I have a friend who constantly bites off more than she can chew – in her home life, her parenting, her business, her friendships. She’s forever stressed and overwhelmed. She’s the one the PTA calls first and her boss asks to stay late. She bakes homemade cookies for fundraisers, traipses door-to-door selling gift wrap, and picks up extra duties at work for no recognition other than an “atta girl” or “thank you.” 

She would tell you she thrives on deadlines. And while that’s legitimately true for many of us, I gotta be honest – she appears to be STRIVING, not THRIVING!  

Here’s the thing: She’s missing opportunities. All because she hasn’t embraced her own self-worth yet.  

Let me ask you this: If I gave you $100 bill would you take it? If I folded it in half, would you still want it? What about if I crumpled it up, stomped on it and ground it into the dirt? Would you still want it? Of course you would! A hundred bucks is still a hundred bucks! So why do we put more value on a piece of paper than we do ourselves, our skills, our abilities, our thoughts, our ambitions? It’s time to stop that!  

But usually, we don’t want to upset the apple cart.   

Neither do the workers who won’t ask for a raise even though they know they are underpaid.   

Neither do the patients who are reluctant to ask their doctors to explain medical terms and treatments. Neither do the students who find themselves in need of extra help but believe their teachers are unapproachable.  

Why is that? Don’t they deserve to be treated with kindness and love? Don’t they deserve to understand their own health diagnoses? Don’t they deserve to be heard? Don’t they deserve to have what they want and need? Don’t they deserve to draw boundaries for themselves and expect others to respect that?  

Of course they do! And you do too! To get what you deserve, you really have to believe you deserve it.  

If you have to upset a few apple carts to get there, then give yourself permission to upset a few apple carts. Upset them all. Go for it!  

Here are a few things to get you on the right track:  

1. Realize that when you refuse to ask for what you want, need, deserve, expect or earned, you are, in a way, giving someone else permission to decide what you deserve. 

2. Practice your “ask.” The best way to get something is to give something. Couch your request in the spirit of a win-win. Here’s what I want; here’s how you can help me.  

3. Borrowing a phrase from our friends at Nike – Just do it! The best way to overcome your fear or reluctance is to just do it. So, give it a try. Muster the courage to ask for what you want! You deserve it!  

We all want to help each other. So, own your value as a person and remember: The only permission you need is your own!