This question was sent to me a little while ago, and because it refers to so much of what I’ve battled with and what I’m constantly speaking about, I though it would be helpful to share my response with all of you!
Here’s the question that I was sent:
I’m finding lately that I’m doing a lot of second guessing about things I say during coaching and also during regular conversations with friends pretty much all the time!!!
It happens usually after I call something out and it makes the other person(s) uncomfortable…. I notice the shift in them (or the group) and then I beat myself up. I think this is saboteur as usually I’m saying it to be real and really either wanting to shake things up or talk about the elephant in the room, but I feel badly afterwards. One side of me says, “You need to say it more gently, pose it in a question, have them discover it for themselves.” The other side of me says, “Come on! What the hell is going on here? Get real!”
Is this something similar to your experience? If so, I think what I need to help me here is figure out how to let it go. If I know I’m doing it in service of the client, why can’t I shake it? I think it’s because I’m also feeling selfish afterwards because I know it serves me too?
First of all, yes this is similar to my experience! I thought that my being bold was hurting people or scaring people. The thing is, that when I was only half-bold, when I said what I needed to say but with apology in my voice, it actually made things messier and they required more cleanup. When I finally got to letting myself say the bold and direct things cleanly (without feeling awkward about it) that’s when they started really having an impact.
I think that too often our world holds back on boldness and that it is costing us, not only just as people, but also as a society. So I’m all for saying the uncomfortable thing, be that uncomfortable for you or uncomfortable for them.
It seems like your discomfort is a little bit about wanting to be nice and wanting to be liked. That’s not what coaching is about and I also don’t think that’s what real friendship is about either! The ‘real’ in real friendship is about saying what’s is true for you and cutting to the heart of things. And of course it’s easier said than done.
The thing that gets in the way of speaking our truth is that we have the inner critic, the saboteur, which wants us to play small and stay safe and keep things comfortable. I for one am done with that! It costs me too much!
This process is really about flipping your mindset to realize that what needs to be managed is not the speaking up itself, but the feeling badly afterwards.
There’s a thing that I learned in the 12 step program I attend, that talks about the after burn of taking a risk and speaking up. The eternal and evolutional backlash that we give ourselves is just that: it’s only backlash. But it feels so real, and it feels so scary! However, when we know what it is we can choose a different path: that of not letting the backlash win, but rather, stepping even further into BOLD. This is the path that best serves us, serves our client, and serves the world.
I invite you to experiment with what it is to be unapologetically bold, in order to create the world you want to live in!
Okay over to you:
Do you give the bold answer no matter what? What strategies do use to deal with the ‘feeling bad’ afterwards? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
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