The Power of Uncomfortable Conversations

new york city skyline

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

A few weeks ago, I was in New York for a job interview. That’s not information I’m willing to divulge because, what if. What if I start telling everyone who asks about the position and then I don’t get it? Did I jinx myself by speaking too soon? Although I do believe in keeping some things to yourself, other times, sharing the journey can make the desired outcome more real. I mean, the only real reason I didn’t want to discuss it is because of uncertainty. But as I’m reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, I’m realizing how much fear of the unknown is just an excuse not to live our best lives.

I’ve mentioned on here about changing my diet for health reasons. On that journey, I encountered a young lady by the name of Kim-Julie of the blog, Brussels Vegan. I was not only inspired by her passion for living a plant-based lifestyle but also her by her travels. She’s currently residing in New York so I asked her opinion on a move there. To which is replied:

If in doubt, do it. That’s the best advice I can give you. This is the best place to be. The people, the energy. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else and I’ve been around the world and on every continent. The best decisions I’ve ever made were the impulsive ones, the crazy ones. We regret the things we don’t do way more than the ones we do. Do it, trust me.

I’ve gotten plenty of advice. Don’t we all? People tell us to follow our dreams and “just do it” all the time. But it is indeed scary. You can become paralyzed by fear.

Fear is uncomfortable.

Back to the book. In The 4-Hour Workweek (which Kim suggested I read), Ferriss says,

Isn’t that a word? We’re supposed to go in the direction of our fears.

But I get it. Shit’s scary. We have student loans and kids and spouses and 9-5s and other things holding us back. But honestly, when you really think about it, the only thing holding you back is yourself.

So, you’ve decided to do what you’ve always dreamt of and for whatever reason, it doesn’t work out. This is a real scenario, right? Shit happens. But guess what? You tried something you were previously too afraid to do. Now you have the courage to try harder with something else. You have a right to change your mind.

Ferriss says risks aren’t that scary once you take them, and it’s true. Good fear only helps you take more risks. In his words, “inaction is the greatest risk of all.” And that, my friend, is a no-no.

So what must we do? We must have those uncomfortable conversations with ourselves and with others. Maybe you’re not ready to talk to others just yet. In his book, Ferriss says to write down the worst thing that could happen from following your dreams. “Define the worst case, accept it, and do it.”

Define your nightmare, the absolute worst that could happen if you did what you were considering.

What steps could you take to repair the damage or get things back on the upswing, even if temporarily?

What are the outcomes or benefits, both temporarily and permanent, of more probable scenarios?

If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to get things under financial control?

What are you putting off of our fear?

Seriously answer these questions and write them down. I will too.

We have to realize the power in these uncomfortable conversations. The ones that will inevitably shift us into action. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get the answer. We aren’t running a race. After all, it ain’t over until you’re dead.

Are you willing to have uncomfortable conversations to live a fulfilling life or are you willing to risk true happiness by staying the same? The choice is up to you.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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