Uncomfortable Conversations Can Lead to Good Things


I have often avoided uncomfortable conversations, but this week, I began to look at them from a different perspective. It all started with a quote that I found in my journal.

I keep a gratitude journal, where I write down five things that I’m grateful for each day. Often, I’ll include a happy moment that involved: an activity, a new experience, beautiful scenery, energizing music, a great meal, a new favorite movie, spiritual reflection, a completed goal, time with Tony, or a conversation with a friend. (You can read more about it in my blog post, Documenting Life’s Important Moments.)

The gratitude journal that I use contains quotes, and this week’s quote was by Tim Ferriss. It read, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

When I first read that quote, I didn’t know if I agreed with it. But as I mulled it over, I began to see wisdom in that statement. While I don’t think that “uncomfortable conversations” are the only requirement for success, I recognize how important they have been in my own life. I never would have moved to a country like Guatemala if I hadn’t been willing to speak a different language. I couldn’t have worked as a therapist if I hadn’t been willing to discuss awkward topics with strangers. I’ve had to learn to ask for things–and accept that I might feel rejected if my requests are denied. I never would have married Tony if we hadn’t both been willing to have uncomfortable conversations. (I don’t think we would have made it past a month of dating.) And communication–even the difficult kind–has been essential for maintaining happiness in our marriage.

Sometimes, I wonder if the author of a particular quote can back up what he or she says. So, I looked up “Tim Ferriss” online, and I found out that he’s the author of three best-selling books. When I saw the titles, I realized that I’d looked through one of them before. It’s called The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. It describes, “How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week.” So, Tim Ferriss can probably back up his quote about success.

Do you think there’s truth in his quote?


12 thoughts on “Uncomfortable Conversations Can Lead to Good Things

  1. The above statement reminds me of the lecture
    we had back in college during an Organizational Behavior lesson.The lecturer introduced
    a topic that raised eyebrows to everyone.The statement read:
    “Benefits of Conflicts”.Non could even give an hint
    until the teacher broke the silence.At the end of the
    lesson students were capable of approaching situations
    through different dimensions.
    The following were the results the lecturer came up
    (a)Conflicts bring to surface emotions that had
    failed through other channels of

    (b)Conflicts enable a manager to
    understand temperament and maturity
    of his/her subordinates in that it is
    only during troubles people portray their
    true selves.

    (c)Conflicts if well addressed may
    pressure an organization in reviewing
    its decisions that might have been
    biased or implemented in hurry.

    (d)Such moments enable a manager in
    learning on how to apply Conflict
    Management Skills whenever chaos erupt
    and put him/her in a preparation mode

    People argue to make up,correct
    and understand what is applicable
    or not. It is now evident that in
    absence of conflicts, some burning
    issues would have remained unearthed

    Real success involves willingness
    to make new discoveries,patience,managing
    expectations,manipulating others,coping
    with rejection and getting out of the
    comfort zone when alarm rings.

    I know agree with Tim’s quote.
    Thank you Rachel.

  2. That sounds like a good lecture about the “Benefits of Conflict.” I agree, conflict can often produce positive results.

  3. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick qusotien in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had trouble clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Thanks!

  4. Thanks, Sude! Often, I just start writing, even if it’s not as good as I’d like it to be. It’s easier to go back and edit what I’ve written than it is to wait until I can write something perfectly. Another technique is to give yourself a writing prompt. You could choose a topic to write about before you even sit down to write. Hope that helps. Good luck with your writing!

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  6. Hi Ignacio! I think that’s great that you are joining the blogging community. One question that you could ask yourself before you begin is, What do I want to blog about? I recommend blogging about a subject that truly interests you. It could be a subject that you want to read about in your spare time. That way, you are not only writing about something interesting, but you are learning more about it as well. You could also take photos that relate to your subject and post them on your blog. Images can add color to the words that you write.

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