For some reason, asking for what I need is still foreign to me at times. And most times, the requests aren’t big at all! I just tend to want to do things myself. I don’t like feeling limited.
Last week, I met up with a couple of my line sisters who I hadn’t seen in several months. I would typically drive out to VA to see them, but this time they met me halfway in a different part of MD. It was a small request, but it meant so much to me that there was an even exchange of travel time involved. I would’ve had to make additional arrangements and probably stayed the night if we were going to meet up in VA. I didn’t feel like doing that, so I posed a different solution.
Again: simple ask. But great results. I felt supported. I felt seen. I felt like I was worth the trip. (Because—duh!—I am!)
The more I do small asks like the above-mentioned, the more I’ll feel comfortable doing greater asks.
I read a magazine article over the summer that talked about ways for women to speak up in salary negotiations. The author said that a good way to start to ask for more money is to test out asking in low-risk settings. Ask for another scoop of ice cream for free at your favorite parlor. Ask for more chicken in your burrito bowl at Chipotle. The worst they can say is no. Having successful “yeses” for your small asks will make you more comfortable when the conversation is really serious. How can you expect $20,000 more when you don’t ask for your $0.75? Think about it.
With any skillset or habit, it gets built up over time until it becomes second nature.
In this stage of my life, I’m learning how to ask for assistance in a variety of areas.
Most recently, I sent out a survey to my support system (family, friends and former colleagues) that requested feedback on where they envision me to be. It was a way for me to gain several perspectives on the type of work I may be best suited for.
Everything was pretty much in alignment with what I’ve already been doing. One dear friend of mine who’s been walking closely with me during this journey told me that I may be stepping into new territory that no one has ever seen before, so she was slow to give her feedback. I really appreciated that perspective.
Anyway, I share that to say that even getting a peek into who I am from a different angle took a brave ask. It was a humbling moment to say that I might have some blind spots, even though I’m working through these topics in books, classes, therapy, casual conversations, etc.
I’m hoping that this muscle will loosen up the more I use it!
I challenge you to do a big ask this week! Feel free to comment on how it went!
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7, NLT)
Until Next Time,