THE CONFIDENCE TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT

Do you recognize yourself in any of these three scenarios?

Melissa, a sales engineer, and mother of three,  has been working remotely for the last ten months while juggling childcare and homeschooling tasks with her husband. As her company discusses resuming business travel in late 2021, she discovers that she’s dreading going back on the road.  She wonders if she can re-craft her job to cut back on travel but hesitates to ask since she’s concerned that it will cause management to question her commitment to her career. 

Dani, a corporate accountant, relocated during the pandemic from Boston to a charming small town in New Hampshire, where her parents live. She’d like to permanently settle in New Hampshire and continue working remotely but is concerned that such a move could negatively impact her career. 

Lauren, who works in logistics at a large biotech company, is still waiting to be promoted to manager after her expected promotion was postponed last May due to a corporate reorganization.  Although her performance has been outstanding, she’s hesitant to ask her new manager about the promotion because she’s fearful of being labeled as “pushy.”

Each of these women is yearning for something that will enhance her life or career but is hesitant about asking for it. 

Yet there has never been a better time to ask for what we want.  

The Covid storm – in upending our world –  has ushered in a period of creativity and innovation that offers myriad opportunities to reshape our work and personal lives in ways that might have been unimaginable just one year ago –  IF we’re willing to make that Big Ask. 

 A few years ago, at a conference, an executive at a leading tech company shared a powerful story about asking for what you want. When, as a young engineer, she inquired why she had been passed over for a promotion, her manager replied “We thought you were happy where you were.”  The valuable lesson she took away was to never assume that others know what you want. ALWAYS ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT!

Our reluctance to ask usually stems from a lack of self-confidence. After all, if we believe we can handle whatever life throws at us and have the self-assurance that we can learn anything, we’re more likely to request what we need, advocate for ourselves and seek out opportunities.    

In their book, The Confidence Code, authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman assert that the number one way to build confidence is by taking action. The key to getting in action is to start with baby steps and accumulate a few wins,  which will boost your confidence, fuel you to keep taking action, and eventually enable you to build mastery.    

Here’s how to boost your confidence to make that Big Ask. 

POWER TOOL – ACT YOUR WAY INTO FEELING CONFIDENT

Act –   Cultivate the practice of asking for what you want by making small requests of friends and family members by clearly conveying to the listener what you want or need. 

Celebrate –   No matter what response you receive, congratulate yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone and asking.  Recognize that choosing to act was an accomplishment. 

Learn –   Evaluate what didn’t work. Treat each setback as a learning opportunity.

Adapt –   If something didn’t work, adapt your strategy or seek additional resources. Expand – Use each win to fuel you to keep expanding your comfort zone.  As your confidence grows, you’ll expand to making requests that might have seemed impossible a few months ago.

What is that one thing that would significantly enhance your life or career that you’ve been reluctant to ask for?  

 This is your window of opportunity to build your confidence to make that Big Ask.

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

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