Remember Oliver Twist?
The Charles Dickens novel about a young orphan sold into an apprenticeship with an undertaker (gruesome! Abuse, child slavery - a riveting read!) meekly approaches the cook in the workhouse for another bowl of gruel - "Please sir, may I have some more?" How bold! How dare he! There is not enough to go around, and thinks he is more deserving than others. Here he is, stepping up quaking in his little hobbled boots and asking for more.
What comes up when you ask for more?
Often negative feelings come up when we ask for more - more money, more clients, more time with our loved one, more respect. Feelings of guilt, selfishness, the "spoilt" little girl who gets everything she wants, or someone who is never satisfied, can prevent us from stepping up and claiming what is ours as much as it is anyone's.
It feels wrong to ask for more and is often steeped in family history and beliefs. My own family history includes an acronym that Mother needed only whisper when visitors were around. "FHB" means "Family Hold Back", and it was our sign to let the guests eat first. We could have what was left.
This and other beliefs and conditioning have led me over the years to feel uncomfortable about asking for more and to develop a scarcity mindset which takes A LOT of work to change. For a long time, feelings of guilt, selfishness and not being "a good girl" came with my poor attempts to set boundaries in relationships. Feelings of whether I truly deserved it above others came with asking for a well overdue raise. The feelings often stopped me from stepping up and asking, "Please sir, may I have some more?" This led to many years of ugly relationships, and being under-paid for my value in the corporate environment. I've had to overcome these feelings and particularly the scarcity mindset to one of abundance, but they still kick in from time to time. Reading wealth consciousness books, visualisation and reciting mantras are effective methods to build your resistance to a scarcity mindset.
The only thing I have been relentless, unforgiving and unapologetic about is asking for more of life.
What is it you are holding back on asking for?
- A long overdue raise?
- More respect in your relationship or time from your partner?
- More from life?
- More clients?
Whatever your desire, check in with yourself to see what feelings or anxieties come up about asking for it, and how it affects your openness to receive. Do the feelings come from a place of scarcity or abundance? We can subconsciously deny ourselves the gift thinking we do not deserve it, there is not enough to go around, "who am I to ask for more?" which in turn leads to self-sabotaging behaviour.
Fortune favours the bold
So, doff your hat to Oliver Twist - he asked for more, facing his fear and risking a thrashing.