Ask consistently

With clearly and confidently habits we are utilizing in asking, consistently is next.

In asking clearly, we are learning to review our ask so that it says what we mean. In asking confidently, we approach our asking with an internal assurance that that thing we are asking for is on our way to us. In asking consistently, we realize that a “yes” to a one-time ask is nice and it isn’t the norm.

You know how little kids keep asking, asking, asking for the same thing over and over and over? It can be annoying. Still, they are not deterred if it is important to them. It’s a beautiful illustration of determined pursuit of the desire encapsulated in the ask.

Are you determined enough to keep asking? Determined enough to keep asking through the nerves of asking? Through the no’s? If you are not, I encourage you to review the importance to you of what you are asking for. If it isn’t that important, find something that does stir you past the anxiety of asking clearly, confidently, and repeatedly.

Be kid-like this week. As Jack Canfield, my mentor who has taught me so much, says “Ask, ask, ask!”

Ask confidently

Couple your asking clearly with asking confidently. Be confident that your request is reasonable and appropriate to ask that person for it. People who ask confidently are more often successful in receiving what they ask for than those who ask timidly, already sending out signals that “no” will be the answer. Don’t say “You will probably say ‘no'” or any such foolishness. Help the person being asked to say “yes” by asking clearly and confidently.

There’s to be no air of “you ought to give it to me”, arrogance, or meanness in asking confidently. Be confident that even if this person says “no”, you will ask and ask again until success is yours. Be confident that if the answer is “no” that, even though you didn’t receive a “yes” yet, you will keep pursuing what you’ve chosen to pursue. Remember, you are already at “no” before you ask. Receiving a “no” means status quo.

Confidence in asking takes practice. Practice your ask out loud in front of the mirror, with a trusted colleague or friend. Practice makes better and does bring confidence. Practice asking for things you don’t care too much what answer is given. This habit-builder can help you get past the feelings of anxiety we stir up in ourselves and to ask confidently.

Ask clearly

How about having something new to celebrate? The past few weeks, we’ve looked at celebrating so that we are enjoying our small actions as we go along. Now we’ll spend time learning about asking for what we want.

Many of us resist asking as we don’t see that as responsible living. There are instances where that is true. In most instances, we being prideful or fearful we’ll be told “no.” Well, we’re already at “no.” The worst that can happen by asking for what we want is that we’ll still be at “no.”

The first quality of asking is to ask clearly. You’re sitting at the dinner table and you ask “Would you please pass that?” with a point or a nod. That isn’t clear. “Would you please pass the asparagus?” is a better ask, eh? (Still thinking of my Canadian friends.)

If you are going to ask for a raise, you would build your case for that based on research and your contributing value to the organization. With that research you would know a fair amount to ask for. If you determine that a ten percent increase is the amount of value for the excellent work you are already doing, then ask for that amount. If you only ask for “a raise” then that might be $100 and that’s that. It would be a raise while also not being what you had in mind.

Don’t expect anyone to be able to read your mind. Not even those who have long known you. No “They ought to know.” Be kind to yourself and them. Be sure they know by making your request clearly. Practice your request out loud if need be. If you ask clearly you have a much higher probability of receiving it.

Be brave! Today ask for what you’ve had in your mind to ask of late. Would love to hear from you how that went or if you want to chat about how to make an ask, let me know.

Milestone celebrations

In my orb last week were a celebration of a life well-lived and a celebration of love and hope in futures tied together. The milestones of life found in funerals and weddings help me remember the precious treasure we hold in our hands day to day. The “big” celebrations help me to remember to “stop and smell the roses.” To enjoy the beauty unfolding day by day, the treasures of life, joy, and laughter are found in the plainness of living.

Last week I was also at the birthday celebration of a friend who turns 105 this week. (Not a typo). This precious friend has a still sharp mind, gets about well enough for her age. She, though, is trapped by macular degeneration and loss of hearing. Loud talking in the correct hearing-aid-assisted ear does mean communication can take place. Her sight is impaired enough there is no more reading and, well, not much seeing though it isn’t all lost.

I posit to you that being able to see is a milestone celebration as much as weddings, birthdays of any number, and funerals. Being thankful is another form of celebration and every day has something in it. Our best selves show themselves more and more as we practice celebrating little accomplishments and the gifts of life and living. Pick a happy-dance focus for today.

She celebrated with…

  • a leisurely stroll through her favorite park.
  • a glass of champagne.
  • coffee with a friend.
  • an hour lost in her favorite craft.
  • jettisoning clothes that no longer fit.
  • poking around the library for an afternoon.
  • volunteering at the food bank.
  • trying out a line dancing class.

How do these strike you as ways to mark a wee accomplishment?

These are small celebration ideas for your small-action-taken successes. When we have piles of cash to spend on a celebration, it is easy enough to create celebration. Such as when I celebrated my birthday last fall with a trip to Italy to live slow, sip wine, and eat cheese. In the small-action celebration category I tried out a line dancing class last week. I love to dance—it makes me happy.

Saying “attagirl” to ourselves with a tiny celebration oft times seems frivolous, not worth the effort. Wrong. Or we can’t think of something to do because the pull of “oughta’s” or the action taken was so small.

Build your habit of success by celebrating even the smallest of small actions. Borrowing from Galadriel of Lord of the Rings: Even the smallest action can change the course of the future. The future you change is yours when you take those small actions toward your goal and couple them with a celebration, a marking of overcoming, of discovering more and more your best self.