Your wife giving you static? Lean into it.
Your boss has an undefined meeting with you? Lean into it.
Your kid is having problems at school? Lean into it.
Have to give a public speech? Lean into it.
Conflict is not much fun. But the bigger problem is how you envision the scenario in your own head. As the The Power of Now says (paraphrasing here): if you live in the now, life is excellent. The breeze on your face. The sun as it looks in the sky. The interesting details and wonder of the ants on the ground. The microcosm of life’s daily moments are wonderful. It is when we venture into the past or try to predict the future (and all its iterations) that our life gets off kilter.
So moving on from the now (this moment) to the future now of conflict. First, don’t worry so much about it. Next, embrace the issue. It won’t get easier if you ignore it. Your potential outcomes are often worse than the reality. Know that you have to negotiate, apologize, or get into a tough discussion. Be humble and LISTEN. Do that and you’ll be fine.
Lean into it.
Your wife is busting your chops. Right or wrong or somewhere in the middle, you know the convo is going to happen. Just deal and don’t avoid. Apologizing is sometimes the easiest path, but not the right one. Sometimes when you fucked up, it is the right one. Find out what she is really getting at. Is she insecure and that is why she is lashing out? Or did you fuck up by acting like an 8 year old and not change the TP? LISTEN to understand the issue… Then. Respond. Lean into it. And accept the suck if need be.
Let me tell you a quick work story. I’m now a manager, which means the buck stops here, which sucks. I’m responsible for my staff’s fuck ups. Right this moment I’m working to avoid a $60k writeoff from an unhappy client and a poorly written contract (by my staff, that I didn’t sign). This dollar amount is a lot in my division. I can say “poor me, this sucks” or I can lean into it and do the best I can and not worry about the outcome. I’m a shareholder in my company which means a vested interest in my outcome as an owner and my impact to my bonus, but this isn’t but a drop in the bucket of life. No reason to worry about money. More is made every day (especially in USA). And a corporation, especially in this day, is designed to deal with fuckups. Maybe I get a lower bonus or not one at all. I don’t care that much – my wife is hot and accommodating, my kids so great, and even dogs that we love so much. Money is a tool to allow that to happen, more will be made and a new job there if the worst ever happens. True for all of us.
Coming back to the BS at hand, with unhappy client and ‘errors and omissions’ (IMO, stemming from a poorly written contract and a CYA public client). Bringing in my EVP into a likely tense meeting with client’s mayor, engineer, and attorney; my executive VP was so calm it was eerie. Having dealt with lots of fuckups over the years, this was a drop in the bucket in dollars, effort, and sophistication with him. Like public speaking (which is becoming easier – I spoke at a national conference last week and it was almost speaking amongst friends – granted this was after 10 other regional or national conferences over the years. So yeah, it does [slowly] get easier), you get ground down from the initial newness of conflict and it starts to become more commonplace and easier to do.
So I’m leaning in. Upcoming shitty conversations with the client who has no loyalty and a weak staff. Shitty yelling with contractors’ whose IQ is near Forest Gump and are compulsive liars and sociopaths. Dealing with my staff who aren’t sleeping because of this bullshit. Lean into it. If you are involved, it is your responsibility.
No one knows how anything will turn out, but it is my belief that things will work out. For me. Not sure about you, but I’m certain at this stage of my life that things will work out. I know that helps me lean in.
Leaning in. Not easy, but still easy. Just let it happen. Like a sailboat leaning into the wind. It looks like it won’t, like the ship will blow over. Nope. It will work out. Embrace the perceived suck. It usually isn’t as suck as you expect. And it is sort of exciting due to the unknown.