Do you find it easy to ask for what you want or do you often hesitate and get very uncomfortable to do so?
I would like to talk about my own experience of to asking for what I want. I think many people will be able to resonate with it. I grew up in a family where I was told that it is rude to be asking for what I want more than ones and in certain cases at all. I use to think I shouldn’t want too much.
Old limiting beliefs keeping us unhappy and stuck
My most common way of defending not asking for what I really want was: it’s greedy and selfish to want too much stuff, attention, love… And also:
There are many people that don’t have everything they want. That’s life!
Its normal to not have many things we want. Some things are just not mean to be mine and I should make peace with it and be a good girl. The most powerful thought about this subject was:
I most likely wouldn’t get it anyway, so what’s the point? I will just make people angry and get in trouble if I ask.
Common Limiting Belief: It’s impossible to have it all.
I know that this is not a rare way of thinking. Many people I meet, some of my clients, friends and family members still think these limiting thoughts.
Today I know IT IS NECESSARY to ask for what we feel will make us happy, taken care of and loved. Its is our birth right and our responsibility we were given the moment we entered into this wonderful and challenging world.
Years ago when I was being Life coached for the first time, one session really stud out for me and literally changed my life forever.
To explain why it had such an impact on my life and the way I felt about my own needs, I will tell you a little bit about my life than. I was 25 and I was working as a nanny for almost 7 years already. In those 7 years I have developed many bad habits and was on an autopilot to take care of everyone else around me first and if I had the time and energy I would take care of my own needs (which was rare).
The reward for acting like this was: I was considered a very good nanny, people were very happy with my work and I was also considered and a very kind person. I guess that should have felt good, right?
The problem was: I was exhausted, unhappy and sometimes extremely frustrated not knowing what’s wrong with the world.
I was exhausted from pleasing others making sure everyone else was happy and was hurting from the little love I was getting back for all my efforts. Now I understand that the world around us is is just a manifestation of the different elements of the relationship we have with our own selves.
Taking care of my own needs was at the bottom of my list most of the time, and the world (and people around me) were just reflecting on what was happening. I was attracting people coming into my life that would put me and my needs at the bottom of their list. Does that make sense?
Always put the oxygen mask on your self FIRST
During the memorable session with my Life Coach I am writing about here on my blog, I was expressing my frustration and allowed my self to feel all the exhaustion I was experiencing at that time. My coach has demonstrated what was going wrong on a little hypothetical scenario she presented to me.
She knew I traveled a lot and asked me what would a flight attendant advise me to do when there is a collision and the plain I am on may go down. Most people know the drill: the oxygen masks will pop out above your head and you will be instructed to put it on. This is the important part.
The moment that changed my life
My Life Cach said:
“No mater who is traveling with you on that plane sitting next to you and how much you care for them, it could be your child, your husband, an older lady …. you will be instructed to put the oxygen mask on your self FIRST.
Once you are taken care of, you can now help others around you. You are of no help to others when you are dead, because you failed to secure your own well being first.
Put your self first – for your own and everybody else’s wellbeing
In that moment I realized I had a habit of putting the oxygen mask on everyone around me first. In fact I have been doing it for years and my life and I (physically and emotionally) was about to collapse or “go down” you may say. I was desperately grasping for some air, understanding and love.
It was finally time to take care of me again and introduce balance back into my life.
Don’t assume that people should know what you want
Say it out loud and clear
Another big realization that came later was that I really wasn’t communicating with people around me (my employers, friends, my boyfriend ..) openly and honestly.
I wasn’t really saying what I really thought. I was being polite, a good girl hoping that people will clue in and magically change.
I just hoped that they will figure it all out and do “the right thing”, while they were taking care of them selves first and driving me crazy sometimes.
To be or not to be selfish enough to attend to your own happiness
Now I realize that they were there to teach me to open my eyes and do the same for my self.
I wasn’t asking for what I really wanted and I wasn’t getting it. It does make sense, doesn’t it?
I had to have all of my buttons pushed and be all exhausted to finally say out loud: I want more respect, attention, love, more time to relax and rejuvenate….more time alone not working, more money, better health…..I wanted it all and was now going to ask for it.
It took me years to brake my old habits and fears of what could happen when I do that. I had to learn to be selfish enough to maintain my happiness and well being because I knew very well what happens if I don’t.
I wasn’t going to let that happen again.
I know there are many people out there experiencing something similar. I see many of my coaching clients having the same habits, way of thinking and understanding of love I had years ago my self. I am happy to be able to share my own realizations with them and the people reading this blog.
3 Common Reasons Why we Don’t Ask for More
There are many reasons why we don’t say out loud what we want and here are 3 most common ones:
- Fear of rejection.
- Feeling not worthy of what you are asking for.
- Fear of not being liked by a certain person or a community we belong to after we speak up about our wants/needs.
The most uncomfortable actions we take are the ones that truly can transform our lives and who we are as a person. When faced with a difficult situation requiring you to ask for more next time, you can ask your self these 3 Power questions to get over your fears and accomplish the task :
3 Power Questions to Get Over Your Fears and Ask for What You Want
- Why am I not asking for what I want? Its important to acknowledge your fears. Its the only way to understand and overcome these fears. Its really important to be very honest with your self here.
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I gather my courage and openly and honestly ask for what I want/need? Is it really true or do I just assume that?
- What is the worst thing that will happen if I don’t ask and don’t get what I want/need? Where will I be a month or a year later if I will stay on the path I am on now?
Jack Canfield talking about asking for more
Put you own happiness first, its your responsibility to maintain it for your self. Be willing to ask for what you want and change your way of thinking about having more and your life could change dramatically in a very short period of time.
Simple Exercise to Start Practicing Asking for More
Take 10 minutes and make list of the top 5 of your needs that are not being met right now and pick one to start practicing ASKING FOR MORE.
It is a powerful way to make a refreshing and long desired change.