If You Never Ask Then You’ll Never Know

I recently started a new job; my life lately has been filled with learning new things and getting into a new rhythm and trying to steadily increase my work performance. When friends asked me if I was still planning on attending trips that we had planned before I got my job, I immediately responded by saying “I can’t, I just started work, I can’t possibly ask for time off.”

However, after some time I figured the worst thing that could happen after I ask is that they say no. Which really isn’t that bad of an outcome at all and then at least I would know for sure. And then I would actually be in the same situation as not asking. By not asking I have already resolved myself to a ‘no’.

I began to think about how many times I have let opportunities pass me by simply because I did not want to ask; whether it was because I thought that I couldn’t or I was too afraid to know the answer. Wayne Gretzky said something on this subject that has always stuck with me; he said “you miss 100% of the shots that you never take”. So in other words, in being too afraid to lose to even try…I’ve already lost.

So, I decided to ask for the time off, even though I was sure it would probably be declined, and prefaced the request with a statement that I was completely fine with it being declined but that I needed to at least ask. And yes, you guessed it, I got the time off. I just got back from a gorgeous weekend in Spain with one of my best friends and we had such a wonderful time together, and good quality time to talk, which we both needed. I can’t believe I almost gave up this opportunity that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

There are worse things than asking and hearing no; whether it is for vacation time, a raise, working from home, or asking that person you like if they feel the same way. It is better to know and it is better to try, otherwise we will never know what amazing things we could be missing out on.

Published in Fusia magazine, July 2015