There are lots of possible triggers for overeating and emotional eating. Many people turn to food when they feel dissatisfied or trapped or unhappy—when life isn’t working the way they want it to. An important and related skill that many people could work on enhancing is asking for what you want or need or dream of.

When people explain to me that they can’t get what they want, I usually ask them if they’ve asked for it. It’s amazing to me how often they haven’t. Sometimes there explanation goes like this: “No, I haven’t asked. What’s the point? It’s not possible.”

I know, from my own experience, and that of countless clients, that if you don’t ask, you’ll never know what’s possible. In fact, quite often, things that seem impossible unfold with ease once you begin to believe that you are entitled to ask for them. Often, what seems like a HUGE favor to you, is small potatoes to the person you are asking
I also know that asking isn’t only beneficial if you receive.

Asking for what you want is a powerful action whether or not it leads to the result you hoped for. Asking for what you want is not only a request to the person you are speaking to. Voicing your need, desire, or dream is also a very personal statement of where you are in the world.

By asking you take a stand. You say something about who you are and what you believe is important. You voice your agenda. These are incredibly important and personal actions.

Here is what I have found. If I ask for what I want with confidence, conviction, and a belief in the importance of what I am asking for, two things happen. First, I feel better for saying what I’ve said. Second, I feel closer to getting what I want or need—whether or not my request is immediately met. If I don’t get a positive response, I may need to wade through some initial disappointment, but even if I don’t immediately receive what I’ve asked for, I’ve learned that putting my request into words creates important change. Sometimes it changes what I do. Sometimes, the conversation that follows my asking alerts me to new possible avenues for getting my needs met. Sometimes sitting with that initial disappointment really clarifies how important my request is to me—or it helps me see how I need to re-craft my request.

The bottom line: asking is taking action, and often, choosing not to ask is a decision to stay in a place that isn’t working for us. When we ask, we take charge of the direction of our lives, we step out of overwhelm and stuckness and we start addressing whatever it is that isn’t working for us. Is there anything you could benefit from asking for today?

Author's Bio: 

Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, is a Psychologist, ICF Certified Life Coach, emotional eating expert, and the founder of, a company dedicated to providing smart resources to busy women struggling with food, weight and overwhelm. Find out more, read tips and articles, and pick up her free audio series: “5 simple steps to move beyond overwhelm with food and life” at