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My Dad used to tell me “The worst they can say is ‘no’” whenever I would tell him I had a question or want that involved someone else. 

And, more often than not, he was right.  

But, the fear of asking is sometimes less about receiving a negative answer and more about the way asking makes us feel.  

When we ask for things—especially things that are important to us—it is not always the ‘no’ that makes us leery, but the anticipation,

the worry,

the churning in the gut,

the panic. 

Because while the ‘no’ could be innocent enough, it is what the asking and the potential of ‘no’ makes us feel that draws the fear.

Ignored.

Disrespected.

Unloved.

Lacking in some way.

Here’s the thing, though: ask anyway

If the worst someone can say is no, if you walk away feeling ignored or disrespected, unloved or not enough?

You should also feel brave. 

Courageous. 

Proud.

Strong. 

Because you knew that asking could make you feel a myriad of horrible ways . . . but, it was important enough to you to ask anyway, so you did.  You put yourself out there, knowing it could hurt.

And I’m pretty sure that’s what my Dad was trying to say.

 

* This is obviously not about consent, which you should always ask for and if it’s a ‘no’ or not freely given, you should accept readily and wholeheartedly.