How to stop avoiding difficult conversations

When I sit down to write Motivation Monday I often start by reflecting on my previous week because if you’re like me you have a lot of things happen in your life during the course of a week.

Ever notice a theme? I do. And this past week was no different.

Having difficult conversations was my theme.

I had to have one, my client told me about a huge success with having one, and I had a meeting with a friend about creating a workshop around this topic.

Who would rather body slam into one of those giant desert cactuses before having to sit down with someone to have a difficult conversation?

Me. Well, the former me anyway.

Here are two important things I learned when I finally got the guts to start speaking up:

1. Speaking up straight away without waiting days, weeks, and hell, sometimes even years saved me so much time, energy and stress! I became much more productive in life because I no longer had to play and re-play all the made up stories I would create in my mind about how the conversation was going to turn out. Over-thinking sucked and kept me stuck.

2. The conversation results were never as awful as the stories I would make up in my head about them. In fact, the outcomes were always so much better than how I played them out in my mind.

When I look back I realize there were a lot of self-development areas that I didn’t yet know how to navigate which kept me from having tough conversation guts:

– I lacked personal boundaries so I would get taken advantage of and then not know how to speak up about it

– I lacked self-worth and would routinely question if whatever difficult situation I was in was somehow my fault

– I played the victim role and would often think that I was powerless over the situation

– I believed my Inner Critic who fed me constant fear and lies about the negative and detrimental repercussions of speaking up

Don’t get me wrong, I still do not like having difficult conversations but I realize that the alternative is so much worse.

It boils down to how many times you want to body slam into the cactus.

Avoiding a difficult conversation is like running into the cactus repeatedly without a plan to stop. You put yourself through constant stress and agony and stay in limbo.

Getting the guts to have the conversation still hurts like hell when you’re having it but guess what? When you’re done, you’re done. There is no need to continue slamming into the pole of pain because having the conversation allows you to make a plan, use your voice, change your course ––whatever it is you need to do -–– and that frees up so much energy and time for you to move forward and into a much healthier way of being.

Want one mama-jama awesome tip?

When something is heavy on your mind and it feels icky, stifling, or wrong to you, trust it. It’s your intuition. Approach the topic by speaking from your heart. How does the situation make you feel? How would you like it to be different? And talk about what you’re prepared to do (or not do.)

I have no doubt that when you take this proactive and positive approach the outcome will be better than the ominous story you’re making up about it.

By the way, I give a great workshop on this topic. Contact me if you want to know more. 

Kelly Summersett