Think of a hard conversation you know you should have with someone that you haven't initiated. Do you have one in mind?
Now, consider why you haven't had the conversation.
Is it because you don't know what you want to say? I'm betting you know exactly what you want to say. Is it because you haven't had the opportunity to say it? I'm guessing you've already missed a few ripe opportunities to raise this uncomfortable issue. Is it because you don't know how to say it? I'm sure you're struggling with finding the perfect words. But why do you need perfect words? Adequate words should be enough.
So, why haven't you had the conversation?
Because it's scary.
As you think about it, your heart rate quickens, your adrenaline flows, your sweat rises to the surface. What if they lash back or get defensive or blame you? What if they simply stare at you and go all passive-aggressive? What if they get meaner afterwards? What if they gossip about you to others? Or maybe you're afraid of your own response. What if you lose control and fly into a rage and do things you will regret later?
That would be uncomfortable (to say the least). You would have to feel things that you don't want to feel.
And that, it turns out, is what holds you back.
What's hard – what actually derails us from acting powerfully in our lives, in our relationships, at work, in the world – is discomfort. The discomfort of follow-through.
On the surface, it seems like the key to follow-through ...