Babies scream when they are hungry, tired or sick. Children whine to express their desires. Even dogs beg and bark when need something. But adults suffer in silence.
Asking for a raise? Impossible. Tell a boyfriend you want more? Never! Confronting someone on bad behavior? Agony.
Why, as an adult, is it easier to bury your needs, twist your stomach into knots, and virtually tape your mouth shut, rather than express your desires?
We're conditioned to soothe our emotions rather than to express them. As babies, we're comforted by our parents holding us, but as adults we may pacify our emotions through food or by suppressing our needs even further.
We live in fear that our wishes will be too much for someone to handle, or that we're asking for too much out of life. We worry that we'll be abandoned, fired, or that we'll upset someone with our requests.
So we put others’ needs before our own, and then wonder why our lives seem “stalled.”
I was in a relationship in which I worried more about my partner’s needs than my own. I was the giver, and I set the tone for the relationship. I showed genuine interest in his life and I never spoke about my own life. In truth, he never asked.
I rearranged my schedule to suit his needs, I spent half my time building up his business and I even stopped seeing some of my friends in order to accommodate him. I gave up some of my identity, independence and self-esteem. To make matters worse, I was afraid to ask him where our relationship was going.
I was terrified that if I said no to him or if I stood my ground, he would leave. I took on the role of a lamb—I worried that if I wasn’t soft and sweet and nurturing, he'd think I was controlling or a “head case.” He was the lion, domineering and eyeing his prey, and I became a puppet for his desires.
As a result, my thyroid function (my voice) lowered and my digestive system was a constant mess. I couldn’t express my needs, so my body lashed out at me. It took a year, but eventually I woke up. I ended the relationship and I began to recognize my own voice. In turn, I was able to create abundance in all areas of my life.
Although that year of my life was far from fun, it helped me to understand that we are the designers of our destinies.
I didn’t want to be the lion or the lamb. I wanted to be a combination of both: sweet and nurturing, respected and balanced. I realized that if I couldn’t ask for more for myself, for my relationship and, really, for my life, who could do it for me?
I had to dig deep and trust that my inner desires were part of the greater vision for my life. If I didn’t honor them, I was stunting my own growth.
Take a look at your life and ask yourself if you are always the lion or always the lamb. Do you believe that you have to be one or the other? Are you living a life that feels authentic? Do you honor your needs?
Do you believe that you can have the perfect job, the ideal relationship, a beautiful home and optimum health? You can! You just have to find the courage to ask for it.
Here are 5 ways to ask for more out of life:
1. Just say no.
Is your answer yes to everything and everyone? Do you ever say no to things that feel like a drain or a struggle?
Learn to honor your needs and say no to the things that just feel wrong. That way, you make space for the things that bring you joy!
2. Trust your gut and create a vision for your life.
A vision board is a great tool to map out your next steps and align yourself with life’s possibilities! Learn to trust your gut and do more of the things that excite you.
3. Learn to quiet the crazy brain.
4. Create a personal mantra.
Affirmations are a great tool to bring you to your next step and keep the negativity in check. Repeat this or something similar several times per day:
I am worthy, my needs are always met and I am respected and heard.
5. Check in with your body.
Is your digestive system out of balance? Is your energy always low? Do feel uncreative or uninspired? Are you always fearful? Sometimes our bodies react to alert our minds that something is off. Each of the above symptoms can relate to suppressed emotions or living a life that feels inauthentic. Listen to your body; it is here to support you.