When we are little kids and trying to absorb what life throws at us, I feel that as children, we take this idea to heart. If we wanted the toy that our parents put on the counter away from us, we’d ask, or beg, or show our parents in some form that we wanted it.
That is a skill that is implanted in our brains from birth. If we ask, we will most likely get. Yet, somewhere along our life path, we forget this simple fact. We fall into a trap of just listening to others, without stepping up and asking for things we might not have been given. Once school, working, or life really hits us, we flip that mindset which ends up hurting us more than helping.
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts
I remember when I was young, my grandmother was a huge fan of Nora Roberts. To be honest, lots of people in my family have read her books over the years. I have many memories of flipping through her books while bored on a Thursday night. This quote is one that I came across years ago, and has stuck with me ever since. It simple, direct, and to the point.
As twenty-somethings especially, I feel that we can sometimes be afraid to ask for what we want. Blame that on lack of experience or confidence. It’s not a bad thing, but stepping outside of our comfort zone requires a very fragile combination of being committed to the request, being definite in what we want, and having the ability to accept both a good and bad outcome.
As funny as it may sound, you need to almost revert back to when you were a child. No matter what, they always ask in some form for what they want. When you ask, you may get shut down from time to time, but like Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
Especially as we get older, everyone seems to get busier and busier. Life is flashing before our eyes, and more times than not, people don’t have the time nor the mindset to give you something without asking.
This relates to work, to school, to friendships and to family. If you can’t level with people for them to understand what you have to offer them, you’re working in a never ending tunnel and you’re going to lose. If you don’t get what you want, you just end up with some great experience and learn from what happened. That only makes you a stronger and more independent individual.
So, next time you hesitate asking for something you want, remember that you don’t give yourself a chance to succeed if you don’t ask. Start repeating these words to yourself every time you’re feeling hesitation: You don’t get what you don’t ask for.