I once saw a cartoon that shows a guy standing at the foot of Mount Everest. He's staring in awe at a secret, hidden stairway that's been built into the backside of the mountain. It leads straight up to the peak. The sign next to it says: LITTLE-KNOWN ENTRANCE.
I believe that bold conversations = a little-known entrance to the things we want.
Furthermore, since we know that confidence is a muscle that is the result (not the catalyst) for taking courageous action, making bold or uncomfortable conversations a habit - regardless of the outcomes - is like cross-fit for your confidence muscle.
A mentor of mine says:
Our success is determined by the number of uncomfortable conversations we’re willing to have.
Conversely, repeating the same limiting conversation keeps us from getting what we want. There is no better way to stay stuck and stagnant than when we continually remind ourselves (and everyone else) of our limitations and why that thing we want is out of reach, or not possible because of other people, our circumstances, etc...
These conversations feel good. And venting is healthy when done sporadically.
But repeating the same conversations over and over about all the reasons why something isn’t possible is a guaranteed way to keep us from moving forward.
Success comes when we align our thoughts, actions, and words.
We can even be taking inspired action toward what we want - booking a next-level job, getting published, growing our business - but if our words and conversations are repeatedly focused on how the cards are stacked against us because we’re ______________ (too old, don’t have enough resources, don’t have enough connections, don’t have the right training, are in a ruthless industry, etc…) we will slow down, if not completely INHIBIT our progress.
I can’t tell you how many people respond to the question “what do you want?” with Well, I really want xyz but…. and then give me the laundry list of why xyz isn’t possible, blah blah blah.
Once, when I was on a retreat with a Shaman and an Ironman, (a story for another day) the Shaman told me:
You can either have your dreams, or the reasons you can’t have them, but you can’t have both.
The only way to get what we want is to ask for it - whether that means asking other people, the universe, or ourselves.
No ask; no get.
On the other side of every uncomfortable conversation is the possibility for growth.
So I'm curious...
What kind of conversation might catalyze more of what you want? Is it:
Quite often, the reason we don’t want to have an uncomfortable conversation is because we are afraid we will no longer be liked.
Or worse yet…ANNOYING!
And that's fine. You may decide that it’s more important to please every single person you come in contact with than to actualize the life you want. Up to you.
But here's what I know for sure:
1. Trying to please everyone is one of the biggest, most exhausting energy leaks there is.
2. Giving up obsessing about what other people think is one of the most freeing experiences of a lifetime.
Most people are afraid to step into their power and will stay in the energy-sucking land of #1.
That's why your willingness to step outside of your comfort zone and start having bold conversations is your secret weapon. Your little-known entrance.
I stepped outside of my comfort zone to write this post. I definitely thought about how it might make some of you feel challenged - annoyed, even - and I spent a few moments worrying about whether you'd like me.
But then I realized that if it ignites growth in just one of you, then it's worth the risk.
I can guarantee there is at least one, seemingly uncomfortable (though possibly exhilarating) conversation standing in between you and an open door.
What happens if you start it?
A little book of inspiration, frameworks, and guidance for your next creative project.