As a coach, I often tell my clients that they pay me to ask them questions that they simply don’t ask themselves. It is not that we do not seek the answers to many things, it is often that we are simply too afraid to ponder the possibilities and maybe overwhelmed by the possible unlock that our own answers can provide. When we ask a question, at least in that instant, the answer appears unknown. Unknown is simply not a comfortable space.
Yet, our ability to ask for what we want from others and from ourselves is a powerful and useful tool in negotiation, in business, in relationships and in life. Here are some pointers in the art of the “ask.”
Did you remember to ask of yourself and for yourself?
We often consider everyone else’s thoughts and feelings before we ever manage our own. Asking yourself what you really want is not a sign of conceit or entitlement, but rather a means in which to understand and keep pace with your own purpose. Asking your own empowering questions expands creativity, redirects goals, and keeps you grounded in actionable current motion. In order to effectively ask of others and to do for others, we need to ask for and do for ourselves.
When faced with my own transformation, one of the most impactful things that I did was to ask myself the following: What would I do if it were 10 years ago and there was nothing holding me back? The answer to that one question redirected my entire perspective!
Do you want the answer to be yes?
If so, then you need to ask the question! When we don’t ask for things the answer we most often get is “no” because there is not energy expanded in driving our desires. There is no down side to asking, only to not asking—because the thought never realized is in fact a resounding “no.” People cannot read our minds or unearth our needs. If we want results we need to curate questions that lead us closer to our dreams and goals.
Create and design a YES vision board. Pull together pictures, quotes, thoughts, and mementos that take your question (s) into a visual state. What does it look like if the answer to what you are asking is yes? How is your life different? How do you feel? When you can see it, you can reach for it.
Are you longing to feel successful?
Easy. String together the requests that will bring you closer to what you want most. Envision that much like a strand of pearls, every bead represents a new ask or place to be curious. Every answer, regardless of the outcome continues the strand. Each pearl is a success; some because you got the desired results, and some because you took the action regardless of the answer. This string of pearls represents your growth. It is measurable and powerful and a strong indicator of success!
Invest in some dollar store beads and string. Make yourself a weekly list of questions that correspond to your goals/tasks for the week. Now think bigger. What is your quarterly or yearly goal on this project, task or idea? What are some of things that would make that more attainable? Who or what do you know that could take those concepts several steps further? If you are looking to meet someone, do you have a connection that you can ask? If you want something in a relationship to begin or end, where are you asking for that? If you would like to personally stop procrastinating or living in the past, have you asked yourself what steps you can take to move forward either on your own, or with a coach, or other support? Now, grab a piece of string. Every time during the week that you mindfully ask yourself a question and give yourself an answer that you take action on, add a bead to that string. Are you being curious with others and asking for what you want? Reward yourself with a bead on that string. Success is measured not only in your end result, but in the process toward that end goal. These beads represent that process. Think of this as a weekly timeline of your successes. Every week, challenge yourself to expand upon the length of that beaded visual. What are you asking for? Where are your successes showing up and adding up? What can you do?