Stop Imagining That Conversation. Just Have It.
Daily Stretch #13: Ask for what you want
Your mind is bothering you now.
It has been bothering you for a long time. The same situation repeats over and over. Like an obsessive director, you imagine different angles and settings. You rehearse the dialogue. You expect the words to be perfect.
But they won’t. Rehashing an imaginary conversation won’t make it real.
You want to quit your job. Maybe, end a longtime relationship. You want to let your friend know how much his words hurt you. You wish to be promoted. Your most charismatic employee needs to know that her constant change of mind is driving everyone crazy. Or you simply wish to draw a line with your pushy in-laws.
Whatever is bothering you now, a conversation in your head, won’t make it go away.
A real conversation will end your problem.
Today’s stretch: ask for what you want
“You can’t ask for what you want unless you know what it is.” — Barbara de Angelis
Rumination, the habit of repeatedly chewing experiences or conversations, is like getting stuck in the sand.
Reliving imaginary conversations won’t solve your problem. Worse indeed, it can negatively affect the outcome of the real discussion. Ruminating is an ineffective coping behavior.
Anticipation causes frustration.
Things never go as planned. Thinking ahead every possible scenario won’t prepare you for a productive conversation.
Go on, schedule that conversation. The first step towards moving into action is to set up the “event.” Regardless, if it’s a call, face-to-face or via email, mark it on the calendar.
Sending an invite will release half of the burden.
Prepare without anticipating too much. Capture what’s bothering you: what’s the real problem you want to solve. Focus on the message you want to convey and the expected outcome.
When you have the real conversation, stay focused.
Avoid providing too many details or over-sharing your feelings; it can distract the other person from understanding what you are asking for.
Overcome excuses and fear
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
We postpone conversations because we fear other people’s reactions.
The truth is, we are afraid of ourselves. Self-doubt holds us back. We are not sure if we are worth what we want to ask for. That’s why we postpone conversations.
It’s not what other people think that’s holding you back. It’s what you think you are not.
Today’s stretch: ask for (and get) what you want.
Schedule that meeting. Mute your self-doubt. Have that conversation. Remember what you are worth. Ask what you deserve.
Stretch, reflect & grow
What was holding you back from having that conversation?
What was your real fear?
How did you cross the line and finally scheduled the conversation?
Were you able to convey your message? What can you do better next time?
Before You Go
Change happens one stretch at a time. Daily exercises to grow beyond your comfort zone.
Improve your change fitness: