This is going to be quick + dirty, and very much unlike uncomfortable conversations in real life.
What is an uncomfortable conversation?
An uncomfortable conversation is one that ends with consequences. However + whatever the situation is like now, is not necessarily how it will be by the end of the conversation.
These chats usually occur when there’s a decision to be made about a specific situation. They typically manifest with those who are important to you, usually a boss or loved one. Did you get a low performance rating or did your partner tick you off for the umpteenth time?
You are at a crossroads, a fork in the road – whatever you’re metaphor, something’s gotta give. Uncomfortable conversations usually call you to feel prepared or psyched up. You need to be ready to have them. Or do you?
Get comfortable having Uncomfortable Conversations
It’s easier said that done, but it’s also easier the more often you do it.
One of my personal branding goals for 2017 has been to become comfortable having uncomfortable conversations. Up until now, I spent hours, days, weeks and yes, even years gearing myself up for conversations. In my experience, postponing these pivotal conversations caused me years of unnecessary heartache (and likely added a few grey hairs to my head). And for what?
The only logical reason (that ends up being completely illogical) is fear. I was afraid. I was afraid to be hurt, afraid to hurt, afraid to change, and afraid to ask for what I wanted. In the end, I put myself and others in precarious positions where I ended up being wholly inauthentic to myself and others.
That’s no way to live
So 2017 has been my turning point. The seeds for my new ability to lean in to discomfort were sown at the start of October. It was the start of what is my [foreve]relationship, and I wanted it to work. Clearly, what I had been doing wasn’t working and something needed to change. I can’t change others, so I chose to change my behaviour.
Let me tell you, it still makes me sick to my stomach to have these uncomfortable conversations. But the work I have done and continue to do pays off in leaps and bounds. I won’t share what I do exactly (yet!), but let me share what you stand to gain when you lean in.
- Clarity: I feel I no longer wade through the swaths of my thoughts to find the truest parts of myself. I equate having uncomfortable conversations to journalling. In speaking from my heart and mind I sift through what is true and fake. When it comes time to speak, I have quicker access to the truth about me me versus the stories I tell myself.
- Confidence: My confidence in myself and others has hit an all time high. After every uncomfortable conversation I am more apt to trust people and situations abundantly. I am confident in who I am which in turn makes me confident about the information I ingest. I got this.
- Connection: Since I started shifting this habit I have noticed I feel more connected to the people around me. There’s something empowering about giving voice to who I am through conversation that ultimately lays the foundations for my core self. Call me crazy, but the more I say ‘this is what happens to me when X happens’, the more solid I become in who I am – and the easier it is for loved ones to connect to me.
I can honestly say that uncomfortable conversations have allowed me to become more comfortable with myself and others. I never question someone’s intent, and I no longer worry where I stand. Jumping over my fears has landed me in the lush lands of limitless possibilities.
You can do it too!
If you’d like to learn more about having uncomfortable conversations, please get in touch. I’d love to share how I continue to gain clarity, confidence and connection in my life.