Do you make bold requests?
We were out of toilet paper, so I stopped by the store on my way home to pick some up. I wanted to be in and out of the store as quickly as possible. At the checkout, the clerk at the register knew that the toilet paper I wanted to purchase was on sale. She asked me if I had a rewards card or if I wanted to sign up for one, that card being required to take advantage of the sale price. In my rush, I replied, “No, thanks.” Overhearing our conversation, the young man behind me in line stretched out his rewards card to the cashier on my behalf. The clerk scanned in his card, and the three of us discovered that it had saved me $1.80. Pretty nice!
I thanked the young man, received five dollars and seventy-five cents in change, and went on my merry way. I stuffed the coins into my coin purse and was searching for my keys outside my car when the young man who had offered his card to me came out of the store. He smiled at me, as if testing the waters to see how friendly I might be. When I smiled back, he decided it was safe to approach me. “Can I have that seventy-five cents of change from your purchase?” he asked.
I glanced at what he was holding in his hands. All he had purchased in the store was a Cup-a-Soup. He could have wanted the money for his next meal or maybe even for bus fare. Plenty of people had asked me for change for the bus recently. “Absolutely!” I replied. I gave him all of the coins in my coin purse – which totaled less than a dollar.
While I acknowledge that it took guts to ask for the money – any money at all – the request was pretty reasonable. The young man only asked for what he knew I had and he only asked for an amount that he thought he deserved. After all, he had saved me $1.80 on my purchase. The least I could do was share that with him.
I wondered if the man needed more than 75 cents. Did he need food? A job? A place to live? I’m pretty sure that when the young man woke up that morning he didn’t yearn for 75 extra cents. He probably yearned for something much more. He didn’t ask though. Most of us don’t.
We all have secret desires. We also all have a set of beliefs about whether or not we are worthy of having those desires fulfilled. Sometimes we’re not so sure if we’re worth $5 or if we’ve earned a vacation or if we deserve someone else’s time and attention. So we don’t ask for what we really desire … and we don’t get it. We get something less than what we really want.
The solution, of course, is to start making bold requests. Unfortunately, before we’ve addressed our own worthiness, we feel uncomfortable about asking for what we want. We don’t expect to be easily handed what we want, and therefore we take no action to ask for it.
Fortunately, we can uncover our true desires and learn how to take action towards these desires. In fact, that’s exactly what I work on with my coaching clients. My focus is on helping clients become clear about exactly what they want and how to become better equipped to receive it. No more toughing it out alone. No more struggling to make things happen. No more unfulfilled longings. Just knowing what you want and seeing it in your life.