I am of the strong belief that you get what you ask for.  The books support me, as do the authors I’ve read and my own experience.  Conversely, if you don’t ask for something, you’ll never get it.

The problem most of us have is that we don’t know what we’re asking for. We’re all full of noise in our heads about what we don’t want. With all that emphasis and thought we end up “asking” for what we don’t want by spending so much time and energy on it.

We discover what we really want by listening to our feelings. What makes you feel great?  What tickles your fancy or jazzes you up?  Watch and see what lights you.  You can often see it in others when they’re talking about what they love.

Beware of the tricky wants like I want to lose weight or I want to get out of debt, which focus on what you don’t want.  I want to wear beautiful clothes and feel great about the way I look or I want to easily buy a Porsche, work much better!  They’re backed with a lot more enthusiasm and good feelings.

Some folks say it’s good to take that one step further to make it an intention.  Truthfully, when you say you want something, you are still echoing thoughts of lack.  I don’t now wear beautiful clothes or have that car.  So, you simply rephrase it to say,  I intend to have that car, or I choose to feel great. In a way you’re saying that it’s going to happen, even if you don’t know exactly how, yet.  It’s a different and more powerful mind set.

At last we get to the actual asking. This phase requires a little work, but when you think about it, in the long run, this is precious little to do to have what you want.

The first step in asking is to figure out who to ask.  They teach this in Sales.  If you convince the security guard your product is the best, it’s not going to land the sale.  You have to talk to the purchasing manager to get a go-ahead that will actually mean something. If you are looking for a job, though the secretary might like you, you need someone higher up to make the decision to hire you.

So, who is the person that can give you what you want?  Or at least point you in the right direction?  No use in wasting your asking on the wrong person.

Once you find the right person or persons, the next thing you need to do is figure out the right words to use.  Cheryl Richardson talks a lot about this.  I think it’s in The Art of Extreme Self Care (which recently came out in paperback).  She asks us to be thoughtful about the words we choose.  To allow the person to say no without feeling bad. You don’t want to put the person on the defensive, but you want to be clear and firm.  Give it some thought and decide what you’re going to say before you do it.

Finally, you have to open your mouth and ask!