I have a story for you.
The other day, my daughter and I were grocery shopping. She wanted a balloon at the end of shopping (our local grocer hands out balloons to the kids) but they don't give a child two balloons - only one per customer.
My daughter decided it would be unfair to ask for a balloon and bring one home when her little brother wasn't with her to get one, too.
Of sage advice, I told her to go ask the woman behind the counter if she could have one balloon for herself and one for her little brother while I was cashing out. I was 10 feet from the counter.
She refused to go ask for a balloon for herself and her brother. Her reason? She was too afraid the woman behind the counter would say no.
A few months ago, I was at a health coaching conference. We were instructed on a partner activity. The activity was to use whatever means possible to get your partner to open up her fist for you.
Being competitive, I did everything to get my partner to open her fist. I tried to pry it open. I licked her. I bit her. I tickled her. I downright wrestled her and to no avail. That fist stayed sealed shut.
After the activity, we were asked what we did. I proudly proclaimed my efforts - thinking I had done everything possible, but the task given was just impossible to achieve.
Then then the next woman at the microphone admitted that she got her partner to open her fist. She was asked what she did to make this happen and she simply said, "I asked her nicely."
Hammer on the head, folks. I didn't even ask. I went about this from the completely wrong angle.
It was a small activity, just as the balloon was a small request, but there's a big lesson to be learned.
We will never get what we want if we don't ask for it. It's impossible for anyone around you to know, 100% of the time, what it is you want if you don't vocalize it.
By not asking, you're putting yourself in your own worst scenario.
One of the things I asked my daughter that day was, "what's the worst thing that can happen?" She answered that the woman may say no and she would not get a balloon. So instead of her pride being hurt by the answer "no", she decided not to even try.
By not trying she enabled her own worst case scenario to manifest itself.
If you sit back and truly ask yourself - when faced with a difficult situation or decision, "what's the worst that can happen." you can study the possibilities with curiosity and not judgment.
Nobody will ever judge you for asking. To get what you really want in life, you're going to have to ask for it. You cannot expect life will be handed off to you on a silver platter. If you want a raise, ask - what's the worst that can happen. If you want to marry the love of your life, ask - what's the worst that can happen?
If you're not hearing "no" several times a day, you're either a very persuasive person or you're not stretching yourself enough.
Think about what it is you really want and go for it. I know you have it in you.