You’re listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast, Episode 47. Today, we’re talking all about asking for what you want. You ready? Let’s go.
Welcome to The Less Stressed Lawyer, the only podcast that teaches you how to manage your mind so you can live a life with less stress and far more fulfillment. If you’re a lawyer who’s over the overwhelm and tired of trying to hustle your way to happiness, you’re in the right place. Now, here’s your host, lawyer turned life coach Olivia Vizachero.
Well, hello there. How you doing? I am so excited to talk to you. I feel like I haven’t talked to you in forever. Last we spoke, or last you listened, from the last episode that I did, I was in Cabo. I had a little bit of a toe catastrophe. I told you all about that. But I haven’t had a chance to speak to you since I headed to Charleston to host The Less Stressed Lawyer Mastermind live event.
And let me tell you, I want to give you all a life update. Also, I’m saying “y’all” now because I spent enough time in Charleston that it stuck. But I want to give you all an update and just tell you all about it. It was so amazing. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing the people that we have in this round are; they’re absolutely incredible.
First of all, they’re so supportive of one another; just to watch the way that they’re bonding with one another. We have a Facebook group for the mastermind. Since we’ve all returned home, to see them support each other in that space, as well as in the room, in person, down in Charleston, it’s really miraculous.
And I love the people in this room. They have the most diverse backgrounds; people from all parts of the legal industry, in-house counsel, solo practitioners, people from big law, and people who have transitioned into professional development within law firms. All different types of backgrounds. People that used to practice law and are now entrepreneurs running legal adjacent businesses. That’s so nice.
So, it’s truly people at all different stages of their careers, all different ages, and all different life experiences which makes for such a rich community. It’s really amazing to see everyone add their own spice to the room and to the experience. I’m just blown away with the incredibly dynamic group of professionals that we have in the mastermind.
Now, if you’re thinking about joining, I do not want you to use that against yourself. If you’re like, “You know Olivia, I really want to be there. But I don’t know if I’m impressive enough,” I promise you, A. you are, and B. you’ll fit right in. This room is just going to like wrap you up and give you a big hug, and welcome you with open arms. So, if you’re contemplating being in the next round, definitely don’t let that deter you. These are definitely your people.
We were together for four full days, and it was really next level. We had the welcome reception the first night, which was so fun. People were coming into the room. Some people had already known each other from the last round of the mastermind. So, it was like a big reunion, which was so fun. And then, the new people coming in getting introduced to everyone, and starting to form connections; that was so incredible to see.
The space was so beautiful, and the food was amazing. And then, we had three full days of learning and coaching. I added an extra day this round because I really didn’t want to pack too much into two days and have it feel rushed. I wanted it to feel luxurious and steady and grounded and calm, to really help people foster their learning and their development in a way that felt like the right pace for the room.
And as the room gets bigger and bigger, this round is double the size almost of the last round. As the room gets bigger and bigger, the transformation happens faster and faster. And the exchanges and the dialogues as we’re coaching and working through different issues, it’s so rich, and people get to add their own experiences. You’re learning from such a diverse set of situations that it really expedites all of the growth that’s happening in our container, which is so fun.
It was also amazing to see people return and see how they’ve grown over the past six months and how they bonded over the last six months. I was talking to one masterminder, and she pointed out that it felt even more incredible to be at this live event because the returners… And they actually have a name for themselves. They call themselves the OGs, which I’m just obsessed with. I love it that they named themselves that.
But the OGs already know each other, and they’ve spent the last six months learning and growing together and transforming their lives together, so it just makes for a warmer experience. Like you’re coming into a room that’s already fostered connection, and it’s already a warm space with really enriched relationships and communities.
So, as other people are coming in, it’s not like you’re walking on eggshells, or the ice needs to be broken; the ice has already been broken. People already have strong friendships, and you just get to become a part of that. And those bonds get to deepen and grow, which is so fun.
One of the OGs was saying to me that you could feel how connected people already are because they’ve known each other for a while. And you could sense that as soon as you came in, even at the welcome reception. It just expedited everyone’s bonding over the course of the next three days, which was just really incredible.
And as for the coaching, which is what we’re all there for, there were too many breakthroughs to count. We talked about all the things. We talked about time management, and planning your day, and procrastinating, reshuffling your schedule, not setting boundaries around your calendar, overworking, working nights and weekends.
We talked about business development and setting boundaries, both professionally and personally. We talked a ton about the expectations we have for other people in our lives and how we experience disappointment when we set expectations that go unmet, and how we navigate those situations.
We talked about conflict and navigating difficult relationships with our spouses, with our friends, with other family members, with clients, with our colleagues, all of it. How you want to show up in those relationships. How you handle and respond to behavior that maybe you don’t appreciate.
We talked about food and weight loss, and health. We talked about overcoming impostor syndrome and navigating self-doubt and failure. We talked about entrepreneurship and practicing constraint and marketing, business development, and all of that stuff. How to sign clients, how to believe in what it is that you’re offering, and how to network. We talked about so many things.
I taught everyone who was there all of the life-changing foundational concepts that I teach inside the mastermind, and we went to work on mastering them. That was really my goal this round, for this live event, to help people master the tools I teach. So, they can think the way that I think, not the way that I think is the best; I’m not trying to say that. But it is very freeing, and it provides you with so much empowerment in your life.
So, if you want to feel really in control over your emotional experience, the action that you take, and the results that you produce, you probably do want to think like me. And that’s why people hire me. That’s why they want to be in the mastermind. They want to learn how to examine and approach the world in the way that I teach, and that is what we spent three days mastering.
And then, we capped it all off after just three days full of transformation with this excellent farewell dinner. We had the whole place to ourselves. It was so, so intimate. And the conversations were just so incredible. You could feel the vibe in the room; it was just so rich.
There was just this energy, and it was, I don’t know, just delicious. You could feel the bonding that had taken place over the past three and a half days. You could get the sense of community. People were so engaged; they were so connected. It was just really beautiful to see.
And you know, I’m going to toot my own horn here. I pick the best places for my live events. Charleston was absolutely amazing. It’s the most charming city. If you were there with me, you know what I’m talking about. The food scene is incredible. It’s such a walkable city. It’s just so adorable and welcoming. I have a favorite restaurant there, and it’s called Magnolias. Their bouillabaisse and their sangria are just life-changing. I got to go there while I was in town.
And then I also found this incredible Italian restaurant called Melfi’s. I had this duck ragù that was also life-changing. I am terribly missing all the food now that I’m back home in Detroit.
I’ve been planning to move down there. I was going to wait till the fall, but now that I’m home, I’m a little homesick for Charleston, if that makes any sense. I think I’m going to head down there before the fall. So, if you’ve got thoughts on this, DM me on Instagram or something. Should I move? I’m thinking I should. I think I should do it ASAP.
Now, if all of that sounds just delicious to you and amazing, I want you to mark your calendars for the next one. Okay? I do these live events every six months; that’s how the mastermind works. It’s a six-month program, and it kicks off with a live event in a new location every six months. So, the enrollment, early enrollment for the next one, opens May 12. I want you to not only mark your calendars, but I also want you to sign up for the waitlist.
If you go to my website, TheLessStressedLawyer.com, you can click the menu button for the mastermind, and you can sign up for the waitlist there. That way, you stay up to speed on all the details for the upcoming enrollment, and you’ll get the first opportunity to enroll.
I actually do an early enrollment period, and you have to be on the waitlist in order to enroll during that time. So, it’ll be the 12th, the 13th, and the 14th of May when the people on the waitlist get to enroll before I open it up to the general public. There is a max on the number of people that I’m going to allow into the next round. So, if you want to make sure you don’t miss out, you want to make sure that you’re on the waitlist.
I also want you to mark your calendars for the next live event. Because one of the things that people say to me constantly is, “Oh, my God, I’d love to come, but I have a conflict.” So, I want to avoid scheduling conflicts for you, so I want to give you the dates as early as possible. The dates for the next live event are August 23 – August 26.
If you are like me, and you want to make your travel experience to wherever it is we’re going really seamless, I suggest you come in a day early; the welcome reception will be on the evening of the 23rd. But I always like to come in a day early and just give myself a leisurely amount of time to get acclimated to my new environment. If anything bad happens as far as travel, you give yourself a little bit of a buffer space to figure out a plan B. So, August 23 – 26, mark your calendars. All right?
Okay, enough about the amazing live event. I just had to rave about it a little bit; it was so much fun. I’m missing everyone terribly. I can’t wait to see them on Zoom when we start our weekly calls. We start that this week, which is going to be so fun to see everyone’s faces again. But I just wanted to give you all a little behind-the-scenes peek at what it was like and what the experience was all about. And to give you the information to make sure that you’re in the next round.
Now, as for today’s episode topic, I wanted to talk about something that actually came up at the live event. I coached one of the masterminders on a situation with one of her family members. She wanted her husband to do something, and he didn’t end up doing it. And through the course of the coaching, I asked her, “Did you ask for what you wanted?”
Because it’s always important to start there. It helps me get a full picture of the circumstances that we’re dealing with. Like, did you ask, and they didn’t do it? Or did you not ask? And if you didn’t ask, why didn’t you ask? So, in this instance, I asked her, “Did you ask for what you wanted?” And turns out her answer was no; she didn’t ask for what she wanted. That’s not a problem; it’s just a data point. I wanted to make sure that I had it in order to continue coaching her.
But it really inspired a huge thread that we kept picking up on throughout the course of the three days that we were coaching together in person, for the mastermind. And as many of us do, she didn’t ask for what she wanted. She was just expecting him to do it on his own. To kind of be a mind reader and figure it out without having to ask. And that’s super common. It normally doesn’t lead to anything good, but it is super common.
Anyways, this line of coaching prompted a whole conversation about our, and when I say “our,” I just mean people’s ability to ask for what we want from others. And it ended up becoming a theme throughout the three days of the live event: That sometimes you can literally just ask for what you want. And lo and behold, you can get it.
The particular masterminder that I was coaching, when I asked her, “Did you ask for what you wanted?” She was a little surprised. She was like, “Wait, you can do that?” Sometimes it works, and it doesn’t always work. Let me be really clear; it doesn’t always work. But you can always ask for what you want. And sometimes, it’s the easiest route to get what you want because it’s not a problem.
I’ve done this a couple of times, with friends or family members. I’ve had a preference, and I’ve just asked for what I wanted, or even to have them stop doing something, and they’ve complied. So, I wanted to talk today about asking for what you want. And I wanted to give you a specific framework to follow for how to do it.
Now, you always get to ask for what you want. Even if you don’t follow the framework that I’m about to give you. I want to be really clear on that. Because you’re a human and you have free will just like the rest of the humans. So, you always get to ask even if you don’t follow the framework.
But consider this framework like a best practice when it comes to asking for what you want. The first step is for you to get clear on what you want. A lot of people skip this part, and it’s not to be skipped. You want to get really clear on what you want. So, you can be really clear on what you’re asking for.
When you’re not clear on what you want when you ask for something, it gets really muddy. Or, when you’re expecting something from someone but you’re not really clear on what it is that you’re expecting or what it is that you want, it leads to a lot of disappointment and resentment. So, I want you to get really clear on what you want.
Then, I want you to get clear on your reasoning for wanting it. That’s step number two; what are your reasons for wanting it? And as a sub-step to step two; do you like your reasons? Okay? Now, as a reminder, you always want to know that your reasonings are the thoughts and feelings driving a particular course of action.
So, if you’re going to make a request of someone, that would be the action that you’re taking. And there are certain thoughts and feelings driving you to take that action; you want to know what those are, and those are your reasons.
If they’re super negative, if it’s a lot of “should” thinking, that someone shouldn’t do something, and you’re feeling really frustrated, or angry or resentful, or disappointed, or irritated, you may want to take a deep breath and slow down and examine whether or not you want to make a request from that space. I’m going to talk a little bit more about that in a second.
All right, step three, you want to check in with yourself. You’re clear on what you want, and what you’re going to be asking for. You’re clear on your reasoning. Step three is checking in; is this something that the other person can actually do?
I know this might seem super obvious, but a lot of times, we want people to do things that aren’t actually in their power, right? So, you want to just check in and make sure it’s something that the other person can actually do.
Step four is a little bit more nuanced. Is it something that they’re going to want to do? Now, this one’s a little tricky. You still get to ask them and make your request. Even if the answer to this question is no. Even if the answer to this question is, it’s probably not something that they’re going to want to do. You still get to ask them to do it.
It’s just an important question to think about. Because if you think that they’re not going to want to do whatever it is that you’re asking them to do, you want to check in with yourself; why are you asking someone else to do something that they’re probably not going to want to do?
And a better question here is, are you operating from a place of integrity? I always go back to this famous cherry pie example. I think I’ve talked about it on the podcast before. But I was dieting and abstaining from alcohol for a while, and I was going out to my parent’s house to eat dinner on Sunday nights.
I didn’t like the menu that my mom was cooking most weekends because it was pretty carb-rich. And I was trying to abstain from eating carbs like that, like pasta, or a lot of bread. Now, for several weeks, I did ask my mom to cook something different. She allowed me to cook; actually, that was kind of the compromise that we had. But I was able to control the menu. But one week, I asked, and she insisted on cooking pasta.
After dinner, she ended up eating this cherry pie that she had purchased. And there’s more to this story. I had gone into the basement. I came upstairs, and my mom and my uncle were eating this cherry pie, which happens to be one of my favorite desserts. And I thought that they were doing it behind my back.
I ended up getting super upset about the whole thing. Obviously, the cherry pie was not causing my feelings. I was causing my feelings with my thoughts about the whole scenario. Which was, my mom doesn’t care about my weight loss goals. She’s making this harder on me. I can’t believe she bought the cherry pie. Like, I was really in a state of emotional childhood and victimhood with the cherry pie.
I stayed mad for a couple of days. And then, I finally coached myself on the situation. I was trying to get myself to a much cleaner place. And one of the things that I realized, when I was self-coaching, was that what I really wanted to do was have my mom feel deprived, so I didn’t have to. I wanted her to abstain from buying and eating the cherry pie, so I didn’t have to be triggered and crave it by seeing someone else eat it in front of me.
And when I thought about that, what I would have been asking at that moment was to have my mom not buy or eat a cherry pie, right? That wasn’t something that she was going to want to do because she likes desserts. She likes sweets. And I was asking her to feel deprived, so I wouldn’t have to.
When I noticed that, I realized that I wasn’t really operating from a place of integrity. I was asking her to feel uncomfortable, so I wouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable. And I think that’s a really great litmus test from; are we operating from integrity? Are we asking someone else to feel uncomfortable, so we don’t have to?
When the answer to that question is yes, I think it’s such a great opportunity for us to do our most meaningful work. For us to inquire, what is it that I would have to do? What kind of discomfort would I have to feel? How would I need to manage my mind in this moment, in order to navigate this situation without needing anyone else to do anything to protect me from that discomfort? Without needing anyone else to be different?
So, for me, my work was to just feel deprived and manage my mind around other people eating sweets when I was abstaining from them. In this scenario, with my client at the mastermind that brought up this whole topic of conversation, she wanted her husband to do something that would have been uncomfortable for him, so she wouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable setting a boundary, asserting a boundary, or saying no.
And it’s just fascinating to know that. Again, you totally still get to ask someone to do it. Even if that is your reasoning that you’re trying to escape discomfort and you’d rather have them feel uncomfortable than you. But you want to know that that’s what you’re doing. And ask yourself; by doing that, are you operating from a place of integrity?
You know, one of my cardinal rules, and I got this from my mom, is that you don’t inconvenience someone else’s life to make your life easier. And I feel this is very similar to, you don’t ask someone else to be uncomfortable, so you can avoid feeling uncomfortable. If that’s the situation that you’re dealing with, your work is to just navigate feeling uncomfortable.
Now, once you answer this question, is it something that they’re going to want to do? And are you operating from a place of integrity? Based on your answer, decide what you want to ask for and if you still want to ask for it. If you do still want to ask for it, you can move to step five, which is, prepare yourself for their response.
I’ve really been thinking about this so much since the live event. You can absolutely ask for anything that you want from other people. But my best practice recommendation for you is to only ask if you’re okay with receiving their honest answer, especially if that’s a no. So, prepare yourself for the response and be honest with yourself, are you going to be okay if you receive a no from them?
If you’re not okay with receiving a no, my recommendation, my best practice for you is to not ask because it’s going to send you into a tailspin of negative emotion, resentment, frustration, disappointment, anger, outrage, and righteousness. None of that’s going to serve you. So, if you’re not okay with receiving a no, you’re not in a clean place to ask for what you want.
Now, you don’t have to listen to me on this. But if you aren’t okay with their no, you’re not asking from a clean place. You’re likely in a state of victimhood, and you want to be really aware of that. I don’t recommend asking for anything from that state of victimhood.
If your first answer to this question is that the answer’s no, you’re not prepared to receive a no; you can get yourself to a place where you’re prepared to receive their no. How can you take care of yourself, how will you talk to yourself, how will you think about the situation if you get an answer that you don’t want?
I just had a friend of mine; she’s a coach. She just posted she was doing something in her business, and she said, “The worst thing that could possibly happen during this experience, is how I talk to myself during and after.” And I thought that was so beautiful because it’s true. The worst thing that can happen is how you talk to yourself during and after.
If you ask, and you’re mean to yourself the entire time you’re asking, and you’re mean to yourself afterward, it’s going to be a really unpleasant experience. But you can make it such a pleasant positive experience if you talk to yourself in a really supportive, understanding, compassionate way. Alright?
So, make a plan. How will you talk to yourself, how will you take care of yourself, what will you do if the answer’s no? You want to make sure you’re prepared for that to happen. And that you’ll be okay if it does. I guess I just got ahead of myself a little bit.
Number six, step number six, is for you to make a plan for how you’ll take care of yourself if you do get a no. What will you do? How will you think? How are you going to want to feel? You can plan all of that ahead of time.
Now, step number seven is to get to a clean place. Make sure you’re not asking from a place of frustration or resentment or anger or disappointment or outrage or righteousness or feeling justified. It’s a recipe for disaster, and it will come across like bad perfume or bad cologne when you make the ask.
So, make sure you’re not operating from those emotions. You’ve got to be really honest with yourself here if that’s why you’re operating and making the request. If that’s the emotion that’s driving you and fueling you as you make the ask. You want to get yourself to a clean place. You want to be asking from a calm, grounded energy. Feeling really in control of your emotions. Feeling really safe and secure, no matter what their answer is going to be.
Ask yourself, how do you need to think about making the request in the first place, and what the person says in order to feel calm and grounded? All right?
And then, once you’ve gotten yourself to a clean place, and you’re asking and being fueled by the right energy, by the right emotions, you get to make the ask. And then, whatever the answer is, don’t argue with it; respect it, honor it. And follow that plan that you made for yourself ahead of time. Take care of yourself in the process. Focus on what you can control going forward. Honor their response, honor their answer, and then focus on what is within your control.
When you follow this formula, when you trust yourself to handle the response no matter what it is, you can ask for anything you want, and control your emotional experience no matter what the response is. It’s such a powerful way to go through life. I’ve been thinking about this nonstop since the live event. That if you are able to handle whatever someone’s response is, there’s literally nothing you can’t ask for.
If you’re willing to honor their no, if you’re willing to respect their answer and their autonomy and their agency and their free will… Which I always joke with people, unfortunately, people have free will, right? I’m kidding with the unfortunately part. But it can be a little frustrating sometimes.
We can be frustrated that people have free will, and they don’t always just do exactly what we want them to do. And the truth is, it’s okay that they don’t, all right? But if you’re able to take care of yourself on the back end, and handle the response no matter what it is, there’s nothing you can’t ask for. There’s so much that you can make available to yourself if you’re willing to ask for it. You would be amazed at what you can get if you just ask.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I actually met someone in Charleston, a man, when I was out at dinner. We exchanged contact information, and I was like, “You know what? I think he’s interested in me. I’m just going to ask if he’s available. And if he is available, I’d like to go to dinner with him.”
And the reason that I was willing to ask is that we live in different states. I didn’t know if he would think that it’s crazy, or maybe he thought dinner just wasn’t possible, but I’m pretty spontaneous, so I will travel for dinner. I talked to myself beforehand, and I was hemming and hawing, should I ask, or should I not ask? Am I being too forward? Am I going to look like an idiot? Just going through all the normal human thoughts, right?
I finally decided, what’s the worst that could happen? And the worst that could happen is that he is single, and he says, no. I decided ahead of time, what will I do if that’s the response that I get?
And I realized, I’ll be fine. I can handle the no. I’ll be able to accept it and honor it. I’m not going to get mad. I’m not going to make it mean anything about me. I’m not going to get defensive. I’m not going to feel rejected. I’m just going to be able to ask and appreciate an honest response. It’ll be fine. I’ll be able to take care of myself.
So, sure enough, I asked, and turns out, he’s not available. And that’s totally fine. I was able to handle the response and not make it mean anything and accept it and move on. And I saved myself so much mental spinning over, should I ask? Should I not ask? What should I do? Is anything going to come from it? I just got to an answer really quickly. And I freed my brain up to focus on other things, which was such a gift I gave myself.
So, if there’s something in your life that you want to ask for, maybe it’s not a date, and sometimes it might be a date. It can be a really amazing answer, or you can be a little bummed, and you can trust yourself to handle the bummed. All right?
But maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s asking for a raise. And if you want to ask for a raise, or you want to ask your law firm or your boss to change their compensation structure in order to give you origination credit and incentivize you to develop business, you totally get to ask. You just want to be okay, getting a no.
And that doesn’t mean you don’t leave and go somewhere else if what you ultimately want is to get origination credit or to work someplace with a compensation structure that rewards you for developing business. That’s totally fine to want that. But you can be okay with getting the no and leave. Both things get to happen.
You also, if there are boundaries that you want to set in your life, with family members, with friends, with clients, with colleagues, think about those boundaries. And whatever the boundary is, if you want to ask for it before you set the boundary, right? So, a boundary, remember, is always, “If you blank, I will do blank.” It’s always about what you will do.
But if you want to ask someone to do something before you set a boundary, like, “Hey, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t come over unannounced. Can you not come over unannounced?” Or, one of the things that I’ve done in my life. My mom used to make comments about my makeup, I’ve asked her not to. Or if you want people to not email you after a certain time. Or if you want someone to not talk to you a certain way, right?
You get to ask all of these things of people. They get to say no because there are humans with free will. But you get to ask them. And you just want to make sure, before you ask, that you’re comfortable getting whatever the response is. And if you can handle it, by all means, go ahead and ask for it.
You will be amazed with what happens. It won’t be a perfect record; you won’t win 100% of the time. You won’t get the responses you want to get 100% of the time. But you’ll have a batting average better than zero, I bet. So, it will likely be worth your while. Following this formula is the way to do it and prevent the most disappointment, prevent the most upset, prevent the most outrage. Okay?
If there’s something you want to ask for, walk through these eight steps, follow them, and you’ll create a much more grounded, in-control, intentional experience for yourself. And you might just get exactly what you want. Imagine that.
All right, my friends. That’s what I’ve got for you this week. I will talk to you in the next episode. Have a beautiful week.
Thanks for listening to The Less Stressed Lawyer podcast. If you want more info about Olivia Vizachero or the show’s notes and resources from today’s episode, visit www.TheLessStressedLawyer.com.