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Ask, Ask, Ask

This next article is part of an ongoing series here at TSB Magazine called The Success Principles. The series is based on the 64 principles laid out by Jack Canfield in his course of the same name. If you`re new, I always suggest starting any series from the beginning.

Principle 17: Ask, Ask, Ask

This next principle is one of the few principles I am having trouble implementing in my life.  It’s not that I don’t believe in it; in fact, quite the opposite, I fully believe in the power of this principle.  I just need to further work on my ability to fight through my erroneous habit and make use of it.

Montecarlo LuxuryThere is just something about asking for something they want that just scares many people, myself included.  Maybe we are afraid of looking needy, looking foolish, or looking stupid.  Or maybe we’re just fearful of rejection and hearing the word no.

In my case, I don’t think I am so much scared of rejection anymore; my concern is more with appearing pushy or needy.  Whatever it is that is preventing you from asking, it is time that we rethink our position on asking, and make use of this powerful principle.

You’ve got to ask.  Asking is, in my opinion, the world’s most powerful and neglected secret to success and happiness.  –Percy Ross, self made millionaire

Throughout my life I have personally seen the power of asking manifest in people around me.  Whether it was the guy who had the balls to ask the hottest girl in class out on a date, a real estate co-worker who asked for the sale, or a friend of mine who obtained a job he was totally under qualified for simply by asking.

I am really starting to believe that the universe rewards courage and risk.  Anyone that who has ever succeeded in life at some point had to take a huge risk. What I am just presently realizing though is that a huge risk does not have to involve borrowing large sums of money, betting the farm on an idea, or making a life altering change… often that huge risk is simply putting your pride on the line and asking for what you want.

Canfield, who has an entire course on the subject of asking,  lays out a specific science for asking for what you want:

1. Ask as if you expect to get it. Ask with a positive expectation.  Ask from the place that you have already been given it.  Ask as if you expect to get a yes.

2.  Assume you can. Don’t start with the assumption that you can’t get it.  If you are going to assume, assume you can get an upgrade.  Assume you can get a table by the window.  Assume that you can return it without a sales slip. Assume that you can get a scholarship, that you can get a raise, that you can tickets at this late date. Don’t ever assume against yourself.

3. Ask someone who can give it to you. Qualify the person.  “Who would I have to speak to to get it…”  “Who is authorized to make a decision about…”  What would have to happen for me to get…”

4.  Be clear and specific. In my seminars, I often ask, “Who wants more money?” I pick someone who raises their hand, and I give them a dollar.  I say, “You now have more money.  Are you satisfied?”  Vague requests produce vague results.  Your requests need to be specific.  When it comes to money, you need to ask for a specific amount.

5.  Ask repeatedly. One of the most important principles of success is persistence, not giving up.  Whenever you’re asking others to participate in the fulfillment of you goals, some people are going to say no.  They may have priorities, commitments, and reasons not to participate.  It’s not a reflection on you.

Just get used to the idea that there’s going to be a lot of rejection along the way to the brass ring.  The key is to not give up.  When someone says, no, you keep asking.  Why?  Because when you keep asking- even the same person again and again and again- you might get a yes.

I have two specific friends who have no shame in asking for what they want.  Sometimes I cringe when I’mHot girl around them and they ask for something that I feel is pushing the boundaries of reason.  Often times these guys are rejected or turned down.  But just as often I am surprised and these guys get a yes.

Is it any irony they they both are dating girls I would have believed to be out of their league, they both have jobs that I thought they weren’t qualified for?  I think the fact that they had no shame in asking is exactly why they are as successful as they are today.

Here is a list of simple things that you can ask for to get in the habit of asking.

  1. Next time you take a flight, casually ask if its possible to get bumped up to first class.
  2. If you get a bad grade, ask the professor if they would consider changing it.
  3. Ask your boss for a raise.
  4. Ask some one totally outside of your comfort zone (celebrity, politician, millionaire) for ten minutes of their time for an interview.
  5. If you’re shopping for clothes, ask a random girl to spend five minutes giving you some fashion advice.

Don’t assume that you are going to get a no.  Take the risk to ask for what you whatever you need and want.  If they say no, you are no worse off that you were when you started.  If they say yes, you are a lot better off.  Just by being willing to ask you can get a raise, a donation, a room with an ocean view, a discount, a free sample, a date, a better assignment, the order, a more convenient delivery date, an extension, time off, or help with a project.

Canfield’s Plan to Start Asking Today

Take time now to make a list of the things that you want that you don’t ask for at home, school, or work.  Next to each one, write down what prevents you from asking. What is your fear?  Next, write down what it is costing you not to ask. Then write down what the benefits you would get if you were to ask.

Take time to make a list of what you need to ask for in each of the following seven goal categories that I outlined in Principle 3 (Decide What You Want)

If asking is something, that like me, you are seriously struggling with you might want to look into Canfield’s course The Aladdin Factor, which covers this concept in much more detail.


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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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