Life is full of challenges. They could be something small and innocuous like whether or not you should run that extra mile during your morning run, or if you should jaywalk – it’s fine, no one’s coming. But sometimes these challenges can prove to be much larger and have bigger implications like how to respond when being confronted by your boss on a lie, or how to have that conversation with a partner.
Confronting challenges can go one of two ways. When challenged we can:
- Get overwhelmed by the fear of “what ifs” and hypotheticals, or
- Face the challenge head on and attack it the best way we know how.
I’m not going to purport that I know the best way each and every one of us should attack the challenges that lie ahead of us, but whatever the circumstance, I’m willing to say that proactively facing the challenge is your best bet.
I can see I might lose y’all here, so let me qualify this a bit. I’m not talking about taking silly, careless risks and challenges and facing them without fear. You should still take caution into account when dealing with your physical and emotional health. But there are times where fear of retribution, or embarrassment, or failure hold us back. In those situations, look that challenge in the eye and don’t back down.
Challenges in the workplace can come from anywhere. You could find yourself in some sophomoric spat with a coworker, or you could be caught slacking off while at work. Some are more serious than others, but in any situation, the goal is to nip it in the bud.
Let’s say the worst case scenario happens and your boss calls you out on a lie you told about reaching out to a potential client. They did their due diligence and found that even though you said you reached out, you didn’t.
The natural instinct for a lot of us here would be to try and lie our way out of it by spinning a story about reaching out to the contact but them being out of the office. This is only going make things worse. Remember, honesty is the best policy.
The best thing you can do when faced with this is to own up to it and set out ways in which you’ll rectify the situation, and your actions, moving forward. Feeding someone a load of lies won’t do any good, but showing sincere remorse, and a plan of action to set things right will go a long way toward (potentially) reestablishing your place in that company, and rebuilding the trust you broke.
Just like professional challenges, the goal here is to identify the challenge and take the most effective route toward overcoming it. That doesn’t mean the easiest, or most comfortable, it means the most effective.
I’m willing to bet that everyone here has had to end a relationship, romantic or otherwise. Our initial inclination would be to prolong the inevitable, the “break up”, for as long as possible because we don’t want to endure the wrath of
Kahn the other person, or we don’t want to hurt them. The intentions here are inarguably good, but as they say (I don’t know who “they” are, but they sound important), “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
The reality is that you should treat these situations like ripping off a band aid: quickly and diligently. The more earnest and clear you are in situations like these, or any interpersonal situation, the better. People stay in toxic, unhappy relationships all the time because they are afraid of hurting the other person. Don’t be. You need to do what’s best for you, at work and at home. See the challenge ahead of you, go towards it and know that you’ll come out on the other side.
Until next time – let’s do this thing.