At the heart of my confidence coaching work lies the belief that every woman deserves to live the juiciest, most delicious and fulfilling life that she can imagine. But living fully requires a commitment to demanding that your needs get met. And that can mean putting yourself out there (warning: may lead to a serious vulnerability hangover!) So my job as a Delicious Living Coach is to move my clients out of self-doubt and into self-possession so they can get comfortable asking for the things they’ve been denying themselves. Closed mouths don’t get fed, and it makes me sad to think that there are countless women trudging through life hungry for joy but feeling unequipped to take back control of their lives.
So, I have some thoughts that I wanted to share on how to flex your asking muscles. I feel confident that if you try on even ONE of these ideas, you’ll feel more comfortable asking for what you’ve earned and more confident accepting it. Take what you need and leave the rest.
1.IT IS NOT PUSHY TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT/HAVE EARNED/DESERVE. Men ask aaall the time (salary, leg room on a plane, label-free sexual relationships). Many ask even when they’re not sure that they’ve earned it–I know men that will apply for a position as long as they fit ONE of the requirements, and women who will refuse to apply because they are missing one of the requirements. Women have a significantly lower sense of personal entitlement. Unfortunately, women’s overall life satisfaction also tends to be lower. Coincidence? You know it’s not…Self-care is self-preservation, so preserve thyself by asking for what you need! Hello!?!
2. If you can’t be entitled, let your alter-ego do the work. Every once in a while I forget how dope I am, and I get uncomfortable negotiating for myself. So I call on Vanessa. Vanessa is a fierce, fearless, and unapologetic sexpot that is used to getting what she wants, so she has no trouble asking for things. She expects to get what she wants, so she very often does. I don’t have to call on Vanessa too often,but when I do, I channel a master negotiator that knows how to walk through No’s until she gets what she needs. Vanessa comes in handy in so many different contexts (getting free drinks at a bar, a teacher’s discount at the coffee shop, using a coupon that has already expired). And, GIRL, let me tell you what an alter ego can do in the orgasm arena… but that’s a whole different post…
3. Know your non-negotiables.Once you get clear on your deal-breakers, you will be able to recognize when a relationship is going sour and nip that shit in the bud. You’ll have the tools to ask for a relationship that aligns with your values and must-haves, and you won’t keep blindly attracting walking toxins (losers, assholes, creeps, etc.) into your circle.
4. “You create your opportunities by asking for them.”Patty Hansen (co-author of Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul) said this. Sometimes we don’t ask for things because it simply doesn’t occur to us that we can. Don’t worry about whether your request is “reasonable” or “realistic.” Focus instead on how much you really want it. If you get clear about what it will cost you, your brain will get to work figuring out how to make it happen.
5. Your self-worth is NEVER on the line. Women often mute themselves for fear that they’ll be replaced by somebody less demanding or more compliant. I’m not here for it. No matter how high the stakes, and no matter what you’re negotiating, your worth and value do not rise or fall by how many Yes’s you get. A “No” never means you’re not good enough, it simply means that you asked the wrong person. So keep asking, just ask someone else!
6. Dreams are cute. Leaps are better. Breakthroughs don’t happen when you deliberate; they happen when you take action and step out of your comfort zone. Leap and have faith that the Universe will catch you. The rewards may not be immediate, but they’ll be worth it.
7.Negotiate as hard for yourself as you would for someone you love. You are everyone else’s biggest cheerleader, but when it comes time to toot your own horn, you forget what you bring to the table. Stop that shit. Stop it right now.It’s okay to want what you want. You deserve it. Remember that “Slay List” that I referenced in this post? If you haven’t written it out yet, get to work! If you have, feel free to review it when you need to remind yourself of the skills and assets you possess that up your bargaining power. Read it aloud. Often. Own your dopeness!
8.You deserve to be treated well, but it’s up to you to make sure that you are. I said it before and I’ll say it again: we teach other people how to treat us. It’s up to you to make your life exciting. And it’s up to you to determine what “exciting” looks like. But if you don’t ask for the things that light you up, and if you settle for what you think you should be grateful for, you will lead an empty and drained life as a miserable shell of yourself.
In closing, the difference between women who are intoxicated with freedom and those that are burned out and bogged down by obligations is that the first group has the audacity to ask for the things that they want, the perseverance to work until they get it, and the confidence to believe that they deserve nothing less. As your Delicious Living Coach, I leave you with these tools and hope that you’ll honor your commitment to freedom enough to at least try one of them on. And if you know anyone that needs support on her journey to fierce and free, share the love!