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If you don't ask, the answer is no
The best advice I've ever gotten...
This advice was given to me at a very young age by my dad. And it's the SINGLE BIGGEST reason for successes throughout my life. From making friends, to asking customer service for something seemingly impossible, to asking for raises at work, and beyond. "If you don't ask, the answer is always no" will change your entire outlook on life.
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Benefits of asking boldly for things:
It breaks the barriers of the fear of rejection
It enables outside the box thinking
It opens up new opportunities
I'm on the autism spectrum so thinking outside the box comes with my territory, but when it came to social interactions, that was definitely a learned skill. I WANTED friends. I wanted connection just like anyone else. So I knew I had to make some changes. It started in high school. I went from being a loner to having friends because of this simple strategy my dad taught me. I just started walking up to people. The interactions went something like this:
"I like you. We have these things in common. Let's be friends. Want to hang out after school?"
I continued this strategy long after my youth. Just a few years ago I did this to someone who was new at the church I went to. She was the worship leader's wife and seemed to already be making friends quickly. To be honest I felt intimidated by her. But it didn't stop me from walking straight up to her at the church picnic and asking if she would be my friend. She said yes!
So far, not a single person has rejected me asking to be their friend, which is odd because I'm kind of an odd person. But I digress. It works.
Then fast forward to the million times I've been on the phone with customer service reps. With some good 'ol people skills and boldness, I found myself getting what I wanted by simply just ASKING.
Or take this example that happened to me just a few weeks ago…
I wanted to start seeing the same doctor I used to see years ago, so I called the office to make an appointment. But the receptionist told me that she was no longer taking new patients. "I'll send you to her voicemail" she said. "You can ask her if she has recommendations for another doctor". "Yeah, ok" I replied as I laughed to myself. I would do no such thing. As soon as I got to her voicemail, I asked if she would be willing to make an exception to see me again since she was my favorite doctor.
The result? I got a text from her the very next day telling me that she had made an opening for me.
If you're scared to ask boldly, ask yourself this question: What's the absolute worst thing that could happen if I ask for this? Are policemen going to show up? Is my family going to get kidnapped for ransom? Am I going to die? No. Most likely, as in 99.9% of the time, the worst thing to happen is that they will tell you no.
And so what if they do? SO WHAT? If the answer is no, then you can move on confidently, knowing that you at least tried. When you ask, there is a chance of a yes. When you don't ask, the answer is no. Wouldn't you rather risk getting a yes response than to not even have that be an option? I know I would.
Sure, there is always a small chance that the other person will offer that outside the box thing to you on their own, but is it likely? Not really. Besides, we shouldn't go around waiting on people to get what we want. They're busy. You're busy. Most likely, you are not on their minds. Such is the nature of humans.
So get out there and be bold. Don't let fear hold you back from asking the big questions. Remember, the worst case scenario isn't as scary as you might think.
Ask, and you may receive. Don't ask, and you most likely won't.