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DECIDE! "How to make any decision"
Table of Contents | Read Chapter 4 On-line: Ask Ask AskSo now you have the answers to YES or NO questions. Also, the answer to the questions with more details. Isn't this getting simpler and simpler? I hope so. However, we may need some additional advice, when making a decision. This next technique is to ASK outside ourselves for something. Asking to see if something suits you, so you can confirm or redirect your decision.
Asking for something is hard, both asking ourselves or asking someone else.
Does the difficulty of asking come from childhood? As a child, did you know the majority of things you would ask for would be denied? It became easier not to ask at all. We continue through life thinking we don't have permission to do something, to have something, or to try something. That if we asked, we would be told a resounding no. Some of us had the guilt of doing something without permission, and having the terror of getting caught. Getting caught doing something without permission meant getting punished.
However, I think by now most of us have all the permission slips; we just don't use them. One of those permission slips is that we can ask for anything. We may still get a " NO." The point is we asked. And, just think, we might get a "YES."
Getting tied up in knots, afraid to ask, may be fear of the same resounding "NO" we received as kids. As an adult, the request is different but the feeling about asking seems to be the same. If I ask, I'll only hear a NO. I'll get the same feeling that NO brought on as a child. Maybe a feeling of not deserving.
A childhood of "No's" may be keeping you in an adulthood of nevers. You'll never do that. You'll never have that. You'll never achieve that. Remember, as children we had a small world of people to ask: our parents or guardians, family members, teachers or caretakers. Very little worldly contact. In this tiny world, those select few people were doing the best they could. As we grew taller, the world became larger, and so our world of asking took on grander possibilities.
Asking may be uncomfortable to you. It exposes you. If I ask for something, someone will know I want something that I don't have. That I am not complete at this time. So what? How can you complete what is missing, without going after it?
You can practice by asking other people for things. First do it by phone. If looking for work, call and ask if there are openings. No one can see you. The rejection is not personal. Ask for a sample newsletter in a profession you may want to be in. By phone, the people on the other end have never met you. They don't know what you look like. How old you are. That you cheat at cards. (Do you?)
Practice by phone. Do it in a quiet place, no music or TV on. Clear the area in your line of sight, except any notes you may have. This is a play. You have to rehearse your lines. Pick up the receiver, dial the number. Sit tall in the chair, head up, and clear your throat. "Hello. I would like to get information on, directions to, a free sample of." Whatever it may be. This practice, asking easy questions and shielded by the anonymity of the phone, is a wonderful way to build confidence. Then, you do the asking in person, again with a stranger, maybe in a department store or a restaurant. "May I have this? May I change that?" It is in the asking that you mold yourself to what you might want to be. You may get what's not right for you. That is OK; you tried it. On to the next level of asking. Finding out what doesn't suit us brings us closer to what will. So venture out and ask for something. The asking is not just for life decisions, it's for comfort, too. For example, if on a business trip and staying in a hotel, ask for two beds. One bed becomes a desk on which to spread your work. The other you sleep in. This took me a couple of trips to figure out. The luxury of the king-sized bed, though wonderful, is not always practical for a work situation. Yes, there are desks in hotel rooms. They are just not big enough. Sounds like a simple request. It is, and it makes a world of difference lifting books or flyers off the bed vs. off the floor. Go for the comfort. Let's say we need outside advice to decide about going into a certain field of work, or deciding to start your own business. Ask people who have their own businesses. Ask an expert in that field. How do you do that? You may have a friend who knows someone. This someone could ask for you. Or they could get you the OK to call, or meet that expert directly. You could use the Internet or the library for research. Then you could e-mail or write them. If it is a public figure, or business person at a large company, you may want to arrange an exploratory interview on their type of work. To meet with them you may call the personnel department at the company; if a public figure, call their staff and ask if this could be arranged.
Once you have contacted the expert, ask the person if he or she would mind answering some questions. If you write, ask if you can call or e-mail. If it's a phone call, have your questions ready. You may ask how they got started. What education or apprenticing was helpful. What is the reality of the work? What skills are needed? What is a typical day like? Do not waste the person's time by answering your own questions during this process. They'll think if you're such an expert, why are you seeking expert advice? Also, don't argue with the expert. You might want to say, "I didn't think things worked that way." If you don't agree, don't argue. Let it go.
You may find out you already know the information. You'll be thinking, "What was I so worried about, or blocked about? I now see how this is done." Talking to an expert takes away the mystery. I believe if another human has achieved something, I guess another human can do it. So why not you, right?
You could also use this technique of "ask the expert" when seeking a college, trade school, school system, new place of worship, or new hobby.
Let me stop right now to emphasize "ASKING" regarding a medical decision. The medical field is in an upheaval. We may have lost the trusted family physician to a corporate-designated provider listing. Not to say the doctors are not to be trusted, but possibly they will not be familiar with you and your family. With the HMO's, our doctors have to abide by many regulations. I believe the patient has suffered because of this.
For the best medical care, always go to a doctor's appointment with your list of symptoms and questions you may have. Somehow even the smartest of us will get into a doctor's office and forget the questions and clam up. A good one is, "Boy, is the doctor busy! I'd better not ask him too many questions." One reason he is busy is because people didn't ask him questions in the first place. Another good one is, "I will be bothering him. He may think I am dumb." Medicine is a business like any other. You pay for a service, you deserve the best treatment that you are paying for. You deserve to be treated with respect. We all did not go to medical school. They did. So they should share what they know. And they will, if you ask. If you do not get an answer, keep asking. If a particular doctor is not answering, ask for a different doctor. And keep asking.
If, after whatever treatment is given, you still do not feel better, keep asking. Ask for a second opinion, or another referral, or to see a specialist. Also, ask another patient or a friend. "What do you think I should ask the doctor? What questions have I left out?" If you are the patient, you most likely are under a lot of stress. You will need to get the questions in order, prior to all visits. You may not be asking for yourself but for a family member, a friend, or a child. The medical practices are overwhelmed. They are human. Their time is limited. Yours may be too, if you don't ask. All right already, enough of that. Oh, I can go on in this department. KEEP ASKING. ASK! ASK! ASK!
A more gentle place for advice is to ask a friend. I am sure you know who they are. They are the trusted ones. A friend, when asked, will give you the advice of a mirror. The clear picture of what is. I'm sure, like my friends, your friends are better at some things than you are. So ask them their opinion. Also, the dearest of friends know you, what you like and dislike. The truest of friends know what is best for you. Here is an arena of asking that will keep you grounded and steady.
Lastly or firstly (your choice), you ask God or whoever "God" may be to you. Maybe you ask your angels. Whatever it is outside yourself that you may pray to, just ask. Now, with all the other input suggested above, you will have more facts, more details, and some answers to make the best decisions to go in the right direction.
Ask for a better life, better work, better relationships. You may see people and it appears they have it all. I bet they got half by asking for it, and worked hard for the rest. I also think we need to ask for opportunity. Ask to volunteer at something you might want to work at, ask for the next new project to expand your skills, ask for more time to yourself, ask for more time with people you love, ask for the best: view, seat, window, room, office, food, table, haircut, life.
This world is ours for the asking. In fact, it is ours until we are unable to ask anymore. So, go ahead, ask for something now. For yourself. For your comfort. For your personal growth. For your financial future. For your family. For a friend. For your happiness. For the heck of it. ASK.
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