How to ask for what you want. - TJ Guttormsen

How to ask for what you want.

How often do you ask for what you want, when you want it?

In my article last week, I talked about speaking up in social situations – and got some amazing responses from you guys.

One of the questions that came up was “will the same strategy work to get better at asking for things?”

The simple answer is yes. However, there’s a little more to it.

We certainly will get better at asking for things by… well, asking for things more often. But one of the things that tend to hold people back is that they feel like they don’t really need the thing they’re thinking about. At least that’s how they feel in that moment.

Or even worse, in the moment they can’t even think of anything they want or need.

This is true for any type of request we have. Getting someone’s help, asking for a glass of water when you’re thirsty, asking for information you need, and so on.

In order to get better at this, we should practice it as often as we can. And there’s a very easy – and (for most) comfortable way to do this:

We have to start training our mind to ask itself the question “what do I want right now?” as often as possible.

And at first, we can do this in situations and with people we’re already comfortable with.

You see, our habitual thoughts are the thoughts that pop up more often than any others. So, in order to remember something in a stressful situation – get used to thinking about it in as many situations as you can. Make it a habit.

So ask yourself that question regularly when you’re with your family and friends (or whichever situations you can consciously remember to ask it to yourself). It will make it easier for your mind to remember it in more stressful situations.

I suggested this exercise to the person who emailed me back last week, and yesterday – only 5 days later – I got an email saying:

“This is amazing! Today at work I asked for someone to do a task for me without even thinking about it. It’s the first time I’ve asked anyone at my new job for help during a morning meeting!”


So if you want to get better at asking for what you want and need, practice asking yourself “what do I want?” in as many situations as possible. Combine that with the exercise from my last article, and before you know it you’ll be a master of getting what you want, simply because you ask for it out of habit.


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Authentic Assertiveness: Next level communication skills.
The secrets of Confidence and Communication.
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