How To Successfully Prepare For A Hard Conversation

hard conversation

Life is full of times we need to have a hard conversation.

Having to fire an employee
Telling your parents you want to follow your own dream instead of theirs
Setting boundaries
Giving someone feedback
Saying no
Telling someone you no longer love them

As different as these examples are, they are similar in that, they are considered by most to be “hard conversations.”

What makes these types of conversations, hard?

Fear of the other person’s reaction.
Worry about their emotional response.
Concern for hurting someone’s feelings.
Anxiety about the other person no longer “liking us”.

Before we have to have one of these conversations, we often play it out in our minds over and over again.
We rehearse it.
We worry.
We prepare for the worst-case scenario.
We anticipate the pain and the hurt feelings.

Sometimes we become so afraid of the conversation that we procrastinate having it.

This future conversation just becomes bigger and scarier in our minds.

A huge obstacle.
A massive distraction.
Sometimes the worry and the dread about having the conversation just eat us alive.

Let me tell you the truth about something that will bring you some relief if you need to have a difficult conversation and it’s making you crazy with worry and dread.

Here is what you need to know…

You can never actually hurt another person’s feelings.

Seriously. Nothing you can say or do can actually hurt a person’s feelings.

I know that you might be thinking – this doesn’t make any sense – because, if you are like me, then you were told your entire life to be careful of other people’s feelings and try to never hurt them.

That’s what most people believe and I am here to tell you that it is not true and why this is such good news.

Words and actions do not create feelings.
Thoughts create feelings.
Each person creates their own thoughts.
And they get to think whatever they want about what the hear, see or experience in the world.
They may choose to think that I hurt their feelings by saying or doing what I did, but that does not make it true.
The thought ‘She hurt my feelings’ is what is actually hurting their feelings, not what actually I said or did.

See the difference?

It’s subtle and it’s extremely important.

Of course, we want people in our lives to be happy and listen to us and like us and not judge us…but at the end of the day, we have absolutely no control over any of that.

But the craziest part is that we go around believing that we can control what other people think and feel and so we try really hard to make sure that we control their thoughts and emotions for our benefit so that we always feel good.

And when we are always pursuing making other people happy so that we can always feel good, then we are basically deciding to lie – to avoid having hard conversations and telling the truth.

And that is when we get ourselves into so much trouble.

That type of avoidance (of hard conversations) and speaking our truths, setting boundaries, being honest, ending or beginning new things is exactly what keeps us stuck and trapped in situations or lifestyles that we don’t want to be in.

So here is what you can do, if you recognize that you avoiding having hard conversations.

Know what you do control (and it’s way more than you think!)

How we deliver our message
Being truthful and honest
Speaking from my heart and with integrity
Being kind and compassionate
Allowing others to experience whatever they want to, based on their thoughts and feelings
Managing our own minds
Noticing and responding appropriately to our own emotions
When in doubt, pouring more love into the situation for our benefit

And one final thing that you can control is how you prepare for a hard conversation – because worrying and dreading and procrastinating doesn’t get you anything.

It only delays and postpones what you want or need to do and makes the conversation seem 10x worse than it really is.

Focus on all the things you can control and check out my step by step guide on how to prep for a hard conversation.

  1. What is the hard conversation that you need to have?
  2. Why do you need to have it?
  3. Why do you think it will be hard?
  4. What will your life be like if you never have this conversation?
  5. What is it costing you to postpone this conversation?
  6. What do you want the outcome of this conversation to be?
  7. What part of that outcome do you control?
  8. How can you have the conversation from a place of truth and integrity?
  9. How can you be loving towards yourself, even if you don’t get the response that you would like?
  10. Have the conversation.Take responsibility for your thoughts and feelings before, during and after the conversation. Be kind and loving towards yourself. Celebrate your compassionate side. Allow the other person to have their own experience.

If you prefer, we can do this work together – because I know that two minds are better than one. Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session to see how to shift your thinking about hard conversations so you can feel more empowered. Let’s take 30 minutes to talk about it. Book your session today!

7 Reasons We Hold Ourselves Back.

hold back

Do you have a big vision for your life and lots of ideas that you would like act upon, but you are stuck in rut wondering when life will shift for once and for all? It’s time to let go of these 7 things that cause you to hold back.

I have the honor of coaching some amazing women. What I have learned is that most women have a few things in common: They are brilliant, they work hard, take care of lots of other people, try to do the right thing and they have really amazing ideas about what they would like to accomplish in their lives.

However, these same women are almost always fearful, confused and full of self-doubt. Their ideas never really get fully implemented because they are stuck, overwhelmed, frustrated and unclear. I really relate to this because I used to be the same exact way!

All of these brilliant women have a strong desire to make a difference in their lifetime. They want to leave a legacy behind and help their kids and others by doing what they love. They want to create their lives on purpose and not by default.

It is really interesting when one of my clients gets really clear and connects to her true vision for herself – she becomes aware that if she were living this desire FULLY, she would be so happy, unstoppable, fearless and feel a complete sense of freedom.

Can you relate to this?

If we have brilliant ideas and heartfelt desires, why do we struggle with creating a life on purpose? Where’s the disconnect? Why do we default into accepting our states of weakness and stagnation and claim it to be normal?

Here are the 7 reasons that women hold themselves back from living their lives on purpose. Indecision, Procrastination, Self Doubt, Worry, Fear, Waiting and Negative Body Image.

The good news is that these 7 things are very easy to overcome with the right mindset and support. This is easier than you think, though it may not feel this way at the moment.
The only person holding you back is you. Your life, your body, and your mind can be in a state of growth and evolvement. It is possible to move past the blocks and these 7 reasons, for good.

Here are the 7 reasons women hold themselves back:

1. Indecision
Indecision means putting off making decisions or not making a decision at all. Successful women reach decisions promptly and have learned how to make their decisions “right” after they have made them. They have a deep trust and feel confident they can change course at any given time. Making quick decisions will liberate you.
People who are stuck and aren’t living the life they truly want are wishy-washy and change their mind frequently. They say yes/no/maybe over and over again. Ultimately they never come to any decision, so their life does not change – which leads to number two (see below).

2. Procrastination
Procrastination is putting off what needs to be done today until some point in the future. Your life is now and is waiting for you to fully show up in the present moment.
Understand and become aware of why you are procrastinating, instead of being unconscious to this behavior.
If you have a big dream, but you procrastinate, there is huge misalignment between what you say you want and what you do. Why is that? It is worth your time to invest and understand why you are putting off the exact things you say you desire.

3. Self-Doubt
Self-doubt shows up whenever we are ready to step out of comfort zones and do something new. It is an expected emotion and yet, we work so hard to dismiss it and fight it. Self-doubt and our resistance to experience it will cause us to make excuses or justifications for why we can’t have what we want or why it won’t work out. We will blame other people, we will say we are confused or not ready. It will give us an excuse to quit before we start.
If you are filled with self-doubt, you need more clarity about what you want to help fuel you through the discomfort of self-doubt. Connecting with your compelling reason why you want to live your life of purpose, or follow your heart’s desire, will give you the strength to lean into the self-doubt and pursue your dreams anyway.

4. Worry
Worry is one the biggest forms of distraction I know. It takes you out of the present moment and takes you into the future – the unknown – which is scary for most. However, in my experience the future is filled with wonder and possibility. And the future holds the results of your current thinking. You create everything in your life through your mind. So if your mind is filled with worry about what will happen, the negative stuff, the failures and worse-case scenarios – then those will absolutely come true for you.
Worry is a form of fear and is just an illusion about something that may happen in the future. It a form of “trying” to control an outcome.
What if you let go of worry and allowed something amazing to happen?

5. Fear
Fear is not real. It is an illusion created in the mind by negative thinking. The negative and limiting thinking is keeping you from growing and expanding. It wants to keep you small and safe. Growth and evolution require that we step into areas of discomfort and the unknown, in pursuit of our dreams. It requires that we expand our thinking to what is possible and available to us.
Love and fear can’t exist at the same time.
Successful women experience fear but they understand they have power over it. They are willing to lean into what they are afraid of and support themselves through it with self-love.

6. Waiting
You want it now – right? So why are you waiting to go for it? It is so important to get really clear about this.
Most women wait for the right time, the right amount of money, etc. I learned how to completely love myself through choosing not to wait – to go after what I want – especially when things aren’t perfect. Waiting is stagnant energy that only creates more stagnant energy – it shows up in painful thoughts, self-sabotage, emotional eating, etc. – fueling the belief that you can’t do it. And honestly, waiting does not feel good. Waiting takes all your power away.
Creating a life on purpose requires action and deciding that now is the perfect time to take a step in the direction of creating it.

7. Negative Body Image
Yesterday, I spoke with a woman who shared her struggle with her body image. She told me she often isolates in her house. When it comes to going out to events, she gets nervous about who will be there and how they will judge her, and this often stops her from going – or if she does go, she immediately starts comparing herself to other women.
Her image of herself is completely holding her back in her life.
Body image and self-perception matter deeply when we give them the power to alter our behavior in a negative way – creating shame and wanting to hide from the world.

In our personal and professional lives, a negative body image blocks us from having deeper intimacy with others, sharing authentic experiences, meeting new people, putting ourselves out there and even, making more money – it stops us from creating the ultimate life, health, body, and even financial status, we deeply desire.

Please do yourself a big favor and commit to moving beyond these 7 things that keep you from living your life on purpose.

Stop waiting for the perfect time, let go of the need for complete certainty, the fear of scarcity, the struggle with your body weight and waiting for the right amount of money.

If you don’t, you will continue to live by default and deny your greatest gifts and talents to the world. Please do us a favor and put yourself out there – decide and commit, embrace the discomfort and uncertainty, put your brilliance to work for you.

We need you and we are waiting.

Not sure where to begin? Why not book a complimentary BREAKTHROUGH SESSION? Let’s talk about what’s holding you back and what steps you can take to move through these blocks with ease and confidence. Book your no-obligation free session today!

The Art of Manipulation.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

I was talking to a client the other day, who is very afraid of having a direct conversation with her husband. Things have been steadily improving between the two of the them and so she didn’t want to “rock the boat”. And yet, there are still some things that need to be said. She kept waiting for the perfect moment, to have the perfect conversation, to get the perfect response that would make her feel good.

I had to burst her bubble.

I told her that she was manipulating the situation with all this waiting. Manipulating the situation with the careful scrutiny of every interaction between them and always choosing to go with the flow instead of speaking her mind. She was manipulating the truth, by being silent. She was allowing fear of a potential worse-case scenario outcome, rob her present moments with her husband.

The art of manipulation.

I kept asking her questions.

What do you believe to be true?
What do you need to say?
What are you afraid of?
Are you willing to receive the truth in return?
What outcome do you want?
Why do you want this outcome?
How long are you willing to wait to experience this outcome?

The truth is that she deeply loves her husband. She wants to bring him even closer. To protect their sacred time together, despite their busy lives. She wants presence and real connection with him. She wants to eliminate the unnecessary distractions. She wants to be more vulnerable and more open with him.

She wasn’t able to see that she was working directly against herself. And that waiting to have this direct conversation was postponing what she truly wanted. Her fear about how he might respond was delaying her desired experience for an even deeper connection.

Does this sound familiar?
I’ve done this, plenty of times.

We deny ourselves of the very thing that we want most, because we want to protect ourselves. To be careful with our hearts. To not risk too much. To stay safe. We like to avoid pain and heartbreak and discomfort. But all the protection and worry about what “might” happen manipulates our truth and we move further and further away from what we really want.

So, how do we end a pattern of manipulating?

First, we need to own up to our truth and to be clear about what we really want. We deserve to claim it and to share it. To express ourselves, to be open and vulnerable is about being truly authentic.

Second, we need to accept that other people get to respond and react to us with their truth. And this can be very difficult to accept – to put ourselves out there and maybe not like what we get back. To “rock the boat” means that we may not always get the answer or outcome that we want and sometimes be exactly what we need instead. The upside is that we always know where we stand, even though it may not always feel good in the moment. We stand in our truth and so does the other person. There is no manipulation by either side, complicating or distorting things. The truth always simplifies the situation.

When I think about my brave and amazing client this week, I know that she is preparing to have this conversation with her husband. A conversation that is rooted in her truth and is detached from a particular negative outcome. She is letting go of a need to manipulate the situation ahead of time. She is open to being open. She is curious about how her vulnerability may lead to something unexpected and perfect. She is redefining “rock the boat” to mean something more empowering and inspiring. She is going in – all in. Simple and straight-forward truth telling and I am confident that she is going to be just fine.