Our Fear Can Keep Us Stuck In a Worklife Rut – Can Asking For A 10% Discount Off Your Next Coffee Get You Out Of The Rut?

02J68316 ‘The Tim Ferris Experiment’ is a great business show by Tim Ferris author of The 4 Hour Work Week. The show opens with him talking about fear and how it holds so many of us back from doing things that are important to us – from changing jobs or careers, to setting up a business or asking for a pay increase.

One of the people on the show is a women who is considering setting up her own yoga studio. Tim Ferris and Co give her the task of going into a café and ordering a coffee, asking for 10% off. The women is fearful of going in and asking for the discount.  They ask her if people ask her for discounts ever (she is a freelance yoga instructor).  She does not reply however you get the sense that they do. The penny seems to drop and she goes for it.

The key to overcoming fear is to face it head on, which she does. Research suggests that if you don’t act on the decision to do something out of your normal routinue within 5 seconds, chances are you won’t act. So there is only a small window of opportunity each time to convince yourself to move out of our comfort zone.

It is a small step, asking for a discount on a coffee however for the woman it is a pretty big thing.  She goes into the café and passively asks “Can I order a coffee with 10% off? Would that be ok?”  The assistant gives her the discount and asks “What is the occasion?”  What appeared completely daunting became a little bit of fun.  Plus she got what she wanted.   The show goes on with more of her fears being tackled and coaching to get her business up and running.

The point is that we all experience fear – even the most successful people, they just know how to manage it and don’t let it hold them back from achieving the life they want.  Overcoming fear is a major blocker  for so many people in their worklife which is understandable.  The difference is that to achieve the worklife we want we need to take small steps towards achieving our goals -which entails overcoming our fear one step at a time.

There is nothing wrong with actively asking for what we need to achieve our worklife goals. When you do this authentically, with confidence and focus how effective it is. Just start small and build up. Start by asking for 10% off your next coffee order!

Incidentally when it comes to salary negotiation, it is generally accepted that employers are willing to pay an additional 10% above the salary they say is on offer when recruiting for a new role!

Kelly is the Author of The Busy Women’s Guide to… Salary Negotiation

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