Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Practice asking (face rejection), part of Building Resilience.
-The number one reason for people avoiding any type of ask is the fear of rejection. Nobody wants to be told no and as a result we avoid it altogether. Asking may involve getting help or gathering information or wanting something that we don't have. Like many of you I was raised in a culture where asking was always seen as a sign of weakness and lack of smarts or a sign of being a difficult or high maintenance person. The combination of not practicing an ask from a young age matched with the fear of rejection as we get older results in most adults being poor askers.
I challenge you in your quest to raise your resilience threshold to practice asking for things you're not sure you will receive. So let's get started with small irrelevant asks that seem trivial such as bagging help at the grocery store where they don't traditionally help customers. Or requesting a discount at an item that's not clearly marked as having a lower price. These asks have a high chance of getting a rejected for various reasons. But the point here is that you get used to hearing no.
When you do, manage your internal language. Instead of thinking about the negativity of the no, praise yourself for stretching your asking muscles and thinking of the next ask opportunity. The key here is both keeping your internal dialogue positive while managing your verbalized response. It can be something like oh I thought I'd ask anyway. Or thanks for letting me know. It doesn't hurt to ask. After you build your confidence with the day to day asks, progress to asking for things you're less likely to receive.
For example, practice asking a stranger to use their mobile phone to make a call. Or a colleague to give you a ride at an inconvenient time to them. Again, watch your internal language. Keep it positive and hone in on your response. Never apologize for asking. The purpose of this activity is to get you to become more tolerant of rejection. Nassim Taleb, scholar and author of the book "Black Swan" named by the Sunday Times as of the most influential books since World War II said avoiding mistakes makes big ones more severe.
Once a quarter I'd like for you to make a bigger, challenging yet realistic ask. For example you can ask to move to a better working space. Ask for an assistant or a new computer. I don't want you to risk your credibility by asking for outrageous things. However, stretching yourself in an area where you are likely to get rejected will only help you to further raise your trait resilience level.