Yuk! Conflict. If you're anything like I am, you cringe at the thought of disharmony in a relationship, and even worse have distaste for working up the courage to deal with conflict. Dealing with the issue means it's just going to blow up in your face after all right? Wrong! As Rhonda Shasteen, my mentor, once told me, "We make things worse in the six inches between our ears." She means that we let our imaginations create fear in our minds make things out to be far worse than they will be in reality. When we listen to fear, we let the fear control us, and we choose to give away our power.
Rhonda shared with me that in order be successful, a person needs to be comfortable with conflict. I thought about Rhonda's words quite a bit because I have often opted for not saying anything at all rather than facing the issue at hand. Doing nothing is a lesson in disaster itself and supports another nugget of wisdom Rhonda taught me that goes hand in hand with growing comfortable with conflict. That lesson is to deal with conflict as soon as possible because it will only grow worse with time and lack of attention. The longer the conflict goes unaddressed, the harder it will be to resolve and face. Conflict grows roots with time.
Since I have so much faith in Rhonda's wisdom, I try to challenge myself to go outside of my comfort zone whenever an opportunity arises to exercise the lessons she's shared with me. Confronting conflict is a lesson that applies to both your personal and professional lives. I can assure you that with each success going outside the comfort zone, you gain courage and confidence, which makes it a little bit easier the next time around, plus dealing with conflict shows the other person that you really care about that person and your relationship.
Face your conflicts with courage because you can!