One of the characteristics of real Mental Toughness is the willingness to have what is called “fierce conversations.”
These are the dialogs that can be petrifying and effortless to blow off. It’s real conflict. And what an interesting word, “conflict.” The word has been bastardized from its original meaning. It meant to struggle together with. Not against. With.
And by “fierce” I don’t mean screaming and shouting and pushing and shoving, but rather the conversations that can be fiercely intimidating to enter into.
So, the Mental Toughness lesson here today is about growth. Growth through conflict. And the conflict that comes from having the fierce conversations that need to be had. The conversations that need to be had if we are truly committed to growth.
There’s a mantra that I often refer to:
“Every set of circumstances can be leveraged for gain if viewed masterfully.”
And the masterful way of viewing these fierce conversations is by choosing to CREATE from them. The Mentally Tough interpretation of conflict is that it is a huge opportunity for some growth to occur. Not only growth but potential creative genius and collaboration. Fierce conversations naturally aren’t guaranteed to result in immediate and obviously desirable outcomes, but what is guaranteed is that once the conversation has been had (preferably skillfully), the weight of it is off your conscience. And that weight is dead weight. But the chance for real growth is always a potentiality.
Are there any fierce conversations that need to be had in your world? If so, prepare yourself to have them. Do plenty of mental rehearsals in your mind’s eye in advance. Visualize yourself being a masterful, sincere communicator, and a phenomenal listener. (Axe does a pretty good job in the clip above from one of my favorite TV shows, Billions.) And do a little pre-game ritual beforehand to get your Game Face on. (My Game Face, by the way, is Warrior-Expert-Buddha. And I really need all of that going into fierce conversations!)
Decide in advance of the conversations that growth will occur. Again, perhaps not immediately and obviously. But decide that it will. When you know going in, that the intent is to create some excellence, then it doesn’t require so much courage to have the conversation in the first place.