something can give you a strong sense of how you would like to behave and communicate!  If you have strong values around being polite and respectful, that’s great, you can still ask for something with those values being upheld.  In a ‘no fuss’ society, find a way to make yourself heard.  Demonstrate to yourself and others that requests beyond the standard offer, which can enhance your life experience can be made beautifully.  Start will the small, less-emotional stuff and work up, and don’t be defeated by a ‘no’.  You had the courage to ask and that’s a fab thing 😊

Take good care please, ask with style and confidence, and have a great day.

Best wishes, Karen

Email: kw.innerstrength@outlook.com