A couple of months back I wrote an article about a dead cat. You may remember it as the one where I talked about Schrodinger’s cat and how our little feline friend can be used to inspire and push ourselves to reach outside of our comfort zone and grab life by the balls.
Well, this is kind of like a sequel.
You see, most of us are too afraid to find out if the cat is dead or alive. The questions we want to ask frighten us to the point of extreme inertia. We just stand there, lost in a state of confusion.
It could be the fear of ridicule – worried about what others may think of us or it could even be a fear of success – imagining the possibility of a future that is vastly different than what we currently know.
Yet, we are all tough enough to deal with the consequences, regardless of how disastrous they may seem. So what if an important request is turned down – we gave it our all. That is all you can ever hope to do.
Realistically though, the chances are that by asking scary questions, the answers themselves are likely to be filled with positivity and reward.
Take the three questions in this article. They have terrified all of us at some point, but why?
Why is it scary to ask someone out on a date? Why is it scary asking your boss for a pay rise or a promotion? Why is it scary asking someone for help?
The short answer is that it isn’t. We’re just a big bunch of wimps.
So stop being a big sissy and deal with it.
1. Do you have a crush on someone? Tell them today and ask them out
Gone are the days when you could just send your school chum over to that girl you fancied and get them to ask her out on your behalf. If my testosterone fuelled adolescence taught me one thing; it’s that you shouldn’t stand there and gawp in the general direction of a cute girl whilst picking your nose and expect to receive anything other than mass ridicule and a swift, sharp NO!
But it’s alright. That was in the playground. Adult life is full of mature, experienced and somewhat intelligent individuals who have a little more social nous about them and can navigate this treacherous dating scene with the stealth of a love ninja!
Or not, as the case may be.
For some reason, most of us are so repressed in the art of dating that we are virtually paralysed with fear when faced with the opportunity to ask someone out. We would rather let our true love pass us by than run the risk of having our heart ripped out and kicked around in a frenzied game of ‘let’s ruin your life’.
That’s pathetic and a little backwards isn’t it? If we do nothing, we get nothing but heartache.
But if we do something, anything, then our chances of finding true love increases tenfold.
Nobody can say yes to your request for a date if they have no idea that you even like them, so stop being a pussy and ask them out. At the very least you will put a huge smile on their face.
As Einstein once said ‘hesitation equals masturbation’.
(Einstein may not have actually said this).
2. Ask your boss for a pay rise or a promotion
It’s unlikely that your boss will instantly grant your wish, shove an extra 5k into your sweaty palms and alert the rest of the workplace to your obvious greatness. If they are anything like the majority of my former managers then you’d be lucky to get a derisory roll of the eyes and a swift kick up the backside.
But that isn’t the point.
By confidently strolling up to their office, knocking a little too loudly on their door and startling them into spilling their coffee all over their lap. They will have no choice but to acknowledge that you are someone who they cannot ignore in the future. You are no longer a soulless worker bee who bends over in the face of authority and takes it like a British Prime Minister in Brussels.
You are different. You have a dream.
You want more money and dammit, you want it now!
Alright, you may not feel like you have the skills and ability to warrant this request but take a look around your current workplace. Are there people in lofty positions who really shouldn’t be there? Is the place being run by a bunch of buffoons who have no idea what they are doing?
As uninspiring as this may sound; you too can be one of these buffoons! Instead of putting yourself through hell for a measly wage that barely covers your basic needs. You could be set for a promotion and a pay rise just by having the balls to actually ask for it.
Should your request be met with hearty laughter and condescension, console yourself with the possibility that your future hard work will no longer go unnoticed and should any future positions crop up, you will be first in their thoughts.
Failing that, you could always just leave?
3. Don’t be afraid of asking someone for help
What have tramps, hobos and the homeless got that you haven’t?
I’m not talking about genital warts and dirty fingernails, that should be a given.
They simply have the courage to ask for help. Their need for shelter, food and copious amounts of special brew is far greater than their pride. They don’t allow the fear of being judged to get in the way of their primal desire to improve their life situation (or get shitfaced drunk).
Of course it may be easier to ask for help (or beg) when faced with survival than whatever trivial first world problems we might think we suffer from but it’s all relative. Just because you have a roof over your head, food in the fridge and safe job doesn’t mean that you are somehow exempt from receiving a helping hand if you need it.
The truth is; we ALL need help from time to time and the sooner we can face up to this fact of life, the sooner we can get over ourselves, push that ego to one side and actually do something about it.
It really doesn’t matter what your problem is. People will be there for you. Friends, family and your significant other will bend over backwards if given half a chance to make things right in your world. That’s what they are there for. They don’t care about your pride, your ego and your perceived weakness.
That’s all in your head.
The truth is that by asking for help, you are demonstrating strength, courage and a vulnerability that we should never try to repress, in any situation.
If you need some money, ask for some money. If you need a helping hand in dealing with a trauma or depression, ask for that too and if you want someone to run upstairs and fetch you your slippers…
Get off your ass and do it yourself you lazy git!
Have you recently asked someone out? How did it go?
Are you toying with the idea of asking another important question?
Let me know your experiences and thoughts in the comments!
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