You’re Not Being a Bully, You’re Being Brave

I get it. We all get it. Avoiding conflict and uncomfortable conversations is probably at the top of all of our to-do lists. But if you were to be honest with yourself, would you be willing to admit that what is blocking you from the success you want, or the relationships you want, is your inability to have the conversations that you need?

One of my favorite and most frequently used quotes is from Tim Ferriss, who said, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” How often are you holding back or biting your tongue out of the fear of what you have to say will be received? Are there people in your life – either in a personal or professional capacity – that are sucking the energy out of you? I am going to go ahead and say, YES!

Sometimes we’re not even aware of how often we’re holding back until we really think about all of the people in our lives, and the impact they have. As owners or leaders in business, we don’t want to come across as being a “bully” or “mean.” However, when we can’t or don’t properly communicate our expectations or needs to our employees, we can often be taken advantage of, or put in situations that don’t allow us to act as the leaders we are or want to become. In our personal lives, we often hold back based on the fear of harming or changing the dynamics of the relationship. We can feel paralyzed or powerless over our situations. I can tell you from personal experience, having had many uncomfortable conversations in both my personal and professional life, I’ve always come out on top when I said what needed to be said. From negotiating high dollar contracts, to creating personal boundaries with friends or family, I’ve mastered the skill of holding true to who I am, and what I deserve. This is an acquired skill. It takes work, practice and a certain amount of chutzpah!

Pause for a moment and think of someone who is causing you stress or anxiety, or a situation that you have been putting off addressing. How much energy is spent either fuming over how they’re wrong and you’re right, or how they’re continuing to hurt or upset you? I bet it’s a lot more than you think. Wouldn’t you rather have a conversation that could last anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, but would alleviate hours, days, or maybe even years of continued stress and anxiety? I’m telling you now, you can take your power back, and it’s not going to be as dramatic or horrific as you’re playing out in your mind. In fact, it will be the complete opposite. By learning the skills necessary to ALWAYS speak your truth and ask for what you want, your life will take on a whole new meaning with greater opportunities both personally and professionally.

You’re not being a Bully, you’re being brave. You are taking control of your life, and what is important to you. Life becomes so much more enjoyable when we remove the drama and people in our lives who create it, whether intentional or not. It’s time to stop dreading or avoiding certain people or situations in order to keep the peace. You owe it to yourself to be very selective with your circle, and honest and open with those who are fortunate enough to be a part of it.

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