"Have you ever noticed how conflicts can reveal parts of ourselves that we didn't know existed?"
Have you ever said something in a fight that you couldn't believe you said?
Have you ever released physical rage that you didn't know was inside of you?
Typically, we view these experiences as mistakes, issues, or problems. But what if they, when created with purpose and intention, were actually ways to elevate your leadership and opportunities to move past fears or beliefs holding you back in business or relationships?
The Power of Struggles
We often take a negative view of fighting or conflict. And it makes sense because fighting or conflict often hurts people.
But shying away from fears, fighting, conflict, or our truth also hurts people, often ourselves.
What if, in service of our leadership, finances, relationships, and the overall quality of our lives, we created conflict or fought on purpose?
Have you ever seen two men or women engaged in deep combat in a UFC Fight? During the fight, they seem to be trying to kill each other. However, as soon as the battle is over, they deeply embrace, honor, and show gratitude for one another.
They share a mutual respect. They, in partnership, made themselves extremely vulnerable, physically, of course, but also emotionally and publically. They also forced each other to rise to the occasion. They pushed each other to be great, and because of each other, they got to see who they were capable of being. They had to powerfully face fear, to not back down, and they had to do this with boundaries and a level of control, as there are rules and structures in place that they must stay in alignment with.
And something that is not often acknowledged, they had to deeply be in connection with their emotional intelligence, as losing it likely would result in losing control, abandoning their strategy and training, and the battle quickly.
Empowered Leadership via Purposeful Conflict
Too many of us are avoiding conflict. We often fear getting hurt physically or emotionally or hurting someone else. And when it's coming from love and respect, that's wonderful. However, the other side of that coin also has us shying away from conflict, not discovering who we are capable of being, and never having us learn how to facilitate our emotions during high intensity and competition.
We avoid scary conversations with a boss, co-worker, or partner. We avoid saying yes to learning a challenging or perceived risky physical activity, like a new sport, boxing, or martial arts. We avoid saying something or doing something that feels true for us because it might hurt someone else's feelings or trigger someone, so we keep it inside.
Purposefully engaging and creating conflict can be a vulnerable and challenging experience, but one that allows us to grow and learn about ourselves. To be a great leader, we must face our fears. We must be willing to face conflict and, at times, be the creator of it. We must not fear rejection or loss of control. We must be able to emotionally regulate during chaos and loss of control. We must be able to speak our truth powerfully without holding back. We must be able to ask for what we want and set powerful boundaries.
By creating situations in business and in relationships, whereas leaders, we step into our physical or emotional fears by embracing or inviting conflict, we can provide a deeper understanding of the psychological impact of conflict, competition, and the more challenging moments of life. In addition, we can offer practical advice on how to navigate conflicts healthily and constructively.
Embracing Personal and Professional Growth
We can learn how to manage emotions, grow our emotional awareness and intelligence, develop effective communication, be resilient, support others to move beyond their fears, and find common ground with those different from us. By doing so, we can empower leaders to handle conflict positively and meaningfully while also moving through fear.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself.
Where do I avoid conflict? What might this be costing me?
What am I actually afraid of, and what new possibility might be on the other side of that fear?
How does fear keep me from facing something in business or relationships head-on? And what is that consequence?
How can I intentionally create conflict to grow and expand who I am, my business, my team, or my relationship?
What happens or how do I behave or act when I get into a conflict that doesn't align with who I am committed to being as a person, partner, leader, or parent?
When in conflict, how do I want to practice being, showing up, and responding to it?
If you want to grow your leadership, generate more income, grow your business, improve your relationships, and become a more extraordinary version of yourself, let's talk!
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And remember you can also check out my other blog posts: