Season 2 – epiBLOG 21:
NOVEMBER THEME – “GRATITUDE”
Many complain about what they don’t have instead of taking a look around them to be grateful for all that they do have. I’m guilty of doing that from time to time. Better yet, if you are the complainer of all that is not right in your life, what is it that you are doing about your current circumstances to change them to a more favorable outcome? Have you ever just taken the time to simply ask for what it is that you want?
Today’s topic is to ask your way into getting what you want in your career… and in life in general.
I have a lot to be grateful for – my fiancé, my son, my parents, my brother, my fiancé’s son, my home, my health, my friends, my ambition, my talents, a refrigerator full of food, my car, the clothes on my back… and, of course, I can go on.
Realizing my top 5 core values a couple of months ago made me realize why I often struggle with accepting anything less than success. And why, when I don’t achieve success the way I see it, is oftentimes the most overwhelmingly frustrating and temporary reality for me. I believe I mentioned this in a few blogs back, but my values that I hold closest to my heart in this very particular order are: (1) achievement, (2) love, (3) authenticity, (4) meaningful work, and (5) balance. When I don’t achieve that goal that I’m pursuing and desiring, there is an internal scale that feels off-kilter that doesn’t allow me to rest. It consumes me.
Part of success, apparently, is asking for what it is that you want. Some artists are excellent at doing this because they are either good at talking to people, or they just believe in what they are doing that the “risk” in asking for help is diminished by their belief in their cause. Others struggle with the social requirements needed to connect with a variety of people, let alone to be able to get up the courage to ask for any help. Everyone is different. And I am definitely not here to judge. I want to help.
In Jack Canfield’s week long seminar that I attended this past summer, I learned first-hand how hard it is for me to ask for things. We did a simple exercise involving crayons (I won’t spoil the exercise for those of you who decide to take his seminar). I sat there for the longest time trying to figure out the outcome when there were people all around me offering help, and I refused to take the help. In the past, asking made me feel inadequate, ill-prepared, and inferior, despite my level of high self-esteem. In order to avoid those negative feelings, I would rather toil away at trying to figure something out on my own instead of asking someone to lend their knowledge and talents into complimenting what I’m already capable of doing. My pride was a roadblock to achieving those things that I claimed I wanted to achieve.
You have to be willing to ask for help or advice when you absolutely need to. This doesn’t mean that you take advantage of people’s time or resources, but rather it empowers you because that other person is giving you something that you need and don’t have. Furthermore, the best business relationships are when all parties win. Remember, you have something valuable to others that they need. Be willing to give when you are asked as well.
My fiancé has told me to always ask for what I want, and she’s experienced a tremendous amount of success in her life. Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, also said to simply ask for what you want and that the worst that someone can say to you is “no.” I understood this concept in the past, but it wasn’t until recently when I was able to really internalize it and ask for what I want so freely, that I came to peace with the concept. Literally, the worst that someone can say to your request is “no.” I understand that rejection doesn’t feel good, nor does having the knowledge that you have even more work to do with every “no” that you receive. But what happens when you get the answer that you want? You feel accomplished. You feel on top of the world. Getting to that point is all in the asking.
Asking for what I want is still a challenge for me. I work through those feelings on a regular basis, reminding myself of the importance in what I’m doing. For example, I revised my entire film production company’s business model over the past 6 months. I’ve had to ask people for their advice and help so that I can make my causes clearer and so that everyone knows why I’m doing what I do. Right now, my biggest ask is for business owners who are looking for an end-of-the-year tax deduction and business name exposure. Please take a look at this short video and see how your donation can benefit you, the film industry, and the LGBT community.
See… asking is just that simple. I’m getting better.
Today’s LESSON is to remember that no one will ever know what you want unless you open your mouth to tell them.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Think about where you and your career are within this moment. Brainstorm and list areas in your career that you would like to see improved (“improvement column).” Make a list of your strengths and another of your weaknesses. Finally, make a list of all of the talented people that you know. You should have a total of four columns right now. Acknowledge your weaknesses. There’s nothing wrong with that. Be honest with yourself. Think about what you want help with by reviewing your items in the “improvement column.” Who can you ask for help from in your “talented people” column? Of course, after you make these lists, make sure that you come up with a strong and viable plan (unless that is your area of weakness) before you begin to contact people for help. People want to help, but they don’t want to be taken advantage of with their time or resources. My advice is to be prepared for all of your conversations and know exactly what you want.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL!
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