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  • Writer's pictureKenny Johnson

The other side of uncomfortable

Timothy Ferriss — 'A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.'


The waiter just set down your lasagna, you have been waiting all day for this. Stomach grumbling, mouth watering, you pick up your fork to dive in. As you place that first melty, meaty (or vegan) bite into your mouth the only sensation you feel is cold congealed cheese sticking to the roof of your mouth. Utter disappointment. Maybe you grumble to your table mates, ask how their meals are, maybe you just sit there and pick at it with a dissatisfied look on your face. A few minutes later your server returns to ask what we all know is coming...How is everything tasting? What do you do?


Some of us probably have a little bit of anxiety running through our bellies. But why? Did the chef deliberately not cook your meal all the way through? Did the server leave it on the counter too long on purpose? Chances are it was an honest mistake that neither are even remotely aware of. Yet there is a pit in our stomach, not because we have only one bite of our lasagna down, but because we are afraid to confront the situation.


Important note: Don't be an a**hole. There is a difference.


The cold dish, the lowest possible stakes confrontation we might ever face. What is the worst possible outcome asking for a new meal? They might say no, but the most likely outcome is in in our favor. The server is going to apologize, they are going to make it right, and maybe you wont even have to pay for your meal. The only thing we know for certain is if we say nothing he/she is not going to telepathically sense what's going on in your head and fix the situation for you. So why are some of us so fearful to say what we actually think?


Just like our fitness all the good stuff is on the other side of a little discomfort. If you don't do the sit ups the abs are not going to pop up themselves; if you don't ask for the business you are not going to get the sale.


The greater the fear of the conversation the more we probably need to have it. Think back across your life, most our biggest moments of growth have come from when we have put ourselves out there, exposed our vulnerability, and gone for what we wanted. You might want a promotion, need out of a toxic relationship, or just want ask a girl to a dance. It is an unfortunate truth of life, the world doesn't know what you want, you have to ask.


Don't be a dink be prepared, be confident, all the good stuff is out there we just need to ask for it.




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