Having the difficult conversation

f2f8b543a4e234f04a569f1f3b8300f5Where are you currently avoiding a difficult conversation in your life?

  • Is it at work?  ("I hate the way my boss treats me").
  • How about in your relationship?  ("Why is it always his friends that we go out with?  I want to do stuff with my friends too")
  • Maybe it's with a friend who did something that upset you.  ("I can't believe that you belittled me in front of our friends - you really hurt me").
  • Or maybe it's with yourself ("I've been drinking an awful lot lately... but hey, it's okay, life has been stressful")

Wherever you look, I guarantee there are places in your life where you are avoiding these conversations.  These are typically places in which you are both incomplete and letting yourself off the hook.

We let ourselves off the hook all the time.  The difficult conversations are ... well, difficult.  They're challenging, and they're vulnerable.  We might have to be confronted with the response that we get, and we may not like it.  Our boss might tell us that it's too damn bad, he doesn't care, and we can either shut up or find a new job.  Our friend might laugh at us and tell us not to take ourselves so seriously.  Maybe asking your partner about your relationship will actually trigger the breakdown that you're dreading.

Whatever the reason is, difficult conversations are those conversations that you know you need to be having, but are letting yourself off the hook (if your boss tells you that, then you actually have been given new data, and are in a position to make a better informed decision about what to do next).

cd8ed2c21a11dd2c0f4035ba8796d5beFurther, every difficult conversation we avoid is a place where we are out of integrity.  We know that we should be having that conversation and that we are not aligned with whatever is showing up.  And yet we continue to allow it to be.  These places in our lives where we are out of integrity or alignment are power leaks.

They are areas in our lives where we are incomplete, and they tug at our thoughts.  Every time we find ourselves around the person with which we are incomplete, we are triggered.  Even further (and often more invisible to ourselves) that incompletion shows up around other people that trigger us the same way.  When we have burdensome energy about the way our friend showed up, it's going to pop up when we meet someone new that shows up the same way (even if they might be coming from a completely different place).  In this way, incompletion shuts down our access to possibility.

Typically we don't even see what we're avoiding, because it's part of our context and completely invisible to us (can you tell which consequences you're currently avoiding?).  We cannot see it as a consequence, it is simply part of our reality.

Coaching is about having these difficult conversations, every week.  Where are you currently incomplete?  Who are you currently avoiding a conversation with?  What consequences are you currently avoiding in your life?  It's about working with someone that will support us, without judgment, in having these difficult conversations, and moving forward.  Removing the powerleaks from our lives and being at cause for what we want to create.

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As a practice, write down a list of all the people you are currently incomplete with, and all of the conversations that you're avoiding having.  Then for each one, note what consequence you're avoiding.  Ask yourself whether or not that is an empowering or disempowering place to come from.  Get clear on what you really want, and whether or not your avoidance is serving that way of being.  And then, take action.