The other night, I attended a women’s networking session at my former high school. The subject of the session was asking for what we want – in life and in business – and I didn’t realize how many communication failures I was really having in my personal and professional life because I simply don’t stand up and ask for what I want.

In a professional context, it’s true: many times, guys feel comfortable (or are conditioned to) simply ask for what they want, whereas women feel like it should be offered or they should be grateful for taking what is given to them.

After the event, I started speaking my professional goals more eloquently, outlining them and saying them aloud to friends and family. Even then, I noticed I was limiting myself.

“I want to work for X company,” I told a trusted fellow writer.

My savvy friend and business associate, however, questioned my logic, pointing out that I don’t want to work for this company – I want to be their competition.

Even as a full-time freelancer, I didn’t realize how I was depending upon another company to realize my dream.

Sometimes geeky pursuits help with this – in reflecting on my LARP characters and characters I write in online text-based role play, I realize they’re very assertive, especially when it comes for asking for (or demanding) what they want. While that strategy doesn’t always work in real life, I could definitely succeed more often if I employed a bit more of this behavior in my career.

Are you being assertive enough about your wishes in your daily life? Why or why not?

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