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Do you have a flabby ask?

scared-to-askI confess I have had a flabby ask the majority of my life.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “flabby” as weak and ineffective; and the word “ask” as to make a request of/from.

Asking can be very difficult for women.  Many of us grew up believing that asking for anything meant we were weak, that we were selfish for wanting something because, in our family of origin, it would mean it would take away from another, or that one would be a nuisance for a having the audacity to want.  In not asking, beliefs were formed, misrepresentations occurred, ways of living our lives were birthed.

You may have heard the story of the husband who asks his wife, “Why do you cut the ends of the ham off before cooking it?”  She responds that her mother did, so she did.  When she decides to ask her own mother, she gets the same response from her, “Because my own mother did.”  When the mother then asks her own mother (grandma) why the ends of the ham were cut before she cooked it, her mother tells her, “Because the pan was too short.”

We lived our lives not questioning beliefs that made no sense given who we have become.  The belief that it is a weakness or selfish or bothersome to ask for anything is just one more in a long line of antiquated beliefs.  We live in busy times, times where asking is a necessity.

How do you change your flabby ask into one that is significant, meaningful and strong?

Recently I had to shore up my ask.  You see, my coaching business wasn’t growing.  I was afraid to ask for clients.  I didn’t want to be a nuisance.  I didn’t want to appear selfish and lose the contacts I had.  I could see my dream of doing what I am so good at and love dwindling.  Yes, I was still putting on the blog.  Yes, it still looked like the “open” sign was up.  I had no clients.

My heart was telling me it was time to get bigger, get bolder.  That there was no way I could call what I do a business unless I was bringing in a decent income – otherwise I ought to call it a nice, little “hobby.”  I was ashamed – the image I had portrayed was one of a coach who was altogether “together.”  I was feeling like a fraud.

Inside, I was falling apart.

That’s when I decided to hire business coaches to work with me for the next year.  This was no easy decision.  It was not only a HUGE financial commitment (I mean, HUGE), it also meant I could not longer hide behind a flabby ask.  It meant I had to step up MY game, strengthen my ability to ask for what I wanted, feel the FEAR of success and take empowered, focused action anyway.  It scared the shit out of me.

And in the last month, I have attracted more money and more business than I have in an entire year.

I learned I no longer had to live my life lead by the false belief that I was selfish for asking for anything.

So here are some guidelines for shoring up YOUR flabby ask:

  1. Be willing to risk – asking puts you in vulnerable position.  Be okay with that.
  2. Make genuine requests – let it come from your heart, have no hidden agendas.
  3. Be easy to support – if you are going to ask for help, you BETTER be ready to surrender to RECEIVING it.
  4. Give support to others generously.

Bottom line, sharing your vulnerability, your underbelly, strengthens your flabby ask and allows you to create a life sourced by your greatest desires, supported by your “clan.”

 

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