I recently read through The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield, and I’m outlining the book here both to help myself learn and remember its principles, and to help others in their studies:
One Paragraph Summary:
You can tremendously improve your quality of life by asking for what you want, but you have to overcome your fear of asking, and know how to ask.
There are five barriers to asking for what you want:
1) Not knowing that you can ask, the correct way to ask, or even what you really want
2) Growing up, societal expectation (parents, school, and especially media) teach us that it is inappropriate to ask for anything, we should be content with what we have, and that we shouldn’t be a burden on others.
3) Fear of being made to look stupid or humiliated if the request is rejected, fear of being cast aside for being too ‘needy’
4) Especially for men, pride prevents us from asking, since we’re ‘expected’ to be able to do it ourselves, and asking makes us feel weak
5) A majority of people have self esteem issues, don’t feel like their needs are important, and are happy to get anything at all, even if it’s not what they want
You should get into the habit of asking, since you can ask for anything that you desire, helping you take control of your life and get what you want, and making you happier with your life.
To most effectively ask, you need to know what you want, believe that you are worth and can get it, overcome your fear and take action, learn from your mistakes, and be persistent in the face of failure.
Knowing exactly what you want is the first step – try making a list of 100 wishes. Popular areas include love and relationships, friends, family, home, possessions, cars, clothes, career, wealth, achievements, health, hobbies, and personal growth. Make these requests as specific as possible – try answering the following questions.
Next, you need to visualize yourself having achieved your goal, as explained in Think and Grow Rich. Twice a day, picture yourself living as if you had already accomplished your goal, visualizing every aspect of the achievement.
To get over your fears:
– Realize that you create the fear yourself. First, write down a list of what exactly you fear, that’s preventing you from asking. Reframe it as “I want to ask for ____, and I scare myself by imagining that _____”. Then, there are three solutions: 1) perform calming exercises to stop worrying about the future and come back to the present, 2) see if your fear is real, by asking your target how he would feel if you did ____, 3) imagine and visualize the result you want, to give you the psychological boost to overcome the fear
– You can also ask analyze your fears objectively – write out what’s the worst that can happen, noting that even if that happens, you are rarely worse off than before. Next, ask yourself what’s the best that can happen, then finally evaluate which one is most likely.
– It is also important to use positive self-talk – we can’t be positive and negative at the same time, so positive emotions will prevent negative emotions of fear. You should also realize that everyone fears the same thing you fear – just that some people persist in spite of the fear.
– Get past your fear of feeling foolish by intentionally asking something foolish – people tend to naturally be helpful, so even in asking foolish questions, you usually still get a positive result.
– When starting out asking, start with asking “safe” people to build up confidence, always keep in mind why asking will benefit you, and give yourself permission to be awkward at first.
– Believe that rejection isn’t about you – you’re simply an extra in somebody else’s play. Instead, learn from your rejections – ask why you were rejected, and how you can do better next time.
– Finally, realize that it’s a numbers game – believe that you’ll get a success after X rejections, so that you look forward to each rejection, instead of being weighed down by past rejections.
Finally, you have to know how to ask:
– You have to ask with utmost confidence and conviction, like you expect to get it and will not take any other answer
– Before you ask, make sure the other person has the power to give you what you want; don’t ask for the physically impossible.
– Be clear and specific in your request – otherwise, the other person will misinterpret the request and give you something you don’t actually need
– Finally, it goes without saying, but always be gracious & polite, try to emphasize how your request will be beneficial to the askee, and remember to maintain good karma – you have to give in order to get.