Recently I was introduced to a startling new concept… well, new to me at least.
This concept is called.. “actually asking for what you want”!!! I know right… Shocking!!
Whilst not a new concept at all, this is something that I have never been able to do for myself in the past. Despite literally decades of personal development and spiritual exploration, I had never acquired the skill set of asking for help, or asking for what I want. I know that many of you are in the same boat for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is fear.
Fear of being told “no”. Since so many of us are unable or unwilling to use the word “no” to other people, it would be reasonable to assume that we have some kind of mortal dread around the word itself. I will admit that I myself have tremendous difficulty in using the word “no”, especially to my adult children when they require assistance…. but really to almost any request, from any person, for any reason. So ingrained is my fear of rejection, that the very thought of saying “no” to someone is almost more than I can tolerate. Somehow in our minds we have equated either using the word “no”, or being told the word “no”, with total and utter rejection of ourselves as human beings. When really all it means, is that on this particular occasion, this particular request doesn’t meet with a capacity to be fulfilled. It’s not personal. It’s not emotionally devastating. It’s just impractical at this point in time.
Which brings us to the next big reason people don’t ask for what they want. Feeling unworthy.
How many of us as children had our hopes and our dreams met with negation from parents or teachers or almost anyone in a position of authority over us? Either it was a matter of money, or time, or a combination of factors. Our basic need for attention or even validation was not met to our satisfaction because parents are busy people. They have jobs and chores and lives and commitments, and we are not always their number one priority. Sad, but true. And from this we learn to accept ourselves as less than. We begin to believe that what other people need is more important than what we desire. We learn the fine art of self sacrifice in order to please others and to avoid rejection. So as adults we stop asking for what we want altogether.
I have always been someone who is happy to help. And if I am not happy to help, I will lie to your face and tell you that I am happy about helping, even if it is killing me inside and bucket loads of resentment are building up inside me. I haven’t learned how to say “no, I’m sorry but I am just too busy to do that for you right now”. By not speaking my mind, I am not asking (or telling) you what I want. In fact I NEVER ask for help. I never have. I would like to tell you it’s out of some sort of sense of self sufficiency or some other BS like that. But pure and simple it’s out of fear and an ingrained lack of worthiness.
Today that changes.
Recently I asked someone for something…. and you will never guess what happened… and more importantly, what didn’t happen. Firstly the world did not cease to revolve on it’s axis, like I long suspected it would. Next my heart did not automatically go into defib and my breathing continued as normal. In fact… and here’s the really incredible part… my request was met with enthusiasm and positivity. OMG!! Who would have ever imagined that could happen?
Anyone who has read more than two of my blog posts knows that my sole mission in life is to inspire others and leave this world a much better place than I found it. To be honest, I still have no idea how to really make that happen. All I know for sure is that for as long as I can remember I have not been content to just cruise through this life on the path of least resistance… and yet, that is exactly what I have been doing for almost 50 years now. I can’t do it anymore. When you get to a point in your life when the pain of not doing something begins to outweigh the risk of having a go.. you know it’s time to change.
That’s my big plan.
I don’t know what my future will look like at this point in time. I just know that it absolutely can not continue to look like it does right now. I know deep within my soul that I have things to contribute, skills to utilise, opinions to share, lives to change. I have always known this. I have just never known how… or who to ask for help. But by embracing the art of asking, step by step, change by change, I will find out. I will be, do and have, everything I came to the planet to do. I must. Anything less is no longer acceptable.