top of page

Why Is Asking So Hard To Do? Especially for Women!

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

By: Dina Readinger, CEO Diagnostic Thinking

Many people around the world are experiencing difficulties with life. The world has changed immensely, yet people find themselves disappointed, frustrated, stuck, and choosing to walk away from an opportunity because they don’t know how to ask for what they want. The world is suffering from the tools, structure, and support for what they need for themselves.

What gets in the way of asking for what you want?

Fear of being seen as weak, fear of rejection, fear of being even criticized for asking for what you want, or frankly, fear of hearing the word no. No translates for women that I am not seen as good enough and may never be good enough. Men, by history, have never been afraid of asking for what they want. If someone said no, they found a way for someone to say yes to them. Women routinely take a “NO” as a rejection of themselves, and there must be something that I lack; otherwise, people would grant me my ask.

Have you ever been at the top of the performance chart and been denied your wish? Was your dream job given to someone less tenured than you?

Women can create their career stalls. They lack knowledge of “how” to ask for what they want and find themselves running from the thought of even asking. Many women will choose the status quo and stay in their current role due to their fear of asking for what they want. Many women share that they feel selfish for asking for what they want. Most children learn never to ask for what. Many times they were told they were disrespectful, ungrateful, and even self-centered as children. Women stop trusting in themselves for the ability to accept a “no” answer or even how to take a “no” responsibly. Women often revert to the more accessible options, which is a self-created story behind why they did not get what they wanted. Corporations send a message that asking for what we want is looked down upon when they do research and strategic planning for the D&I program but fail to follow through to ask those who seek information. A leader’s responsibility is to build a responsibility-based culture, where the first step is self-awareness and self-management for clearly understanding what you want next for your career and your life. The next is social awareness and social responsibility, where the collective ideas and ask are considered.

What’s next?