Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

On Monday I discussed why so many of us have a hard time asking for what we need. Tuesday I discussed how the Law of Attraction can help you with Asking for Support. Now I’ll give you tools for getting the most out of asking.

Most people won’t give more than necessary. A majority of people are not looking to see what you need so they can give it to you. That’s human nature. People pleasers wait for people to offer, settle for what’s given and accept it when they get nothing since they don’t feel deserving of much. Nice People on Top know it’s okay to ask for what they want because they deserve to receive. I dreaded asking until I realized that usually the worst outcome is being turned down. I can handle that.

You may get turned down if you ask but if you don’t ask, you get a guaranteed nothing.

Do you assume you’ll get turned down, so why bother to ask? Don’t block yourself! Second-guessing others loses big opportunities. A client told me that when she was trying to break into a career right out of college, she met the CEO of a company she was dying to work at. She had little professional experience. Old voices warned her not ask for a job. But she asked anyway and was hired. After working for a few weeks, she asked the CEO why she’d hired her. The answer is a valuable lesson: “Because you asked. Most people don’t ask for things, which is a shame. I was impressed that you took that chance and decided to take a chance on you.”

Some of us were taught not to risk alienating others by asking for much. My mouth used to freeze shut before I could ask for anything. But I eventually learned that the more you ask, the more comfortable you get with it. Become conscious of asking more effectively. To end the week of posts about learning to ask for what you need, here are some tips to get started:

Ask for what you need with conviction. If you sound apologetic or unsure, people won’t take your request seriously. Fake conviction! If you sound like you expect a bad response, you’ll probably get one. If you sound like you expect to get what you ask for, the person is more likely to take your request seriously and give you what you want.

Beat the fear! Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen if you ask? Someone says no? Remember—if you don’t ask, no one will say yes. It’s okay to be scared but ask anyway! Each time you push through the fear will make it easier the next time. In most cases, you’ll see there’s nothing to be scared of.

Be direct. Don’t drop hints and hope someone bites. Be straight!  For example, if you need colleagues to help organize a party for someone who works with you, don’t talk to everyone about how much work it is for you to do alone and wait for offers. You might get some but may not. Instead, state what you want clearly: “Organizing this party is too much work for just me. Can I count on all of you to pitch in?” If you hint and get ignored, you don’t know if they understood or didn’t want to do it.

Don’t complain as a ploy to ask. I was the master of wishful complaining—expressing unhappiness about needing something or how it’s hard to find someone to help with ____. Complaining annoys people and can make them less likely to jump in to help you.

Express appreciation up front. Some requests can sound like a demand or that the person should feel obligated to help. Instead of “I need you to switch days off with me,” start your ask with your own version of “I’d greatly appreciate it if you can switch days off with me so I can go to my daughter’s graduation.” End with a “thank you for considering it.” Gratitude makes people more likely to acquiesce.

Practice asking. Start with small requests. Then try bigger ones. Show appreciation when people agree. That makes them more amenable to saying “yes” next time you ask.

Ask for and expect more. Only asking for a little rarely gets you much. Raise your expectations, which increase your chance of receiving more. We often feel we shouldn’t ask for too much. Why not??! If you’re going to ask, go for what you want. More is better than less!

Affirm why you deserve what you’re asking for. Accept your right to receive! Write down why you deserve to get what you’re asking for. Until you convince yourself that you deserve it, it’s hard to get taken seriously! Your attitude shouldn’t reflect doubt. You’re worthy of receiving!

Get into the habit of asking. Learn from those who ask you! Why get requests from others and not make your own? Asking for what you want is a good habit to nurture! The more you receive, the more happy and confident you’ll be.

If you get turned down, say, “Thanks anyway.” Getting turned down can feel awkward. Making a positive comment makes it easier to accept and you’ll leave it on a positive note, which leaves the door open for asking again in the future.

As your faith gets stronger, it gets easier to accept that if something is meant to be, you’ll get a positive response when you ask and if it’s not right or the right time, the “no” is okay too. Now I ask with the expectation of getting what’s best for my highest good, so any answer is good. The important thing is doing the asking. Each time you do it strengthen your confidence and adds to your feelings of empowerment.

Take the self-love challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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