Learning to Ask and Relax

How to Ask and Relax

Asking for help sounds easy, but it can be terrifying. What if I ask and everyone says “no!”  What if someone gives a funny look that implies, “That question is absurd!” Or even worse, What if someone complains that I am pushy? I wonder to myself.

On the one hand, most people know that asking is essential. Intellectually, we understand that others can’t say “yes” if we don’t let them know what we want, ask, and give them an opportunity to help. On the other hand, stinking thinking and head trash can make asking a simple question much more difficult than it needs to be. At least, this is true for me.

How to Take Out the Head Trash and Ask

This week, I am learning to take out my head trash and ask. The first thing I’ve noticed is that this is not as easy as I thought. I discovered that I attach all kinds of meanings to people’s replies. When others don’t respond the way I would like, then I make it mean that:

  • I asked wrong.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I am too demanding.
  • People are not interested in me.

It is disturbing how much negativity I can read into other people’s responses. In reality, this type of thinking is absurd! So, here are some of the ways that I am changing my thinking this week. I am telling myself:

  • My job is to ask, not to get the answers that I want, and asking is a success.
  • “No” and “Yes” are just sounds. Neither is good or bad, right or wrong, and neither answer is a personal attack.
  • Finally, I am reminding myself that asking is what allows me to serve better. Focusing on my goal of adding value to others makes asking easier.

Just Ask!

So what happens when we ask? Earlier this week, I took out my head trash, did my best to eliminate stinking thinking, and dove in! I asked readers, “How can I better serve you?” Of course, not everyone responded, but many people did! As is often the case, I was pleasantly surprised with how kind, generous, and willing to help people are!

I decided to write this post for three reasons:

  1. First, I want to share with you what I am learning on my journey.
  2. Second, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who responded to the survey that I sent out last week. The feedback is fantastic and incredibly helpful. I sure appreciate everyone who has taken the time to help me learn and grow!
  3. Finally, there is still time to help! Over the past four years, I have discovered that I love writing, and I especially enjoy addressing topics that genuinely connect with readers. So, how can I best serve you? Let us know in the comments below.

Finally, I would enjoy hearing from you! Do you struggle with asking? What meanings do you attach to the word “no?” What tips and tricks do you have for making asking easier? I love hearing your thoughts and insights. So, please feel free to continue the conversation in the comments below!

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Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at www.ithrive320.com.

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