As you read the title of this article perhaps you were thinking "umm... I don't know... could I?" If that was the case for you then I want you to begin by thinking about something in your life that is not how you would like it to be right now - a person who is annoying you; a situation which is causing you to feel overwhelmed, frustrated or unappreciated; something you would like but aren't getting. It doesn't have to be something huge... but it might be! The only criterion is that it's something that isn't the way you would ideally like it to be.

Now think about what specifically it is in regard to this "issue" that you would need to be different for you to feel better about it; or put another way, for there to be no issue at all.

Finally, ask yourself whether or not you have made a clear request to have this need fulfilled?

My experience is that often when people find themselves feeling overloaded, dissatisfied, stressed out or resentful there are requests they could be making - to resolve the issue, solve the problem or fulfill the need - that they aren't.

Take Jane for example. Jane recently shared with me how she gets sick of how little notice her husband gives her when he invites business clients over for dinner. When I asked her if she had asked her beloved to give her more notice she said "No. But I've dropped enough hints so he should have!"

"Hints" - what good is that?

Brenda’s boss asked her to execute a project without giving her the resources she needed to get the job done by deadline. When I asked Brenda whether or not she had asked her boss for more resources she said "No, because I know there’s no point".

The more requests being made of you, the more you need to make of others!

Or Mel who works for as a buyer for a large department store. When we first met Mel was working such long hours that she hardly saw her young son all week and was overwhelmed with the juggle of a young son and demanding career. Needless to say, she wasn't very happy about the situation. When I asked her whether she had asked her boss if she could cut back hours or work fewer days per week she said "No. My boss would never agree to that. It's out of the question Margie". When I asked her if she could be outsourcing any of her responsibilities in running a home (like cleaning and running errands etc) she replied, “No. I just feel like I should do that stuff myself.”

Four months and several bigger and bolder requests later Mel was taking Wednesdays off – not to clean house and run errands, but to spend with her son.

Ahhh.... the power of requests!

Two Ingredients of a Powerful Request:

For a request to hold any water it needs to specify not just a "what" you'd like, but also a "when". For Jane, it ended up being "Could you please give me at very least 48 hours notice when you are having people over but preferably a week." For Brenda it was, "If I am to meet this deadline I need an extra two analysts on board within the month for the next 3 months. Otherwise we will have to put the deadline back." Asking for something to be done "soon" or "sometime" or "when you have time" leaves the door wide open for unmet expectations, frustration and sometimes even hurt.

Of course there is always the possibility that what you ask for will not be what you are given. Heck, if we all got what we asked for then we'd have all won lotto many moons ago. But that's not the point. Unless you find the courage to make the request in the first place you’ll have no chance of having that need fulfilled.

You Get What You Tolerate! Where are you 'settling'?

It's a rule of life that you get what you tolerate in the world. Making requests will go a long way to eliminating the 'tolerations' in your life. Whether it be having a colleague stop communicating only via email, your husband take out the rubbish, your mother refrain from giving parenting advice, hiring a cleaner to keep your house from looking like a war zone, asking your boss to give you a new challenge/pay rise or your friend/colleague to stop turning up late every time you meet. Complaining about your problems never solves them; whining about unmet needs never fulfills them. People aren't mind readers and assuming others should automatically know what you need is a surefire recipe for resentment.

Be Bold: Dare to Ask For What You Really Want

So as you get on with the rest of your day, I invite you to think about where you could be making more plentiful, more effective and more courageous requests. Don't water down what you really want in order to minimize the possibility of being turned down ("Honey, if you could put the kids to bed yourself once a month that would be super" is not what you really want and "Hey boss, if you could just tell me I'm doing an okay job a bit more often than never" is also not what you really want). Rather be bold and ask for what you would ideally absolutely really and truly looooooove to have happen. At a minimum you create a new context in the ensuing conversation. Even if it's an outright "no, I can't do that" that comes back your way, at least now you know where things stand and can move on, plan and make changes accordingly.

Asking less from yourself, from others and from life than you really want doesn't serve anyone.

Take responsibility for your experience of life and make the decision starting right now not to let another day pass by settling for your needs going unmet, your frustrations running unfetted and your life passing uncherished.

You are capable of more than you think you are - including making bigger and bolder requests than you've made up 'til now. Don't believe me? Then allow me to request you that you try... today!

Go on... I DARE YOU!

Author's Bio: 

Margie Warrell is Certified Life Coach, Professional Speaker and Author of Find Your Courage! Unleash Your Full Potential and Live the Life You Really Want. (Synergy Books, available in all good bookstores). In 2006 she also co-authored a book with John Gray (Mars Venus) and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Bob Procter (The Secret). A mother of four children, Margie loves helping other women successfully pursue the goals that inspire them – personally and professionally – with greater confidence, clarity and courage. To learn about her programs and free resources visit or email