Are These Five Things Preventing You From Asking For What You Want?

One of the critical principles of success is asking. It could be asking for help, asking for a raise at work, or asking for the sale if you’re in sales. However, people have resistance or hesitate to ask for what they want which often results in them not getting what they want.

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There are many reasons why people don’t ask more often. I’ve distilled them down into these five main barriers.

  1. Ignorance. Ignorance simply means not knowing. People don’t ask because they don’t know:
    – what is available to them and what is possible;
    – what they really need or want;
    – how to ask for what they want.

    If any of these apply to you, then you want to consider working with someone who can help you become more aware of the factors preventing you from asking and help you overcome them.

  2. Limiting and Inaccurate Beliefs. Most people are raised with false beliefs about what is possible and what they are capable of doing. The way to determine if any of these limiting or inaccurate beliefs are playing out for you is to become are of what stops you from asking for something when you want to. When you do become aware of them, again, a coach or a mentor can work with you and help you eliminate those beliefs. By challenging some of your limiting and inaccurate beliefs, a coach can propel you into taking action that you otherwise may not have taken.
  3. Fear. Fear tends to be the common label people put on for their inability to ask for what they want. Fear can be broken down into a few different categories which are:
    – fear of rejection;
    – fear of looking stupid;
    – fear of humiliation;
    – fear of being powerless;
    – fear of obligation;
    – fear of punishment or retribution.

    When you recognize that all fears are imagined and self created, you will be much more likely to create powerful breakthroughs, which can have a major positive effect in all other areas of your life.

  4. Low self-esteem. Studies have shown that only one out of three people have high self-esteem. Low self-esteem affects an individual’s self confidence and also their competence. Feelings of unworthiness and not deserving can be a huge factor in preventing people from asking for what they want. Once you recognize that your needs are just as important, and you are worthy and deserving of everything you aspires for, your self-esteem will increase, which will spur you into taking action, i.e., asking for what you want.
  5. Pride. Unfortunately, pride can be a major reason why people feel stuck or experience creating the same reality over and over again. People can become arrogant and let their pride get in the way of achieving an outcome easier and with less effort. There is a tendency for people to try and do things themselves – otherwise they lose self respect and feel inadequate. There is this notion that if someone asks for help, they may appear to be incapable, needy, and will be judged by others for not being able to do it themselves. As everyone has an ego, working with a professional can assist a person become aware whether their ego is serving them or not and whether it is helping them get the results they want.

These are some of the common reasons as to why people don’t ask for what they want. If you can overcome or let go of these things and start asking more, you will well be on your way to enjoying more success.

Question: What things have prevented you from asking for what you want and how have you overcome them?

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  • Jane Ransom

    Beautifully succinct summary, Neel! You put a book’s worth in one blog on this extremely important topic. Thanks!

    • Neel Raman

      Thank you Jane! It is always a good reminder – the importance of asking!

  • Donna Stapleton Dawley

    The one thing I learned that improved my life immensely overnight was to ask for what I want. It’s amazing how we think we should not ask or if we do ask we won’t get what we want. I find that if I ask, I usually get it. Great summary of the blocks to asking!

    • Neel Raman

      Thank you Donna! You are very good at asking! 😉

  • Sri

    – fear of rejection;
    – fear of humiliation;
    – fear of obligation;

    I think i have the above fears. Most of all, I fear that “things will not happen the way that I intended/ imagined”.

    “Once you recognize that your needs are just as important, and you are worthy and deserving of everything you aspires for” – I remember reading this quote somewhere. However, I never was able to feel worthy or deserving.

    A part of me keeps questioning “why the hell are you afraid” – there is no answer that i can think of, but still my heart keeps pounding like a drum just thinking about the future. Most of the time i try to avoid thinking about that stuff, online and watch videos rather than to find a solution (thats because i never could find a solution). None of my friends know this side of me. I am just afraid that even if i tell them, they just wouldn’t care.

    I go to a few helpsites, but most of them tell the same stuff like
    -dont be afraid
    -love yourself
    -do what you like
    -spend more time with friends etc etc
    although i find that all the answers are correct at the time, none of them seem to help me. Some tell me to go to a psychiatrist. I am afraid to go there too.

    Can you give me some advice to get over this fear and get on with life? Please help me.

    • Neel Raman

      The good thing is you’re aware of some of your fears. Most people are not aware of what’s stopping them from doing what they want to. As a suggestion, you may want to speak to a professional – either a coach, counsellor or psychiatrist, to get an initial assessment done of what things you need to address.

      If that’s not an option, then are there any trainings or workshops/seminars you can attend that are focused on personal development. That’s usually a good introduction into learning more about yourself.

      Hope that helps!