It’s hard to have tough conversations. That’s why we call them “tough”. The kind where you crinkle your eyes and tip your head to the side. The kind where you can’t even look the other person in the eye.
Those are the tough times where it’s painfully difficult to communicate what you feel. What you want to say isn’t something that you can always say easily.
It’s something that you feel deeply.
It’s an emotion that you’re trying to turn into nouns and verbs — emotions like pain and fear and inspiration and wanting more for yourself. Those topics are so deeply personal and intimidating that it’s hard to share with someone else.
It’s tough to open up and have a meaningful conversation with someone that you just need to understand what you feel.
Those are tough conversations. The kind that are hard to start. The type that tie your stomach in knots for days ahead of time.
Conversations that change your life for the better.
They require a lot of courage. A lot of compassion.
So what do you do if you’re too afraid to take a chance on having a conversation like that? What do you do if you want to share but aren’t sure how?
- Take a quiet moment by yourself with a pen and paper to write down a few of your thoughts — unfiltered and cluttered though they may be at the time.
- Start organizing your ideas and thoughts into a beginning, middle, and end. Make sure you’re clear about what you want to achieve by having the conversation.
- Get serious about the consequences of not having the conversation. What won’t change until you talk about it? Why does this conversation matter so much?
- Ask for help if you need it. Find a friend or close colleague that you can bounce a few of your ideas off of. They can often help you make your conversation that much more powerful.
- Get it done. Grab the person you need to talk with and just start the conversation. Say the first word. Do your thing. Don’t stop until you’re done.
- Follow up later to make sure that your conversation has legs. Sometimes an edgy conversation needs to be had several times. So have them.
It’s hard to have tough conversations.
It’s tough emotionally, physically, sometimes even financially.
Whatever stands between you and where you want to be is your enemy. And that means you need to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to get it out of your way.
There is no substitute for doing the hard things. Sometimes you just have to open your mouth and get started.
How much better would your life be if you just had the right conversation today?