Life Coaching Tip: As women, most of us were taught NOT to ask for anything we need, let alone want. It’s not your doing, and so learning to override the guilt that often comes up for you with asking will help you in so many ways. Because sister, if you have big dreams and ambitions, you are going to need help… lots of it! As women, we must stop pretending that we can/should do it all on our own. Let’s stop buying into the BS that we’ve been fed, release the shame, and start asking!
Don’t I make it look easy, baby,
When I do what I do?
Don’t I make it look easy, baby?
Well, I’m fooling you!
These lyrics are from Meghan Trainor’s song “Don’t I Make It Look Easy?”. And it caught my attention the moment I first heard it because her message was one we discussed in my Shine On group the night before… the importance of asking for what we want and need.
And, I’m sure it will be no surprise to you that this is can be difficult for many women.
One of the shine sisters in the group spoke about feeling exhausted after a lifetime of “doing it all” herself. Fearing disappointment, she had decided long ago it would be “easier” to just do everything on her own.
But now that she’s older and wiser, she’s been working on asking for assistance more often, only to be met with stares of confusion and rejection. She realized that since she did it all on her own for so long, she made it look easy, and gave everyone the impression that she is superwoman. And so now, they find it rather absurd when she needs help with just about anything.
I will tell you there were a lot of heads shaking up and down as she spoke, including mine, most of us being able to fully relate to her story. This strengthened my resolve to help this sisterhood of women get much better at asking for what they need and want, because this skill is critical for success.
Men have always known this and are generally quite good at it, while the patriarchy has conditioned women to believe that it is shameful to ask for what you need, including help.
Cultural and familial expectations and the media have made it clear; we “should” be able to do it all, am I right?
And so, the younger women in the group likely benefited from hearing their shine sister’s story, and hopefully it will inspire them to learn from her (our) mistakes.
And I believe we can all learn something here! It’s never, ever too late to make a change and be a role-model for the next generation of women coming up.
Why is it important to learn to ask for what we need and want?
Well, you simply can’t do it all. Sorry, I don’t care what you were taught growing up, it’s true. Trying to do it all takes you away from your dreams and desires, drains you, and dilutes your genius.
And let’s be honest, most of us aren’t just trying to do it all, we’re trying to do it all PERFECTLY… hustling to prove our worth and running ourselves into the ground.
As Meghan Trainor says in her lyrics, she’s tired. And my client said, she’s oh, so tired too.
And I’d like to also mention, if you don’t ask, you typically don’t get. Most men understand this and have no trouble asking for what they need or want.
However, I have coached so many women over the years who resist asking for anything… a raise, help with the dishes, tax advice, a glass of water… for fear of looking needy, greedy, impolite, foolish, lazy, or stupid.
If this is you, I want to emphasize that it’s not your fault. Most of us were taught NOT to ask from a very young age. And although it’s not your doing, now that I’ve brought it to your awareness, it IS your responsibility to turn this ship around.
Because sister, if you have big dreams and ambitions, you are going to need help… lots of it!
And you are going to need to get the universe on board to work its magic too. You must get clear about what you want and then get comfortable with asking and then receiving to make it happen!
However, if you feel icky about it and are afraid of asking directly, then you will attract the same wonky energy back and receive subpar results that won’t exactly thrill you.
Courageously leaning into faith and asking when your brain tries to trick you into believing you can’t handle the possibility of disappointment or rejection will take practice.
And so, I introduced the following exercise in Shine On from Jack Canfield’s book, “Success Principles.” It can be a great way to start to shift, and I hope you give it a whirl!
- Make a list of the things you want or need, but don’t ask for in your professional or personal life.
- Get curious with yourself… How do you stop yourself from asking? What is your fear?
- What is it costing you not to ask?
- How will it benefit you to go for it?
- Now, go back to your list and start asking. You can start small and build up to some of the items that kick start your heart!
Canfield advises that you be clear and specific and ask as if you expect to get a “yes”. But if you should get a “no”, be tenacious and ask again, or ask someone else. He encourages his readers to accept that there’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way to achieving your dreams, and so nothing has gone wrong when you get a “no”. There are billions of people in the world. Eventually you will get a “yes” if you keep trying!
I realize that it will require some badassery to work on this, but what is the alternative? Please don’t be the person who says “no” to your dreams by not even asking or trying.
What if you let go of the limiting belief that a worthy goal requires hard work and struggle? What if you let it be easy, for reals?
Let’s stop buying into the BS that we’ve been fed, release the shame, and start asking. As women, we must stop pretending that we can/should do it all on our own.
Let’s validate one another for having the bold, audacity NOT to do it all on our own and bravely ask for help!
I’m asking (wink)…
Please do it for your mothers, daughters, friends, and sisters! And most importantly, do it for yourself!