I’ve noticed the past couple of weeks that asking for favors for me – just me, not me on behalf of some larger entity like an employer or my children or a non-profit – has gotten easier for me.
Asking for these kinds of favors – “would you look at my manuscript?”, “can I pitch you a story idea?”, even “will you go out with me” back in the day – was always pretty difficult for me. I would rehearse multiple times asking a girl out as a teenager. I still do some rehearsing with phone calls where I’m asking something from someone I consider more important than me.
And this kind of rehearsal helps with defusing the negative Voice of Failure from within, because one can anticipate every derogatory thing the person on the other end of the phone might say and plan comebacks, all in advance.
But the last couple of weeks, as I say, I’ve had less dread about these asks, and have even just picked up the phone once or twice (ok, I’m exaggerating: not the phone, but picked up the keyboard for an email) and quickly dashed off a request for a favor.
Like a lot of these Notes from the Field, hard to attribute to any of my Interventions so far, but at least, as we say in the investing business, the needle is moving in the right direction.