If You Don’t Ask, The Answer Will Always Be NO
February 5, 2021
Fun Fact: Long ago in 2019, when the world was normal, and it was ok to move around for business, I made about 25 international trips traveling to different places. I am big on putting myself outside my comfort zone by doing things that make me uncomfortable. I call them comfort challenges. One comfort challenge I gave myself was asking for a free upgrade from Economy to Business Class every time I was boarding a flight. The fun fact is that I did get an upgrade two times. That’s a hit rate of 4% (2 times over approx. 50 flights I boarded)
What’s the point in sharing this fun fact?
This anecdote is a reminder of one of the simple rules of life- “If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO.”
It is incredible how we all have this inbuilt switch that prevents us from asking for what we desire. As children, we were fearless in asking. If we did not get it, we were shameless enough to howl, cry and create a fuss.
Something changes inside us as we grow; we get conditioned. People around us, parents, adults tell us that It’s uncouth and shameful to ask. A false belief gets drilled into our subconscious-You will get it only if you deserve it.
But, here’s the thing. Yes, absolutely, you will get it only if you deserve it !! But what is the problem in asking?
Should I ask her if I can do this? Will you be with me? Can I ask for a raise? Can I ask for help? We develop a hesitation switch in our mind, and its default position is “don’t ask.” We start fearing the possibility or probability of being refused. Our Ego starts telling us a story “you are a weak person if you ask and you don’t get.” It puts fear in us. Don’t ask; it’s risky, it’s not worth it, and you will make a fool of yourself.
What I have learned through my different experiences is this. There is never any downside risk to asking. At worst, you will get refused, and others may judge you. But, there is always a significant upside when you don’t get rejected. On the other hand, If you don’t ask, the answer will always be NO !!
I came across and quirky little quote- A winner is a loser who tried one more time. The principle of this quote applies in the case of asking too. Don’t stop asking. Who knows, the next time you ask, the answer might be a YES.
PS: To help you give a great perspective on the power of asking, see this fantastic Ted Talk.