Growing Your “Ask” Muscle
Do you remember the wonder and excitement you felt as a child at Christmas? The feeling that anything was possible and magic existed all around you? The feeling that simply asking for your Christmas wish made miracles possible? If you didn’t celebrate Christmas, then the same feeling may have been brought about by making a wish before blowing out your birthday candles, wishing upon a shooting star, or blowing on a dandelion.
Call upon a time in your life when you felt the magic of asking and notice the sensations that arise with that memory. Perhaps you notice a lingering and subtle sense of optimism or joy that rises to the surface, or perhaps there’s a deep awe-filled wonder towards what is possible.
A few years ago my husband came upon a teaching about developing your “ask” muscle while listening to the Tim Ferris podcast. The teaching was simple. Ask. Lean into the moment a little more by asking more often. Ask questions, ask for answers, ask for possibilities, ask for help, ask for resources, ask for connections… just ask. The more you ask, the more new things become available to you.
In the year following this teaching my husband and I put it into action. We asked about more things and more often than we ever had, and the simple act of learning to ask opened more doors than we ever imagined possible. Plus, I learned how to grow an “ask” muscle.
This exercise came much more naturally to my husband. As a female it felt uncomfortable for me. It felt out of place. It felt too bold. It felt selfish. It felt too forward. I could have easily talked myself out of many opportunities if I had given in to the initial discomfort and hesitation, but I chose to sit with it.
In sitting with the discomfort, I finally realized that as a child we all asked for things, and my own children often remind me of this truth. Can I have a cookie? Can I have a toy? Can I have a puppy? While most of us didn’t get everything we asked for, we can at least acknowledge that we did wind up with a few extra things along the way, and we never lost anything by asking.
At what point did we learn to stop asking? At what point did we stifle our dreams and desires? What would happen if we were to bring about the awe and wonder from simply asking back into our everyday life? What would become possible by asking?
One area of careful consideration I am compelled to point out here is that you must be mindful of ensuring that what you are asking is in alignment with your values and is congruent with what you are able to commit to. For example, if you were to ask for a puppy and the next day you found that you were the proud new owner of a puppy, but you were unable and unwilling to commit to the feeding, grooming, training, and exercising of the puppy, you would be at odds with your situation. I firmly believe that the universe listens to what we ask for – the good and the bad, the conscious and the unconscious – and it’s crucial that we are mindful in the pursuit of growing our “ask” muscle.
It’s all too easy to see the possible, the expected, the likely, but imagine what would happen in our life if we chose to see and make space for the seemingly impossible.
What areas of your life does your ask muscle need to grow today?