History is filled with examples of people who have received exactly what they wanted simply by asking. Yet this basic principle of success eludes most people. Whether its money, information, support, assistance, or time, most people are afraid to ask for what they need in order to make their dreams come true.
Why We Don’t Ask
We fear asking for what we want for many reasons, including being afraid of looking needy, ignorant, helpless, or even greedy. Even more common is the fear of rejection.
The irony about a fear of rejection is that although you’re afraid to hear the word no, you’re already saying it to yourself by not asking!
If you find that a fear of rejection gets in your way, consider this: Rejection is just a concept. There is really no such thing as rejection. You're not any worse off by hearing no than you were before you asked. You didn't have what you asked for before you asked, and you still don't. The reality is that you didn’t lose anything by asking.
Being rejected doesn't hold you back from anything. Only you can make that decision.
If someone denies one of your requests, ask them why they said no or what you would need to do to get a yes. You might need to form a better business plan before you will get a loan. You might need to take a course in computers before you will get a promotion. You might need to spend more quality time with your family before you will get the loving support you need. By getting this feedback, you are able to make adjustments and ask again with better chances of getting a yes.
When you realize that there's no merit to rejection, you'll feel more comfortable asking for things.
But you may need a bit of help learning how to ask for what you want.
5 Tips for Asking
There is a specific science for asking for and getting what you want and need in life. Here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Ask as though you expect to get it. Make your request with confidence and a full expectation that your wish will be granted.
2. Assume you can. Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get what you want. Ask with confidence and make the assumption that what you want is available – you only need to ask for it. You want a window seat? Assume all you have to do is ask for it. You want an ocean view? Cheaper tickets? A scholarship? A better deal? Adopt the attitude that all you need to get what you want is to speak up and say that you want it.
3. Ask someone who can give it to you. If you want a yes, there’s no sense asking a person who is incapable of fulfilling your request. Qualify the person you are talking to before asking. For example, “Who would I have to speak to about getting a business loan?”
4. Be specific. Vague requests produce vague results. So be clear about exactly what you want to ensure you get it. Don’t ask for a raise – ask for $5,000 more a year. Don't just ask for more time with your spouse – ask for a date on Friday night. Don't ask for help on a project – specify what you want the other person to do.
5. Ask repeatedly. Persistence is a key principle of success. Some people will say no to your requests. They have other priorities, commitments and reasons not to participate in the fulfillment of your goals; it’s not a reflection on you. Your job is to keep asking until you get a yes. You may even find that you need to keep asking the same person … and you’ll get a yes when you have new data to present, when circumstances have changed, when the person trusts you more, when the economy is better, or even when the person is in a better mood.
Learning how to ask will make a world of difference for you as you work toward your goals. As with everything, practicing the science of asking will help you improve. You will even speed up your progress by getting what you need, or improving yourself in order to get it later.
Take a few minutes now to make a list of what you need to ask for in all areas of your life. Then identify people who can help you … and start asking!