Everybody wants something – it’s perfectly normal! We all have preferences, likes, and dislikes. Each person is unique; therefore, their wants and needs are equally unique. Having a preference or a need and going after it are two different things. Everyone wants something and some people have no problem asking for it, while others struggle.

Why would someone have trouble asking for what they want? There are a lot of reasons why someone might struggle to ask for what they want. Sometimes they simply don’t have the skills. Other times they don’t know what they want for certain, and other times they haven’t been successful asking – so they stop entirely.

Asking for a glass of water doesn’t take much effort but there are asks that can feel enormous. Asks like:

• Setting higher rates for goods and services
• Asking for a promotion at work
• Asking for help with a project
• Asking for support for a controversial decision

Some asks seem really big and it can feel uncomfortable putting yourself out there for a possible rejection. That’s normal. There is risk in asking, but there is also equal potential for support. One thing is for certain – if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Get past your fear and ask for what you want.

Whether it’s picking the restaurant for dinner, buying a big-ticket item, or asking for support for a new idea, there can be fear involved. That fear comes from conditioning and experiences. Sometimes people are conditioned not to ask for what they want from a very early age. Parents who didn’t offer choices or diminished personal preferences may have contributed to the fear of asking. That age-old concept – kids should be seen and not heard – oftentimes conditions children to dismiss their opinions and desires and teaches them that asking for things is rude, inappropriate, or fruitless. If you’ve experienced ridicule or rejection for past asks, it can feel risky to put yourself out there – that’s normal too. It takes time and practice… and some wins… to feel competent and confident asking for what you want. The key is setting your fears aside and going ahead and asking for what you want.

Everybody wants something. Asking for it makes the likelihood you’ll get it much higher but failing to ask is a guarantee it won’t. Stop feeling guilty or unworthy of the things that matter to you. What you want is important and you have the right and the responsibility to stand up and ask for what you want with confidence.