Are you comfortable being uncomfortable?

My clients say one of the main reasons they avoid difficult conversations is because they are uncomfortable. As humans we like comfort. When life is good, and you feel comfortable your brain releases a series of chemicals that keep you feeling good. When things get uncomfortable and you experience anxiety, fear, and stress your brain releases chemicals that are designed to help you survive a potentially harmful situation. Your heart pounds and your body sweats. Your brain is helping your body fight the enemy or run away.

When you need to have a conversation, you perceive as challenging your brain can shift into the flight or fight mode – if you let it.

To have success we need to embrace the discomfort and know with practice difficult conversations will get easier. Remember back to the first time you tried anything new. It was hard, yet with practice over time you mastered it.

When we make a habit of trying new things our comfort zone expands and newness become less fear inducing and more pleasurable. This is part of the reason I created my online course – Difficult Conversations 3 P’s to Mastery. So you can prepare, practice and perfect the conversation before it takes place in real life. Click here check it out.

Do you dread a leading performance conversation?

Do you ever lie awake at night worrying about a conversation that needs to take place? I used to… but not anymore! Once I learned to be curious.

When I first became a supervisor, if I had to talk with an employee who wasn’t performing, I’d lay awake the night before and play worst case scenarios’ over and over again. Until I realized the approach to take was one of curiosity. As Douglas Stone reminds us in his book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most “Difficult conversations are almost never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, and values.”

Once I began asking questions instead of making statements statement the conversations began to change, and performance was improved.

Asking questions that start with the word “what” get a better response then questions that starts with the word “why”. Questions that start with “why” can put people on the defensive. For example, “why were you late”, is asking someone for an excuse. Instead ask, “what is makes it hard for you to be on time?” This question allows you to come from a place of curiosity and proceed with a problem-solving discussion.

Shift from asking why to asking what in your conversations this week. Come back and post your experience here.

The #1 Way to Combat Anixety

The news headlines are relentless. The reports of COVID-19 spreading like wildfire has sports seasons halted, entertainment venues and gyms closed, meetings and events cancelled or postponed until further notice. It is easy to get caught up in all the drama and get pulled down a tunnel of darkness.

The antidote? Focus on what you can control, and you control what you think about. This post uses the analogy that your mind is like a garden. In order for any garden to grow, flourish and produce beautiful flowers or delicious produce it needs tending.

The “garden of your mind” must never be left unattended. No matter how healthy the garden may seem, there will always be opportunities to allow weeds and thorns to creep in and bring destruction. When this happens, you can experience everything from poor health to depression and emotional upheaval affecting your career, relationships, well-being, and success.

“’Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become reality.” – Earl Nightingale

Sowing good seeds to produce a healthy garden in your mind requires you to pay attention to where you focus your thoughts each and every day. The influences in your daily life can be but are not necessarily all bad things. Your choices for entertainment, reading material, music, social media and even the people you surround yourself are all some type of seed. You must be willing to ask yourself which ones are pushing you towards your destiny and which are just stealing your time or inhibiting the healthy growth in the garden of your mind.
When it comes to taking care of our garden to ensure it matches our vision and pushes us toward our desired goals, we must do whatever is necessary to change our inner dialogue.

Therefore, a regular examination of our influences, both inner and outer will not only reveal some root causes of stress in our lives but it can help us prioritize what we allow ourselves to become involved in and help us to regain control.
Success is not a destination it is part of the journey. Visualize yourself being successful each and every step of the way. Of course, weeds will creep into our garden. The key is focusing on what is good and positive and let the rest fall away.

Today I want to offer you another resource, it is my free course Stop Anxiety in its Tracks. Click here to take advantage of this offer while it lasts.