You can’t hide from tough questions. Whether it’s related to your business or to your life in general, tough questions happen.
I imagine that most of us have trouble dealing with the tough questions that need to be asked — I know I do, even though sometimes you might not know it. We all probably heard that the best way to approach things like this is to just tackle it head-on — but that’s easier said than done. My mantra is “lean in”.
Even when someone gives you their experience or advice, the battle isn’t over. You need to know how to apply it to drive tangible results in your life. What we really need is insight into how to get past the hardest part… which is bringing it up in the first place.
Even when there’s an elephant in the room, it can be more comfortable to leave it unsaid. But, comfort isn’t what we should be striving for. We want growth, which means accepting the growing pains.
I was thinking about all of this, and here are my tips for facing your tough questions head-on.
It’s Too Easy to Be “Surface”
Most people live above the “surface.” Think of the iceberg. While you can only see the very top that’s above the water, the majority of the berg is below the surface. Meanwhile, what’s going on below is what matters the most.
So, when we avoid what we don’t want to hear, we’re ignoring the full iceberg and only choosing to see what’s above water. But, that’s going to cause issues when your boat plots a course through icy waters. You may want to ignore the sharp bergs, but that doesn’t make the danger disappear.
In the same way, it’s easy to be surface level, but it takes work to go deeper. If you’re just staying on the surface, you're content with being comfortable.
If you know me, you know I equate comfort to stagnation. If you’re just comfortable, what’s driving you forward? If you’re not asking the hard questions, how are you going to improve your relationships? How are you going to find solutions to the issues that you’re already aware of?
The Value of Authenticity
In a sense, avoiding the hard questions really means that you’re rejecting your inner truth. This doesn’t mean that you’re going to be right, wrong, or even put you on the path you need to go … but not speaking up creates a gigantic blockage. Choosing to start asking the hard questions is a way that we can be more honest and authentic with ourselves in our lives.
It may not be easy to break the ice, but it’s important that we give our inner feelings an outlet. I find that dropping my expectations and honestly syncing with the person is the best way to bring up a big topic. Like ripping off a bandaid, the sooner you choose honesty, the sooner you’ll be done with the hardest part.
Once the topic is in the air, you’ve won half of the battle. You were brave enough to say what needed to be said and carry the conversation further. In many instances, I realize that the other person also wanted to discuss the “hard question.” It’s likely that they were also wondering how to bring it up.
Taking a deep breath, choosing confidence, and being honest is my go-to way to address those difficult topics we all face in our lives. What do you do?