Why it is that some people are able to confidently ask and get whatever it is they want – while the rest of us bolster and balk, unsure of what we want or how to ask for it? And then wonder why the other person got it.
Growing up a shy person with many insecurities I was rarely the girl who asked for what she wanted. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t satisfied, but I was like a leaf, going with the wind – letting “destiny” guide me. I wasn’t sure of how to say “this is what I want” because I wasn’t sure of myself or what I wanted.
I let this sort of whimsical behavior drift through my life for years. On many levels I had a lot of conviction set aside for the direction of my life – but I thought it was best to leave the big stuff up to the Man above. I wasn’t going to fight for anything, I wasn’t going to cry and stomp my feet, I was simply going to take my lot, work it and continue on.
I believed that this would allow me the humility I needed and the grace I had always been afforded.
I remember my mother getting angry with me because I gave my shift away to another girl at work. The girl was in dire need of money and while I too needed it – I thought her need was greater. I wasn’t concerned with my circumstance as much as hers because I felt sure that I would be taken care of. I wasn’t worried. This irked my mother beyond all means, she just could not understand.
My mother and I are very different people and handle our lives differently, but her reasoning was understandable. She was worried I was going to give opportunity away – pass it up.
I have often looked back at my life and my decisions anxiously realizing how closely I could have made the wrong choice or accepted the wrong path and ended up somewhere completely different. I look at other people who are not as fortunate as I, and I see myself in them. I could have easily been walking in their shoes.
But one summer day as I walked along the black beaches of Costa Rica’s coast I realized that I wanted better – I wanted more. I realized that no one was going to give me what I wanted but myself. No one was going to give to me unless I asked, unless I was brave enough to say that I wanted it. I had never been able to say it out loud before – “I want this.”
I think that we are often made to feel bad if we are too straight forward – or at least I was. I thought if I was too aggressive then I would scare away my opportunities. I have never liked being around overly aggressive people. I find them obnoxious, careless and ego centered. I find them lacking humility, which I believe is essential to keeping us in a centered place within our lives.
Humility is remembering that we are human, and in our humanity everything we think we are or have can be ripped away from us at any moment. The gorgeous girl with an attitude could wreck her car and become paralyzed, the man with all the money and cars could find himself homeless and begging for food. We never know – and I believe that is wise to never forget.
But there is a happy medium to being able to be ambitious and humble. We don’t need to trample the masses to be successful, nor do we need to be cut-throat to get ahead. We need only keep our heads down, work faithfully, look for opportunity and ask when we want something.
That’s right – asking is the first step. I have learned that when I want something I need to express it. It doesn’t mean that I will get it or that I won’t ask again if I don’t, but I have to put my need or want out there. I have to be brave and I have to be vulnerable.
When we ask for something it opens us up. We literally become vulnerable, because we have a want or need. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is the real key to growth in our personal selves.
If we never ask, then apparently we never want or need. And that is impossible.
In my life now, I ask. It isn’t always easy and it isn’t always like-able, but I will never be fulfilled without it.
What is the worst that can happen?