Most people never get what they want simply because they can never gather the courage to ask for it.
Even the Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.”
But what most people struggle with is how to ask. How to ask out for that date, how to ask for that job, how to ask for that raise, how to ask for that favor you want?
Whatever your dream is or whatever you want in your life, you’ll always have to ask for it. In your success journey, you’ll need to ask for a lot of things from a lot of people.
If you’re fearful of asking because you think you’ll be rejected, judged, or laughed off, then it’ll be a real struggle trying to achieve everything on your own in life.
In this blog, we’ll be discussing with Jack Canfield, top-selling author of over 150 books and one of the top success coaches in America, how to ask for anything you want.
How to Ask?
We’ve all been in those awkward situations where we really wanted something but were too scared to ask.
Today, Jack will not only teach you how to ask for what you want in five steps but also tell you how to deal with those situations with confidence and not awkwardness.
Fear of Rejection
The main thing that stops people from asking for anything is the fear of rejection, so let’s start with that.
Most people are afraid that someone is gonna say no. The thing you have to realize is that “no” doesn’t mean anything.
If I asked you to have dinner with me and you said no. The truth is, I didn’t have anyone to eat dinner with before I asked you, and I don’t have anyone to eat dinner with after I asked you. So my life didn’t get worst.
Similarly, if I apply to Harvard and I don’t get in. I can spend my whole life not going to Harvard. It doesn’t make my life any worse than before.
The idea is to be willing to accept that asking is simply a multi-step process, and rejections are a part of it. They don’t make you or your life any worse.
Jack asked 145 publishers to publish his book, 144 said no. 217 banks said no to lend money to the founders of Starbucks to open their first store. Rejections don’t make anything worse.
Ask Like a Child
If you realize, asking is a numbers game. You rarely get a yes from anybody the first time or from the first person you ask.
You gotta ask like a child to be successful. If you look at a child when he wants something from his parents, he’ll keep asking till his parents get him that thing. No simply means not yet, so you gotta be persistent, while asking for what you want.
Jack has this exercise in his book that you can also try, and that is to think about your goals that you want to reach by a certain date, say you want to get to a certain income by the end of the year. Now, think who could I ask for something that could help me get closer to my goal.
It might be asking someone to do an affiliate mailing for you, asking someone to write the foreword to your book, or asking someone that you’re kind of afraid to ask to be on your podcast.
What you’ll realize during this exercise is that it is indeed a numbers game. After a certain number of nos, you will definitely get a yes.
How to Gather The Courage to Ask
Gathering the courage to ask for something is not so hard if you realize that not asking would have even worse consequences.
Ask yourself what are you afraid will happen that is stopping you from asking. Then ask what will be the benefit of asking and what will be the cost of not asking.
If your cost-benefit analysis says that the benefits outweigh the cost and you have no particular reason stopping you from asking, then you don’t have to gather any courage, your logic will tell you to ask.
If you still do need courage, then the best idea is to have an accountability partner, as Jack mentions in his books.
Every day, your accountability partner will ask you what are the five things you are gonna do today that will take you forward in the direction of your goal? So, for example, you say you’ll ask Joe Dispenza to be on your podcast.
The next day, your accountability partner will ask if you did call Joe Dispenza, and you’re not gonna want to have to say no. After three days of saying no, it gets so uncomfortable that you just do it.
And once you do it, either Joe will say, “Sure, I’ll be glad to be on your podcast” or “Sorry, I can’t do it.” Whatever his response is, you survive, and your life doesn’t get worse.
When you realize the simple fact that your life doesn’t get worse because of asking, you get the confidence to do it the next time without an accountability partner.
How to Ask So You Get A Yes
Yes, asking is a numbers game and rejections are a part of it, but you can increase your chances of getting a yes by applying some simple tricks.
The most important thing you can do while asking is to ask in a way that lets people know why you’re asking.
Let’s take an example, the Guinness Book World Record girl who sold most Girl Scout cookies in one year has her own way of selling cookies.
Unlike most girls who would simply knock on the door and ask if they’ll have some cookies, she would tell her customers why she wants them to buy cookies from her.
She would go knock on the door and say, “Hi, as you can see by my uniform, I’m a Girl Scout, and the Girl Scouts have a contest this year where the girl who sells most cookies wins a trip for two around the world. My mom so much wants to go around the world, and I want to give her that gift. Would you help me do so by buying some cookies?”
You see, how telling people why you need their favor and what’s in it for them can help you get more yeses.
Now, what if they still say no? Well, you can then have a follow-up question like, what would have to happen for you to say yes?
Even if they don’t say yes, you’ll get so much information from this one question that it would definitely help you get more yeses in the future.
For example, one of the publishers whom Jack asked the same follow-up question told him that they would need to sell 20,000 copies of his book to make sense for them to publish it.
So, Jack got this vital information that all they need to do is somehow make the publisher believe that they will be able to sell 20,000 copies.
But What Others Will Think
What people think when they’re told to ask like a child is what others will think, or what those whom they’re asking will think about them.
Well, firstly, it doesn’t matter because if a person thinks low of you, then they won’t say yes, and your life doesn’t get any worse. But those who think good of you will say yes, and your life will probably get a little better.
What other people, like the guy who gives mean replies to everyone on the internet, think about you should never be a thing of concern because you know they’re already miserable in life for doing what they do. Instead, show some sympathy towards them.
The truth is, you can’t please everybody. So if some people, especially those who don’t care about you, get angry along the way, then let it be.
Successful people are not people-pleasers, and people pleasers never succeed. So choose carefully.