“If you don’t spread your wings and risk to fly you will not be able to soar.”
Imagine you are a little fledgling. You live in a nest that is warm, comfortable, and tucked away from harm. You are being fed by your parents. You get to play with your siblings, and life, as you know it, is good. However, as time goes by, and you grow, the nest is getting crowded. One at a time you see your brothers and sisters taking off and learning how to fly. You watch them get up and hop to the edge of the nest, take a deep breath, and then dive into nothingness. And, magically their wings open and they, although, they have never done it before, are able to fly. Each time it happens you are amazed at their bravery and wonder what might happen when your turn comes to leave the nest.
Days, perhaps even weeks, go by, and each day you and your parents are still sitting in the nest. You are so afraid, actually petrified, and you can’t imagine that your wings will ever open. The thought of flying seems impossible. Death seems inevitable. Eventually the day comes when your parents are telling you that they are going to abandon you if you don’t get your courage up to leave the nest. Well, you step up to the edge of the nest, get all your courage together … and before you have a chance to jump the wind gets stronger and blows you out of the nest. Magically your wings open and you, like every other bird before you, are feeling the wind beneath your wings. You are happily soaring and once again, life is good. At least for a while, until you faced the next challenge.
How many of you remember a recent experience like that? You were afraid of doing something that had to be done and rather than doing it right away you stalled, tried to talk yourself out of it, or even froze up. Yeah, I am talking about laying someone off, telling a friend that you were upset, admitting that the sales strategy failed, or breaking up with your boyfriend. It is common knowledge that human beings have a tendency to avoid unpleasant situations. But did you know that human beings have an even stronger tendency to fantasize negatively about taking risks? Much like the little bird in my story we tell ourselves that it is too dangerous, that we will get hurt, that we simply can’t, or that it is better to live with the things that don’t work than to be happy. Here are a few facts:
- Many marriages end up in nasty divorces because by the time they happen one or both parties have build up so much animosity.
- Most managers who are dissatisfied with their subordinates wait to have conversations with their employees until reconciliation is too late.
- People would rather suffer great physical, emotional, and mental consequences than speak the truth about their feelings.
At the worldwide headquarter of Clear Intentions International we recommend a different strategy. We call it “sharp” blade” strategy. Here is how it goes. If you have to have a painful conversation with someone rather than using a razor blade to slowly saw at what is bothering you (negatively fantasize and live in misery) why not use a sharp blade and make one single clean cut (create a positive vision and communicate authentic and clear)? In other words, if you already know that something had to be done, why wait and add days, weeks, or years of agony before you talk. Go ahead and do it, right away. Razor blade cuts are very painful and they have a tendency to take longer to heal. Clean cuts heal easily and are less painful and a sharp cut can be a win-win. For example, deal with a problem with an employee right away and it is resolved, that helps the business and helps the employee know his/her expectations. It’s good management and positions the company and the employee you invested in training, to be successful in his/her position. Or from the business perspective, if it can’t be salvaged, you have to let the employee go. You protect your business, reputation, and clients. End a relationship and it opens you up for a new one that gives you the things you want. Whatever is it, if you have to do it, get it done right away. You will save energy, aggravation and time.