Most of us like to believe that we’re fairly smart. We may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but we hope we’re above average. In our workplace, among our circle of friends and in society in general, we assume that we’re in the “above average” group when it comes to intelligence and skills. It’s just human nature to think so.

The question that haunts us though is this… “Am I really? Am I one of the smarter, more skilled, adept people?” We worry sometimes that our performance, or worse yet the perceptions about our performance might tell another tale. We struggle with asking for help or information because we’re concerned about the message we might be telegraphing others about our shortcomings. Take heart my friend. If no one else has said it to you, then let me say it. It’s OK to ask. Ask questions. Ask for help. Ask for direction and ask for encouragement. ASK.

There are a lot of ways you can ask, an entire “family of asks” if you will. Here are some of them:

  • THE BIG ASK- This is the first one that comes to mind for most of us. This ask is for a HUGE favor, a MAJOR assist or a LARGE input from another person or group. The only way for you to avoid ever making the BIG ASK is to keep your dreams, your job and your mission in life small. However, if you plan on taking on life in a big way, ultimately you will need to make the BIG ASK of others. Do it anyway!
  • THE DUMB ASK- This is the “ask” that terrifies us from making requests in the first place. We are afraid that the question or the query for help is going to make us look like an idiot. Guess what? Sometimes it does. It doesn’t happen that way very often, but if it does, so what? Do it anyway!
  • THE SMART ASK- Just the opposite of the DUMB ASK, the SMART ASK is the one that not only asks good questions, asks them often and listens well, but those questions are asked of the right people and the timing of the SMART ASK is done well! Remember that not everyone has earned the right to speak into your life. It’s also important to think strategically and plan ahead when making the SMART ASK, because you can wait too late to ask, even if the advice is solid.
  • THE CHEAP ASK- Not every “ask” is an earth shattering or life changing moment. Growth and improvement can happen for us in small increments, with little adjustments or changes. These moments can come when we make the CHEAP ASK. Throw a question out on social media, or in a group text to get some feedback. Email a small group with a question, or text out a quick poll to get some instant feedback. Worried about what you might hear? Do it anyway!
  • THE MENTOR ASK- The most successful people I know in this life ALL have a mentor, regardless of their age and status in life! Having a mentor is not a sign of weakness, but rather a mark of wisdom. Those with mentors actively speaking into their life have the benefit of another persons years of experience and wisdom pouring into the present and making for a better future! Don’t have a mentor? Get one! Afraid to ask for advice? Do it anyway!

Listen, only the crazy person believes they can do it all alone, without any input or wisdom from outside themselves. Get over whatever it is that is keeping you from making “THE ASK”, whatever kind of ASK that might be!

What other kinds of “ASK” do you see can be made?

Which type of “ASK” do you think is most helpful?