If You Don’t Ask, the Answer is Always No
Yesterday in Hope Whispers, “Try it One More Time” I wrote about a quote I have in my hallway. I actually have another quote on the wall.
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts.
I think I got these on Amazon. They are the vinyl sticker wall art. In any event, this quote is the topic for today’s blog post. (BTW – this is my 60th day in a row blogging. Woohoo! I achieved my goal!)
Life doesn’t generally change on it’s own. People always say “thoughts become things” but thoughts only become things when they influence your actions. Have you ever thought about exercising yet your butt remained planted on the couch? Have you ever had an idea that you didn’t implement? Have you ever fantasized about someone you’ve never even met? Your thoughts have to be backed by your actions.
Therefore, if you want something you have to go after it. You can’t wait for it to come to you. I’ve wanted to go on mission trips for quite a few years. A church I used to attend had a “sister church” in Haiti and they would take a team down every year. I wanted to go so I went to one of the monthly meetings. It was so disorganized and pointless as in nothing of significance was actually accomplished. I never went back. I also never went to Haiti…with them.
Related: I Had to Grow to be Here
I ended up changing churches and my new church goes on several mission trips every year. I saw that they were taking a group to Haiti and I applied. I was selected. I paid my money and I spent five days in Haiti. The point of the story is that I moved. I went after what I wanted. Now some may say that the fact that my new church also does mission trips in Haiti was a manifestation. My thoughts became a thing. Call it what you choose, but notate that if I hadn’t moved nothing would have happened.
Go after what you want. I’m learning this in regards to dating. I’ve generally been of the opinion that men should pursue women and if they can’t lead in dating how can they lead in marriage. I still feel that to an extent. The times where I’ve let men off the hook they’ve stayed off the hook. They don’t even try. I also generally don’t like men I don’t know. Someone being attractive isn’t enough to make me interested. So it’s kind of a catch 22. I’m not interested because I don’t know him, but how do I get to know him without being interested?
But I am altering my approach to dating a bit – to go after what I want. Prime example, there’s an usher at church that is kind of cute looking all sharp in his suit. ? I know he loves the Lord and has a servant heart. So seems like a good option (although I don’t know if he’s single). But I make it a point to linger where he is so we can chat. This is my way of going after what I want. If you’ve been waiting for something to come to you and it’s not coming it’s time for you to switch things up. If you’ve been waiting for a promotion at your job it may be time to go after an external promotion. If you’ve been waiting for a book deal it may be time to publish your own book. Stop waiting. Start pursuing. Or at least getting into the right environment to be pursued.
I’ve always said, “Don’t tell yourself no, let them tell you no.” When I’ve been interested in a particular job or a mission trip I’m like “I’m not telling myself no”. I’m going to apply. I’m going for it. When someone asks me for advice about something similar I’ve always said, “Let them tell you no.” When you don’t ask for what you want you’ve settled for a no inadvertently. If you ask, the answer could still be no. But if you don’t ask there’s no chance it could be yes. Learn to ask for what you want.
Learn to step forward. And then step forward again. And then again. The next step might not be the right step. It might not be the breakthrough step. But eventually if you keep stepping forward you are going to make progress. Sometimes when it’s obviously that the next step isn’t really going to get us anywhere we put it off or just avoid it all together. Yet, it’s the cumulative effect of many steps in the same direction over time that propels you forward. As long as you don’t move you’re not going anywhere.
I dated a guy in college who wasn’t doing anything. He said he was taking a break. I also said, “If you keep doing what you’re doing now in five years you will be right here.” And you know where he is? Right where he was. He was bagging groceries back then at Walmart which a lot of college kids did. Today, (well the last I talked to him) he is doing the exact same thing. Why? Because he wasn’t taking any steps!!! I even tried to help him make progress. I would apply for various programs and apprenticeships for him. (It’s the helper in me). When the recruiter called he wouldn’t follow through. Other people can take you’re steps for you. You’ve got to take your own steps.
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