By Iyanla Vanzant
It isn't always easy to express our desires. We worry that others will see us as pushy or demanding, or that we'll be turned down. But asking for what you want is a necessary part of life, and I've found that the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Here are the five things I want you to remember:
Ask with commitment.
The first ask is for yourself: Question whether this is really what you want. Only when you're certain of your true desires will you have the courage to pursue them.
Ask with awareness.
Every request comes with a price -- there is no free lunch. For instance, asking for a raise may mean a tense conversation with your boss -- and if you're successful, nine times out of ten the raise will come with additional responsibilities. That's the cost: You have to be willing to do what's required. We cannot enjoy the benefit if we can't accept the price.
Ask without fear.
Fear is an obstacle that blocks your capacity to receive. I'm not just talking about the fear of making your voice heard. I'm also talking about the fear of getting what you want and realizing it's not all you'd hoped it would be, the fear of the responsibility that will come with it, the fear of losing it, and the fear of what will happen if you don't get it. These are all common, and they can get in the way of going after the things you yearn for most.
Ask with trust.
When you do not believe you deserve whatever you're asking for -- if you don't believe you're worthy -- you are not open to receiving it and, more often than not, you will not get it. That's how the universe works: If you don't put your trust in it, it won't deliver.
Ask without expectations.
When you want something, you may be required to ask more than once -- and you can't get too attached to the manner through which you receive it. If you want love, ask for it -- but know that it might take a while and may not come from the partner you expect. If you want a fulfilling career, understand that you may get it, but perhaps not in the field, position, or time frame you anticipate. Asking for and receiving what you want means keeping the faith that you will get it, even if the outcome doesn't look the way you thought it would.
Iyanla Vanzant is the host of OWN's Iyanla: Fix My Life and the author of Peace from Broken Pieces (SmileyBooks).