Why don’t people ask for what they want?
In an excellent Forbes post, Kristi Hedges a leadership coach, speaker and author offers four possible explanations:
1. Asking makes us vulnerable
No one wants to appear vulnerable, especially those of us who areperceived as confident and competent professionals.
After all, who wants to hire a vulnerable professional?
The reality however, is that each of us has our own desires and needs.
By sharing our individual desires and needs with those who can actually help we can create an empathetic connection, and encourage others to invest in us.
2. We don’t think we have a chance at getting what we want
Many people that one of the basic purposes of our minds is to keep us safe from harm.
That’s the inner voice that says “don’t go there” to any suggestion of change … because change incudes risks.
It’s the same voice, that tells us not to ask for something we probably won’t get … presumably to keep us safe from the disappointment of not getting what we ask for.
If you have never asked for something before, how does the inner voice know you won’t get it?
If you did ask and didn’t get what you asked for…maybe you just asked the wrong person.
3. We aren’t sure of what we want, exactly
Sometimes things work out the way we want and expect them to … other times not so much.
When things don’t work out the way they want them to, instead of figuring out what the problem is, many people react by asking for help…without understanding what kind of help then need.
Carefully thinking through an issue may be the first step to figuring out what kind of help you need.
4. We are afraid of actually getting what we want
For many people, it’s more comfortable to stay in a familiar situation, even if it doesn’t feel great.
But achieving the results we want means you are entering uncharted territory.
You are putting yourself out there to be scrutinized and criticized, and exposing yourself to new pressures and demands.
As a result, it’s often easier stay in a familiar position and complain about it, than face any risks, whether real or imagined, of entering uncharted territory.
There’s that nay-saying inner voice again.
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