Stop Overthinking It: Ask for What you Want

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"To think too much is a disease.”
― Dostoyevsky

Being a grown-up in 2015 is like being a marketing guru for a large sales and marketing consortium (that we sometimes hate working for).

The perks are great  as long as you are bringing in new business and reassuring the right people that you are making things happen. The only problem: you have to keep making things happen despite market conditions and the economy.

And although there are plenty of things in life we do not have control over (death, taxes, economy, earthquakes) the fault in our stars lies not in our ability to be successful or happy but the extent to which we allow our own obsessive thoughts and attitudes (created by our brain's supercomputer) to rule us when faced with life altering decisions (i.e.: getting a new job, marriage, being parents, etc).

Most of you out there have a brilliant supercomputer that works most of the time. It is only when we allow the noise of past failures (the old tape) corrupt our brilliant super computers' ability to work optimally. 

And although it is important to read the fine print in life, our human capacity for overthinking is a living manifestation of the old tape (past failure and disappointment) that puts the brakes on asking for what we really want in life.

What to do? Get in the mindset. Stop focusing on why the (fill in the blank) cannot happen.  The formula:  (repeat after me): Ground yourself in WHY and reconnect.

Ground Yourself in Why

Want to ask your boss for the promotion that you have worked so hard for in the last year? Why?

Start by checking in with yourself. Find a quiet space during the busy day and spend 10 minutes to check in with myself,  making sure this is what I want and that it resonates with who I am. Focus on what it feels like to get the promotion or the job offer. What are the pros and cons?  What additional responsibilities  and challenges does the new opportunity bring? If I still really want it after checking in but still feel the fear that is ok.

Jump over the fear and keep processing.


Now that you are 100% sure you want it (and know exactly what that is) what needs to happen to get what I want? How can I make this happen?

The first step is reconnecting with that desire or want and a simple one page plan. I recommend creating a simple flow chart with action steps. 

Next to the action step jot down what your action will be (i.e.: set-up meeting with boss and discuss current project challenges and the need for more senior project managers to handle the increased volume).  Practice having that conversation with a colleague or a friend.  Make sure you are clear and direct on what you want and then ask for it.

Once you have done your prep work it's time to take action and ask for the business.

Now go ahead. You can do it!

HealthJeanne Verger