Asking for what you want is a powerful, empowering act that can send strong ripples through your life. While it may seem simple enough, four things need to be in place first:
You know what you want.
- You fully believe you deserve it.
- You are prepared to accept the answer “No.”
- You have the communication skills needed for an effective request.
What Do You Want?
Wants emerge from needs you are experiencing, for example: the need to be heard, the need for respect, expedience, beauty, intimacy. Knowing the need helps you be clear about what you are requesting. It’s helpful to distinguish between needs that move us towards well-being and those that never really bring happiness, such as the desire for approval or to be right.
Believe You Deserve It
If you think you can’t have what you want, take time to examine your limiting beliefs. Make a list of all the things you want, then write all the reasons you can’t have them. Are these reasons really true? Have you made decisions about “reality” or made assumptions about others that keep you from even asking for what you want? When you ask people for what you want, you offer them the opportunity to contribute, something we all wish to do.
Prepare for No
Asking for what you truly want honors your experience and brings you into deeper alignment with the essence of who you are. You connect with your own humanness and know where you stand. Having asked, it may no longer be so important that you get exactly what you want; the asking, itself, is empowering.
Tony Robbins says, “The answer is always ‘no’ if you don’t ask.” True! But asking is more effective when you follow these guidelines for effective communication:
State your need clearly, followed by your request.
- Ask for what you want in the present (not “I wanted you to help me with the kids yesterday.”)
- Ask for what you do want, not what you don’t want. (“I want you to spend time with me,” not “I don’t want you to be at work so much.”)
- Ask in the form of a request, rather than a demand.
- Detach from the outcome.
Remember that empowerment comes in the asking. When you ask for what you want, you have planted not only the seeds of better communication, but of more clearly knowing who you are, which is present in what you want.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications