How to Master the Art of Asking for What You Want

How to Master the Art of Asking for What You Want

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” —Oprah Winfrey

How many times have you known exactly what you wanted, but didn’t ask for it?

We’ve all been there. Whether it was fear of rejection, or simply because staying quiet avoided rocking the boat.

But you know what? Mastering the art of asking for what you want goes hand in hand with success.

In fact, getting comfortable with asking for what you want will make a positive difference in your life. That’s why today we have some easy tips to help you nail it.

Clarity, the First Step

Give some thought to what you want to ask for and—most importantly—why. Be honest with yourself.

If you’re having trouble asking for what you want, it might be because you simply haven’t established a clear image of it in your mind. Take a moment to really explore what you want changed, and formulate a clear picture of the new situation.

Prepare in Advance

Different “asks” require different preparation. Asking your family to help out with the dishes probably doesn’t require a lot of advanced planning.

But what about asking a business partner to increase their investment, or approaching a boss about a raise?

Always prepare accordingly. Get facts lined up to support your case. Practice in front of a mirror. And regardless of what you’re asking—or from whom—try to pick a time when they’ll be most receptive to hearing you.

But that said, definitely don’t sit on it forever “waiting for the right time.” Generally speaking, immediacy works wonders.

Let Go of Unworthiness

Perceiving yourself as unworthy can hold you back from asking for what you want. While on the other hand, asking for what you want feels incredibly liberating. Even for little things.

So don’t be afraid to start with baby steps if you have to. Believe it or not, practicing with the small stuff makes it that much easier to handle the big things when they inevitably come up.

Communicate in an Honest, Loving Way

You don’t have to be demanding or pushy to get what you want. In fact asking for what you want isn’t about being “right” or “wrong” at all. It’s about being clear and true to yourself. Nothing more, nothing less.

Focusing on that truth ensures that you come from a place of honesty without getting defensive.

Don’t Attach to Outcomes

If you don’t get attached to the outcome, you’ll find it easier to keep a clear perspective regardless of what response you receive. Even if the answer comes back “no,” be open to hearing why. This will make your next decisions clearer.

Remain Open to Negotiation

Simply by asking, you open the way for negotiation. This allows for movement and maybe even an outcome that supports both parties. Either way, negotiation can move you forward regardless of the response you receive.

Make it a Habit

Like with anything else, asking for what you want gets easier the more you do it. Keep your ‘asks’ simple, and start with the little things you would normally ignore, like a bill adjustment, or getting help with a task. Or maybe it’s asking your partner for something you’ve always wanted them to do. The sky’s the limit!

As the habit forms, your ability to listen to your needs will grow stronger. And when that happens, life unfolds in a much more gratifying way.

Mark Victor Hansen said, “The world responds to those who ask. When you begin to ask for what you need and want, you’ve taken control of your life—you are proactively steering its direction. Many wonderful and great things come to you as a result.”

Have you ever had difficulty asking for what you want? What strategies did you use to build up your courage?

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  1. I found this article very helpful! Especially the parts about clarity, staying open and not being attached to the outcome.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ann, If you’re clear on what you want when asking it makes it easier to not be attached to outcome. Because it’s really all about being true to yourself. Thanks for commenting and reading our blog!

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