A love note to being the first one to ask

Happy Saturday!

I recently took my daughter out for brunch. She wanted crepes and couldn’t decide between two flavors.

“Let’s ask if you can have one of each. They can always say no.”

They said yes. Actually, the server went to ask the manager and then came back and said, “We’ve never done this but he said we can do it for $3.”

What a great lesson for $3.

We’ve never done this. Yes we can.

Because we asked. If they’ve never done it it means no one has ever asked before. Maybe those other menu readers are just decisive, or maybe they don’t think the two flavors go well together – but I imagine at least some people didn’t think they could ask.

There are a lot of things we don’t ask because we don’t think we have the permission to ask.

I’m nervous to go to the doctor by myself. Will you come with me?

When you go out with your friends can I come?

I’ve worked hard for years. Can I have a raise?

Sometimes there are questions we don’t ask even ourselves.

Can I rest now?

Do I like the way I’ve arranged my life?

Am I happy?

Asking can feel risky. Someone might say no. We might say no.

If this resonates, it’s okay that you’re not ready to ask yet. Remind yourself that you can survive an answer of “no”. Your brain will tell you that you have a lot to lose, but often when we don’t ask, it’s because we’ve assumed an answer of no.

We’re already living in the no.

Seeing that makes it easier to ask. It helps our brain to see that "no" is not the worst thing. Sometimes what's worse is not asking.

This week, notice if there are moments where you are holding yourself back from asking something because you don’t want to risk a “no”. What would make you feel safer to ask? Or maybe you're the one being asked and you resent having to say no. It can feel easier when people don't ask, so we don't have to say no. Remind yourself that everyone is actually safer when people can genuinely ask and genuinely respond. I really want to be alone with my friends but let's do something together next weekend. I'm not able to come to the doctor with you, but can I bring you a meal? ❤️

Asking questions is powerful and in this week's episode I talk about a question you can ask yourself to feel more confident -- even in uncertain times.

Episode #98: Confidence in uncertain times

Do you feel confident? If you're like me, chances are the answer is a firm . . . . . Sometimes? It can be hard to be confident, especially when things change so much. We're not always sure what to do, how to respond. Confidence is fueled by certainty, which is why so often we find ourselves unconfident. If we can't know how something will work out, how can we be confident about it? This lack of certainty often leads us to overthink decisions, feel tentative, and second guess ourselves.

The good news is that we don't have to be sure of everything in order to be confident. We just have to be sure of something. Take a listen to this episode to learn how to create confidence by letting your brain find what it can be certain about.

Love, Rachel

P.S. Thank you so much for sharing the podcast and for encouraging your friends to sign up for my giveaway (and mailing list) at makingmidlifemagic.com/giveaway. There are so many voices telling us we're not good enough, not doing enough -- I'm so honored to share a different message. You are always already good enough. You are doing plenty. The things you want are possible for you. I believe in you. When I see the numbers of podcast listeners go up, I imagine a thread of self-compassion, spreading through the network, allowing everyone to take a big loving breath. ❤️

Rachel Baum

I'm a life coach, college professor, and former president of the Overthinkers Club. Also, I host the Making Midlife Magic podcast. I love helping middle aged people dream again and create lives they love. Sign up to get inspiring mind shifts sent right to your email box. I don't over-send, and you can unsubscribe any time.

Read more from Rachel Baum

Grandma, Grandpa Nat, and me, mid-90s Remember senior pictures? In my day, they were like every other year except in senior year you wore a black drape. When my grandmother saw mine she said, “Brooke Shields has nothing on you!” And then she added, “Well . . . from the neck up.” Oof. My grandma loved me fiercely, but sometimes she couldn’t stop herself from making comments. Those comments especially stung because I heard them all the time. In the 1980s there was no shortage of messages...

Pride month is over, but we can live its lessons year-round. Are you proud? Maybe if you’re not part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you think you don’t get to be proud. Maybe your religious tradition taught you that pride was a sin. Maybe your mother told you, “Don’t be boastful” and you made yourself small. Whoever you are, you get to be proud. Not because you’re amazing. Not because you’re better than anyone else. You get to be proud because you're YOU, and because pride is an antidote to...

Hello love, Yesterday we celebrated my daughter’s college graduation. Earlier that morning, a dear friend’s father passed away. I have to take a breath to hold it all, the joy and the sorrow. I know they live right next to each other. My father passed away the day after the birthday of one of my oldest & dearest friends. We chose that day to take him off life support because I didn’t want my friend’s birthday to also be the day of my father’s passing. Years later, her father passed away on my...