Asking for what I want
I find it relatively easy to set boundaries and voice what I do not want. Asking for what I do want does not come as naturally to me.
With time I have come to better understand what is behind this and how I have at times sabotaged my own efforts. This has in turn enabled me to start breaking down my underlying assumptions and beliefs and to start to communicate more clearly.
I have also developed more skills over time and am now better equipped to make clear requests.
Becoming aware of what’s blocked my progress
There have been various layers which I have uncovered over time which point to what has blocked my progress.
When I was younger I realise that, for the most part, it was simply a case of not asking sufficiently clearly. I was often very clear about what I wanted but did not ask with the same level of clarity. There is a skill to the speech act of making requests.
I also developed a habit of putting my desires aside – either from a place of feeling I should be above the desire, or convincing myself that it was not that important, just a preference, and that I could happily live without whatever it was. Both of these has led to a great deal of unhappiness at various times in my life.
And then there have been instances where I realised I felt I didn’t deserve what I desired. I could not receive from this place, never mind ask.
As with any skill, competence in asking for what you want is built step by step. It was only once I learned how to make a clear request that I started becoming aware of some of the other blocks. It has been and continues to be a dance… sometimes I feel like I am moving forward and other times I feel I take a few steps back.
I continue to allow myself the space to grow.
I liken learning a new skill (especially one that does not come naturally or that requires some undoing of old habits) to learning to walk. A baby starts off quite immobile and then gradually learns to roll around, creep, crawl and eventually learns to stand and walk… it’s body grows new abilities and stronger muscles…
I am giving myself the same space to grow and learn.
Allowing myself the freedom to fall and then getting up to do it all over again, just like a baby, allows me to be lighter in my efforts and makes the successes all the more joyful.