BLOG_2020_05_21 Empower Yourself: Ask for What You Want

Empower Yourself: Ask for What You Want!

21 MAY 2020

Asking for what we want is a powerful, and empowering act that can send strong ripples through our lives.
However, most of us struggle to do this for various reasons. 

To make it easier, look at the following four things
needed to be in place first before you make the ask:

1. You know what you want.

2. You fully believe you deserve it.

3. You are prepared to accept the answer “No.”

4. You have the communication skills needed for an effective request.


1. What Do You Want?

Our “wants” emerge from the needs we are experiencing, for example, the need to be heard, the need for respect, the need for boundaries, expedience, beauty, and/or intimacy. Knowing our needs helps us be clear about what we are requesting.

According to renowned relationship expert Chloe Madenes, there are six basic human needs we strive to meet:

  1. certainty
  2. variety
  3. significance
  4. love and connection
  5. contribution
  6. growth

She adds that each person has 2 – 3 that are more important than the others and drive our actions and emotions. 

To really understand what it is we want, it can be helpful to identify which 2 – 3 of the basic human needs are most important to us.  Each of the human needs can be met through either positive or negative actions.  So it’s important to also distinguish between “wants” that move us towards well-being and those that never really bring happiness, such as the desire for approval or to be right (i.e. the need to be significant).

2. Believe You Deserve It

If you think you can’t have what you want, take time to examine your limiting beliefs. Make a list of all the things you want, and then write all the reasons you can’t have them. For example: “I don’t have enough money”, “I’m not good enough”, “No one wants to help me”, or “I will never be happy.” Are these reasons really true?  

Did you know scientists estimate roughly 80% of the thoughts we have are habitually negative and are not true?  But yet, we choose to believe them, just because we thought them. Have you made decisions about “reality” or made assumptions about others that keep you from even asking for what you want? Keep in mind when you ask people for what you want, you offer them the opportunity to contribute; i.e. to meet a basic human need.

3. Prepare for No

If and when you get a “no” to your ask, don’t take it personally.  Their “no” is not always about you! Asking for what you truly want honors your experience and brings you into deeper alignment with the essence of who you are. You connect with your own humanness and let’s you know where you stand. Once you ask, it may turn out that it is no longer so important that you get exactly what you want; the asking, in itself, is empowering.  

4. Effective Communication

Tony Robbins says, “The answer is always ‘no’ if you don’t ask.” True! But asking is more effective when you follow these guidelines for effective communication:

1. State your need specifically and clearly, followed by your request.

2. Ask for what you want in the present (not “I wanted you to help me with the kids yesterday.”)

3. Ask for what you do want, not what you don’t want. (“I want you to spend time with me,” not “I don’t want you to be at work so much.”) 

4. Ask in the form of a request, rather than a demand.

5. Detach from the outcome. 

I had a friend who really needed to do a “spring cleaning” of her thoughts so she could move on from what was bothering her...

She approached her husband with the following, “I want to share with you what I’m feeling so I can let it go, but I don’t want you to say anything; i.e. don’t try to fix it.  It’s not broken.  Please just sit and listen.  Can you do that?  If no, I won’t share this with you.” 

She was very specific about what she wanted and why she wanted it.  Her husband knew what was expected of him and was grateful for the instructions because in the past when he did try to fix it, he couldn’t understand why his wife got angry.

Remember that empowerment comes in the asking.

When you clearly ask for what you want, you have planted not only the seeds of better communication but of meeting your basic human needs.


Can you effectively communicate and obtain one desire today using the tools above?

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