Why Should I Have to Ask?

When I was 27 I made my living as a professional stage actor. I was part of a theater company in the Midwest and was one of its most visible players. As a leading man I generated a large following among the people in the city (I am purposely keeping identifying names anonymous) and was treated very much like a star. I rode in limousines with the city’s upper class. I was celebrated at lavish dinners, some in my honor. I was interviewed in the major newspaper and on television and radio. The theater, which was a major aspect of the city’s cultural life, was successful and I played a central role in that success.
In the late spring of one of my years there, the theater’s producer, who told me that he saw me as his alter ego, was focused on putting together the next season’s budget. I’d heard from someone I trusted that during one of the meetings regarding raises my name came up. The producer said “Don’t worry about him. He won’t roblox robux hack ask.” When I heard that I was paralyzed.
Of course I didn’t ask. Why did I have to? My work on and off stage was of obvious value. I had been recognized as part of the heartbeat of the company’s success. It made no sense that I HAD to ask.
But the producer, this guy who emulated me, who told me he was grateful to me, and endlessly praise my performances said—”Don’t worry about him. He won’t ask.”
I’d like to say that was the only lesson I needed and forever after, in other companies, I asked for what I wanted, whatever I wanted, because I knew if I didn’t no one else would. Well, that would be a lie.
I knew I had madden mobile cheats to, but knowing and two dollars won’t get me or you a medium tea at Starbucks. Knowing is the booby prize.
Doing is the triumph. Acting, not like on stage but in real life, is what has to happen to make something real. Carrying through to take your intentions and desire into real life, that’s the core of it.
Yes it would be nice if we didn’t have to ask. Those who can make a difference would see and they would act. But only rarely does that happen.
The cry—”Why Should I Have to Ask”—is one of the most deceptive and effective hiding places we can burrow into. It can feel like it makes so much sense. But it also plays right into being a victim. Your work may be outstanding. And you may get a bonus. But by not making clear what you want you will create a dependency that will ultimately become crippling.
For example: raises have to do with your livelihood; promotions with your career; resources with how well you can do your job; etc. And what you and many many people do—as evidenced by me—is invent a story, even a very good and credible story that justifies why we don’t take action. Then what we end up producing is disappointment that grows to resentment that metastasizes into bitterness. For the final act cynicism takes stage and then life sucks.
I’m not theorizing. I had to work my way out of that cynicism.
This is such an important topic, one we hear again and again as coaches and consultants that I’m going to write a follow up post to this one. But for now some of the consequences of Not Asking:
• your Confidence is weakened because you can’t count on yourself to follow through madden nfl mobile in support of your own needs;
• your Presence in the company depreciates because no one knows who you are and what you want;
• your Effectiveness suffers because you are not an advocate for your own value and, if you are a manager, for the value of your team;
• your Ability to Negotiate dwindles and eventually atrophies;
• your Career is damaged because you are relegated to the shadowlands of people’s awareness;
• and finally, your Maturity takes a hit because only children and babies can expect to be taken care of without asking.
I’m aware that many people reading this will be offended and will raise arguments against me. They will say I’m being melodramatic or that I’m being absolutistic. If you knew me you’d know that absolutism is a stance I utterly reject. But after years of developing the ability and then the comfort to ask for what I want, including recognition and raises, I assure you the difference in who I’ve become, and who you will become, allows me to trust that I can trust myself to take care of me. Optimism is a much better way to live.

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